Thought Leadership

EW 2010

By Colin Walls

Last week I went to Nuremberg [or Nürnberg if you prefer] to attend Embedded World 2010. I have been to this show most years over the last decade or so and it just seems to get bigger and busier each year. This year there were more than 700 exhibitors and in excess of 18,000 visitors. It is now definitely the biggest show/conference for embedded developers anywhere in the world. The electronic displays Conference was co-located; this seems like a reasonable synergy.

I had a number of specific reasons for being at the event, which turned out to be even more interesting than expected …

My main job at the show was to present some papers in the conference: one was on Android for non-handset applications; the other was a tutorial on dynamic memory usage in C/C++. I also did an Android session in the exhibitors’ forum on the show floor. All the talks were well attended.

I had some press meetings as well, which were no problem, except that one was a video interview, which was a new experience for me. If I am feeling brave, I will post a link here when it is on-line.

At such a show, where all the traditional technologies were being exhibited, it is interesting to try to see what is hot. In the area of embedded software, I could identify three particular areas where there was a lot of interest:

  1. Model based design in general, and UML in particular, seems to be getting attention. I think this is a technology whose time has yet to arrive.
  2. Graphics – high resolution, 3D, touch screens – are everywhere. This made the co-location with the displays conference particularly logical. The ready availability of low-cost displays has certainly caught designers’ imaginations and the Mentor Graphics Inflexion product got plenty of attention on our booth.
  3. Android. Although traditional RTOS and “plain” Linux were widely touted, Android was everywhere.

Sometimes things just line up nicely. Every year, the Embedded World organizers make awards to exhibitors for innovative products in a number of categories. This year, we submitted our recently released Inflexion for Android product for the software award. This product encompasses both (2) and (3), which might explain why we won!

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at