A View from the Top: A Virtual Prototyping Blog


Embedded Systems Conference – Second Day of Show


The second day of the Embedded Systems Conference had some lighter traffic on the show floor … at least from where I looked. The customer interactions I had were pretty high quality though.

During the day Target Compiler presented on application specific instruction processors as part of the EDA track called “Improving Productivity at the HW/SW Interface”.

The highlight of the day was for me the panel we had put together to discuss synergies of the EDA and Embedded Software worlds. Ron Wilson did an excellent job moderating it and we had an audience of about 60 plus some standing audience around the theatre.

Ron kicked of the panel with introducing the panelists Joachim Kunkel (Vice President and General Manager, Solutions Group Synopsys, Inc., Synopsys), Ron Wilson (Executive Editor, EDN), Chris Rowen (Founder and CTO, Tensilica), Tomas Evensen (CTO, Wind River) and Marc Serughetti (VP Marketing, CoWare).. The first question was whether multicore architectures have contributed to the blurring of software and hardware disciplines. Chris Rowen pointed out that multicore architectures contributed heavily to movng complexity into software. This was echoed by Joachim Kunkel, who commented that hardware developers themselves do the same implementation steps but now need to take into account the software to define the right architecture. The most memorable statement came from Mac MacNamara at Cadence,  who likened the software hardware worlds as two different sides separated by a river with sharks in it. Figuring out how to do hardware software developments requires the different camps to come to the other side and certainly the sharks in-between are trying to bite off feet and other important parts 🙂 Tom Evensen also agreed and pointed out how different application domains adopt these changes faster and have had to re-architect  the software to support multicore.

Other questions on the panel ranked around whether the technology trend is stronger towards generic processors or application specific hardware engines, how virtualization effects the hardware software trends, how the ROI of hardware and software investments can be kept up and whether there will be system languages.

Overall this was an informative and entertaining panel. It sounds like the two domains are moving closer but nobody is taking over anybody anytime soon.

The show is open one more day … so visit us here in the San Jose Convention Center. See you there!

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