Can this help embedded engineers keep pace with IoT challenges?

08-03-2017 |   |  By Paul Whytock

We’re all subjected to the relentless hyperbole expounding the theory that the Internet of Things (IoT) will revolutionise connectivity and make the world a better, more intelligent and efficient place to be in.

Whether or not you believe all or some of that there is no denying that the embedded hard and software technologies that can make this apparent epidemic of connectivityitus a reality are seeing massive market growth with predictions the market size is expected to exceed US$260 billion by 2023. Prime drivers of that growth being the IoT, medical, automotive and domestic applications.

However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows for the design engineers that have to make the technology work in those applications. The fundamental problem is that engineering organsiations are struggling to keep pace with the escalating rate of IoT design demands.

Engineers are constantly faced with questions when it comes to choosing components. Are they compatible with the same OS and how should they be configured? Will they interoperate and will combining certain embedded products meet validation and certification requirements?

Getting these answers right is essential if embedded projects involving IDE, compilers, debuggers, trace tools, test tools, debug and flash programming hardware, target operating system are going to be successfully concluded.

Help is at Hand

So can the news that a bunch of companies in the embedded tools industry have got together to form the Embedded Tools Alliance (ETA) bring much needed design solace to pressurised embedded system engineers?

Well according to new kid on the embedded block, ETA, the embedded marketplace is fragmented with a huge number of suppliers. Some large companies try to offer every component required. This approach stagnates innovation says ETA and provides limited choice and doesn't allow customers to choose best-in-class solutions to address their project's specific needs. Strong words.

Not surprising then that ETA says it is going to help bemused customers select the best components from a number of different suppliers, safe in the knowledge that the individual components are of the highest quality and proven to work together. This all sounds like it could provide the embedded design equivalent of the Holy Grail for all those beleaguered engineers. Time will tell.

Cutting to the chase, who are these guys that are going to achieve all this? Here they are.

SOMNIUM a supplier of embedded C/C++ development tools.

P&E Microcomputer Systems, Percepio, Runtime a provider of cloud-based IoT device management, Solid Sands a provider of test and validation gear and the Beningo Embedded Group.

Now for all you readers that are planning to visit the Embedded World 2017 exhibition in Nuremberg, 14th to 16th March all those companies will be there along with about 700 others.

But for those not getting over to Nuremberg, Electropages will be reporting on highlights from the show.


By Paul Whytock

Paul Whytock is European Editor for Electropages. He has reported extensively on the electronics industry in Europe, the United States and the Far East for over twenty years. Prior to entering journalism he worked as a design engineer with Ford Motor Company at locations in England, Germany, Holland and Belgium.

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