*This Editor’s Note will appear in the April Edition of ECN.
Embedded systems are part of technology that we use all the time, whether it’s a smartwatch, MRI, hybrid car, or traffic lights, embedded technology is present. It has been said that 98 percent of all microprocessors manufactured are used in embedded systems. This technology has existed, in various forms, since the 1960s with the Apollo Guidance Computer for the Apollo space missions. Over the years, controllers have been refined and are now including artificial intelligence (AI).
It seems that AI is finding its way into every device and component nowadays, and embedded systems are no exception. The idea is that AI and machine learning will enable embedded systems to increase its functionality and improve efficiency. By making these components smarter, controllers will be able to carry out their functions faster and can even handle more tasks.
Embedded systems technology is the central focus of this month’s ECN. Our cover story, “Low-Power FPGAs Solve Intelligent Vision Challenges,” by Juju Joyce on p. 18, examines how FPGAs can solve challenges in the embedded vision market. As sensors and cameras find their way into more embedded designs across the automotive and mobile industries, FPGAs can address some of the connectivity issues designers are encountering.
Our features, starting on p. 22, continue the theme of embedded technology. Contributing writer John Koon’s article, “Selecting the Right M.2-Format NVMe SSD,” explores a recent specification for solid-state drives (SSD) and the different factors to consider when selecting an SSD. On p. 26, Mike Botta takes a look at new trends in microprocessors and microcontrollers in “Microcontrollers and Microprocessors Continue Rapid Market Growth.” Embedded technology moves to the world of robots in “Embedded Analog Intelligence Giving Robots New Levels of Autonomy” by Matthieu Chevrier on p. 28. Rounding out the features is “Challenges Facing Rugged Embedded Technology” by John Koon on p. 30, which provides an overview on the key concerns for embedded tech in industrial and Mil/Aero applications.
April’s ECN also features PDD as a special section on p. 33. PDD’s focus on advanced manufacturing is first seen on p. 34 with its cover story, “Machine Vision and the Evolution of Image Sensors,” by Majeed Ahmad, which takes a look at machine vision camera technology and its expansion in embedded systems and applications ranging from autonomous vehicles to unmanned aerial vehicles. Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) takes the spotlight in “MEMS Technology for Today’s Niche Markets” by Joyce Laird on p. 36. The article discusses the challenges facing the technology as well as the advancements being made with packaging solutions. Finally, on p. 38, we focus on AI in PDD’s last feature, “Bringing AI to the Edge,” by Cliff Ortmeyer, which centers on the benefits to performance and security when AI is taken to the edge of the network.
It’s clear that embedded systems, like most technology, is moving toward a “smarter” direction. Let’s see what happens when it gets there.