Have you ever stopped to wonder about everything that's happening in embedded space (where no one can hear you scream)?
We all run across myriad nuggets of news and tidbits of trivia each and every day, but there's so much going go that it can be difficult to wrap one's brain around everything. It's also easy to get sucked into worrying about the minutia — should I use this 8-bit microcontroller or that 8-bit microcontroller — that you lose track of the big picture, like the fact that all your competitors have long left 8-bit devices behind and moved on to 16-bit or 32-bit processors.
Wait! Stop! Was the preceding sentence true? Is everyone really moving away from 8-bit microcontrollers? It seems to me that, for as long as I can remember, pundits have been proclaiming the demise of the 8-bit processor. In his 2012 article, Is 8 bits dying?, Jack Ganssle noted, “I well remember meeting with an analyst around 1990 who told me with great certainty that 8 bits was dead and everything would be, in the near future, 32 bits.” Jack went on to say that he doubted that 8-bit processors would exit the stage anytime soon.
The point of all this is that it can be very valuable to know what others are doing in your industry. Is there really a trend to move from 8-bit to 16/32-bit processors, for example, or are 8-bit devices still going strong?
How many of today's embedded projects feature wireless capabilities, and which wireless interfaces and protocols are designers using the most? What proportion of a development team's resources is devoted to hardware versus software, and how has this proportion changed over the years? Where do your peers go to track down any information they need? Regarding the most pressing design and verification challenges, are these the same around the world, or do they vary region by region?
For more than 20 years, EETimes.com and Embedded.com have undertaken their annual Embedded Markets Study, in which we ask the engineers battling in the trenches to keep us informed as to current the state of play and the most pressing challenges regarding their current creations and future projects.
Even a simple one-year snapshot of this sort of information can be extremely useful, but it becomes incredibly invaluable when one can place it in the context of preceding years, thereby allowing one to identify and track trends.
In this year’s study, we added focused questions regarding the IoT and the adoption of advanced technologies. Approximately what percentage of embedded projects will be primarily devoted to the IoT in the coming year? How many embedded projects are currently using, or plan to use, embedded vision, embedded speech, virtual reality, augmented reality, and/or cognitive (machine learning) capabilities?
Some of the answers may surprise you; all will be revealed at this forthcoming webinar, which will be hosted by yours truly on Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 11:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time. I'll be the one in the Hawaiian shirt. Hopefully I'll see you there.