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Embedded World rallies for 20th anniversary show

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By Nick Flaherty

More than 720 exhibitors from 39 countries gathered in Nuremberg last week for Embedded World, celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Covid-19 meant there was no physical show in 2021, and the 2020 show happened just as Europe locked down in March with 915 exhibitors, so this was the first such significant industry gathering. The 2022 show still suffered from the Covid effect, with some major exhibitors, including Microchip, not having a stand.

Figure released today show that 18,000 international visitors from 76 countries attended the show, with 3,900 online and hybrid attendees. This was up on the 13,796 visitors in 2020, but down on the 31,000 visitors in 2019 with 1,117 exhibitors.

The keynotes for the 2022 show opened with Dr. Matthias Klauda, Executive Vice President R&D from the recently founded “Cross Domain Computing Solutions” division of Robert Bosch discussing E/E Architectures of the Vehicle and Beyond. Steve Douglass, Corporate Vice President, research and development at Lattice Semiconductor, delivered his keynote on “Embracing Change: The Mandate for success in Next Generation Embedded Design”, while the third keynote was delivered by Patricia Shaw, CEO and founder of Beyond Reach Consulting, on Thursday. She spoke about “Responsible AI: From Principles to Practice.”

The show saw some unlikely additions. German/Australian quantum computing startup Quantum Brilliance exhibited, highlighting the maturing of the technology for the embedded market. Similarly Analog Devices is also looking at how it supports the signal chain for quantum computing.

The RISC-V architecture continues its rise, with Europe playing an increasingly important role in the development of chips and systems, from open source designs to Codasip’s European IP development, which will be covered in a coming RISC-V roundup on eeNews Europe.

Chinese microcontroller developer GigaDevices returned, having won the 2021 virtual show award for innovation for the first RISC-V microcontroller, the GD32V, last year. It also offers  ARM microcontrollers that are pin compatible with parts from large European suppliers, boosting its rise.

The latest ARM Cortex microcontroller core, the M85, was on display at Renesas, with tool support coming from IAR and Segger as well as its in-house tools. These are being optimised for the triple instruction issue pipeline that gives the M85 the performance to challenge low end Cortex-A cores.   

Serbian development tool maker MikroElectronica was showing its ‘hardware as a service’ racks for remote operation of development boards. A 24 board rack is intended to support a class of university students.

The company also launched its Necto2.0 development environment that covers instruction sets from ARM to RISC-V, with some interesting plans to include machine learning for auto-code generation.  

NECTO Studio comes with natural support for GCC compilers for RISC-V and currently supports over fourteen MCUs. But Necto also supports RISC-V in the mikroSDK, with a whole set of mikroSDK 2.0 libraries for RISC-V. This allows developers to use all the Click peripheral board libraries on RISC-V MCUs and to switch between different architectures without changing a single line of code. 

Embedded software and security developer Foundries.io was showing some of the systems from partners using its embedded Linux, from home gateways to electric scooters. Ian Drew showed the ambitious plans for an IPO in the next three years, enabled by local funders rather than US funds.

The next show is back to a more usual time of year, from 14th to 16th March 2023.

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