You can guess it from the title. I've attended embedded world this year (again). This is my personal review from Europes biggest exhibition about embedded technologies held in Nuremberg (Germany) from March 3rd to 5th.
I like the narrow focus on embedded hardware, software and services. The whole event fits in only four pavilions but has plenty to offer. Unlike some big events (e.g. electronica, Cebit) it's still growing: a 25% increase in exhibitors compared to last year. (I've found no official statistics about the visitor numbers, yet.)
As last year I took the train and arrived around 11am in Nuremberg. Passing by the first busy booths gave me a good feeling. It seemed like recession was dispelled from these pavilions. Maybe I'm wrong, but the general mood of the visitors didn't show a sign of crisis. Of course, everybody is aware of the exceptional situation and I expect more people getting laid off in the electronics industry but despite of all bad news the booths showed high load.
I've noticed an interesting trend going on in the computer on modules (COM) business. Multiple vendors are jumping on the bandwagon of increased system-integration. In order to reduce the number of components, save PCB space and power they start to offer modules with on-board FPGAs. The FPGA is connected through a 1x PCIe lane to the chipset and provides external (serial) connectivity for I2C, CAN, Ethernet etc. This sounds contradictory to reducing power? Wait. The best news is that you have access to the unused FPGA fabric and can insert your logic there. Even better, get rid of the CAN core and friends and occupy it all!
In the software pavilion I've went to the Trolls (aka Qt Software) and talked about the latest Qt release. Starting with version 4.5 the Qt framework is also offered as LGPLed package. That means you can link your closed source applications to the library without paying any license fees. That's good news for independent developers and micro ISVs. I was wondering how Qt Software is making money now. I got a lengthy explanation which can be summarized to: More developers, more mobile applications, higher Nokia phone sales. Nokia pays the bills. Additionally, the Qt Extended stand-alone product is discontinued. The last release will be 4.4.3. All Qt Extended features will be moved later into the Qt framework.
So far. In case things should get worse next year we can still ask Gov. Schwarzenegger for a keynote...erm click here.