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VDC Research attended the Embedded World 2018 conference in Nuremberg, Germany through three days during the week of February 26th packed full of face-to-face meetings with dozens of exhibitors. This year’s event was the 16th Embedded World conference and it continues to grow as the leading exhibition for global IoT and embedded technology providers. 1,021 companies from around the world exhibited throughout 6 massive halls and showcased to more than 32,200 embedded experts from 78 countries.
Best of Show
VDC Research created and named the “Embeddy” Awards to highlight companies announcing important advances in the embedded industry. Award nominees are evaluated on specific criteria: corporate, technological and industry significance, with the selection of an overall “Best-of-Show” winner for the most cutting-edge hardware and software products or services.
VDC awarded our hardware “Embeddy” for Best of Show to Silicon Labs for their new low-power Wi-Fi portfolio including the WF200 transceivers and WFM200 modules supporting 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n for IoT applications. Engineering teams can take advantage of the WFM200 which features a compact system-in-package module (6.5 mm x 6.5 mm LGA52) with an integrated antenna to quickly develop battery-operated Wi-Fi products. The WF200 transceiver (which measures 4 mm x 4 mm QFN32) offers a cost-effective option for high-volume applications and greater flexibility with meeting different embedded design requirements. The WF200 and WFM200 offerings are important additions to the Silicon Labs IoT Connectivity Portfolio, which already includes solutions supporting Bluetooth Low Energy, Bluetooth Mesh, Zigbee, Thread, and proprietary protocols.
The new Wi-Fi offerings feature low transmit (TX: 138 mA) and receive (RX: 48 mA) power and a link budget of 115 dBm for long-range Wi-Fi transmissions. The transceiver is pre-certified by the FCC, CE, IC, South Korea and Japan and the module also features advanced security such as secure booth and host interface as well as hardware cryptography acceleration supporting AES, PKE, and TRNG. The WF200 transceivers and WFM200 SiP modules are currently sampling with selected customers with production parts planned for Q4 2018.
VDC awards an honorable mention to Renesas Electronics for their announcement of the new R-Car V3H system-on-chip targeting automotive front cameras for use in mass-produced Level 3 (conditional automation) and Level 4 (high automation) autonomous vehicles. The R-Car V3H SoC focuses on architecture optimization for computer vision processing for enabling all relevant ADAS functions for assisted- to highly-automated vehicles.
Renesas also launched its new Renesas Synergy Enterprise Cloud Toolbox that, together with the Synergy AE-CLOUD1 kit, provides a reference design and starting point for users to quickly connect to enterprise clouds such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform. Renesas also announced its new RZ/N1L Solution Kit and I-RJ45 industrial Ethernet module solution.
Walking the Floor
ADLINK Technology announced just prior to the conference their support for SGeT’s open source Universal IoT Connector (UIC) specification and real-time XRCE device data-connectivity middleware. At its booth, ADLINK had many demonstrations on display indicating the company is dedicated in being an “edge out” vendor and pioneering connectivity solutions for embedded systems.
Arm made a couple of announcements during the show including the release of its first set of PSA Thread Models and Security Analyses as well as the first open source reference code, Trusted Firmware-M, which is on target for delivery at the end of March. Arm also extended the capabilities of its Mbed IoT Device Platform including on-premises device management and connectivity for constrained devices and announced Mbed OS now supports IoT modules and NB-IoT.
Cypress Semiconductor announced availability of the PSA Trusted Firmware-M reference example from Arm for its PSoC 6 MCUs for engineers to easily implement secure designs using PSoC 6 hardware. Cypress also unveiled its new ModusToolbox unified software suite which brings together the design resources of Cypress’ WICED IoT connectivity libraries and the analog and digital peripherals libraries of its PSoC MCUs within an Eclipse-based IDE.
Eurotech announced a new collaboration with AAEON Technology Europe to integrate the company’s Everyware Software Framework device and data management platform with AAEON Europe’s industrial IoT gateways.
Intel showcased an array of Intel FPGAs and other hardware as well as its Movidius Myriad 2 VPUs at Embedded World. During the week, Intel also unveiled its “Intel AI: In Production” program which will provide new paths for developers to bring their AI products to market. Intel selected AAEON Technologies as the first Intel AI: In Production partner and it will provide two streamlined production paths for developers integrating the low-power Intel Movidius Myriad 2 Vision Processing Unit (VPU) into their product designs.
Kontron saved several new product rollouts for the show. First, Kontron announced its new industrial computer platform for IoT gateway applications – the KBox A-250 based on a pITX-2.5” SBC with Intel Atom E3900 processors. The company also announced COM Express Compact modules and Mini-ITX boards based on the new AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 processors. The last product announcement was its compact, TSN-ready Embedded Server Kontron ZINC CUBE C232.
Lattice Semiconductor had a variety of demonstrations for automotive, consumer, and industrial applications using its low-power FPGAs and wireless technologies. The showcase included the company’s new Snap wireless connector module product family supporting SiBEAM 60GHz technology for consumer and embedded applications. During the conference, Lattice also released its new FPGA software, Lattice Radiant, targeted for the development of broad market low power embedded applications.
MEN Mikro announced its new rugged COM Express module (VITA 59 compliant) for rail, public transportation and industry applications like data acquisition, infotainment, transcoding and live 3D. The COM features the new AMD V1000 APU and is also suitable for virtualization – an increasingly popular feature for safety-critical markets growing their reliance on multicore processing architectures.
Microchip made a huge splash shortly following the close of Embedded World announcing its intent to acquire Microsemi for approximately $8.35B. While at the event, Microchip showcased its new SAMA5D2 system-on-module which aims to ease proof of concept and new product development with a plug-and-play mainline Linux distribution and long life support. The company also announced the MPLAB PICkit 4 In-Circuit Debugger – the successor of the PICkit 3 debugger which began shipments in September 2009 and is the most popular debugger and programmer Microchip offers.
National Instruments extended its leadership in the time sensitive networking realm with new CompactRIO Controllers that include NI-DAQmx and TSN-enabled Ethernet ports. At its press conference, NI stated “Time Sensitive Networking will do for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) what 5G will do for telecommunications: make a more connected world.”
The RISC-V Foundation had its own partner area at Embedded World this year with several innovative partners in attendance like GreenWaves Technologies to showcase their unique semiconductor solutions like the GAP8 IoT application processor. The RISC-V architecture has rapidly expanded in support through the past couple of years for processors big and small from leading technology providers such as Microsemi, NVIDIA, Western Digital, and many others.
Texas Instruments made several new product announcements at Embedded World including new SimpleLink wireless and wired MCUs for Thread, Zigbee, Bluetooth 5 and Sub-1 GHz. Texas Instruments also announced an expansion of its MSP430 MCU family with CapTIvate technology to bring touch control to cost-sensitive industrial applications.
VIA Technologies had its new VIA Smart Recognition Platform for high-performance computer vision systems and kiosks on display at Embedded World. The platform combines the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with deep camera and display integration, I/O enablement, wireless connectivity, and other features for building security, surveillance, traffic monitoring, building management, and consumer engagement system applications.
Other leading IoT and embedded hardware technology providers in attendance at Embedded World included AAEON Technology, Advantech, AMD, Analog Devices, AppliedMicro, Arduino, Avnet, Broadcom, Diamond Systems, Digi International, Elma Electronic, Gemalto, IBASE Technology, Infineon Technologies, Lantronix, Microsemi, NXP, STMicroelectronics, Telit, Xilinx, and others.
View the 2018 IoT & Embedded Technology Research Outline to learn more about our coverage.