SAN FRANCISCO — Conference organizers have announced the first confirmed set of local-area embedded developers who will deliver talks in a new session format at the Embedded Systems Conference/Expo Boston May 6-7, 2015.
Registration for the conference, which returns to Boston after a two-year hiatus, opens Jan. 12, 2015.
These new “postmortem sessions” chronicle in technical detail the design and development of a real-world embedded systems application, including a detailed discussion of the tradeoffs and choices made (and why) during the design process.
“We know that other engineers are one of the most important sources of information for engineers, and that embedded developers know that no product design is a cakewalk. In truth, there's a lot of BS involved,” says Karen Field, creative director of ESC. “These talks are intended to 'tell it like it is,' meaning speakers will present a detailed discussion of things that went wrong, what the workarounds were, and what would be done differently the next time around.”
In a talk on defensive programming, Ark Khasin, a senior software engineer at General Electric, will share real-world techniques deployed in some GE industrial devices that have helped engineers avoid hardware and software glitches and bugs in the field. “Firmware architects and developers at all levels will benefit from taking a second look at a critical component — or even recognize that it was missing in the design in the first place,” says Khasin.
Using code snippets and toy-size examples, Khasin will cover some of the most dreaded bugaboos for embedded developers, from managing last-ditch processing of unhandled exceptions before and after reset, to detecting stack overflow, to ensuring the integrity of critical data and outputs in case of a trap.
Bigbelly Solar's vice president of engineering, Michael Feldman, will chronicle the company's sometimes rocky road to success as an early pioneer in the constantly evolving IoT space, noting there has been no shortage of pitfalls engineering has run into over the years. Feldman will describe the evolution of the embedded system, from the early constraints to what he would do differently if he were to start from scratch today.
Given the rapid evolution of processors and architecture, is it possible to make the hardware in an embedded system independent of the choice of processor? Boston-area engineer Peter Anderson tackles this topic in a session on an open-source electromagnetic tracker he is developing — a hobby project that he intends for others to replicate. He will describe the unusual requirements this application places on the processor and share insight into the design decisions and tradeoffs he made to allow hardware compatibility with multiple processors.
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