The future is bright for embedded systems and technologies!!
The tech world is going through unprecedented changes in the last few quarters. Apple and Samsung have taken the mobile phone market leadership to a different level where both of them have surged forward from their nearest rivals, in terms of innovation, technology and the revenue/profits earned in this business. We now see that Software, Operating System players like Microsoft and Google have entered the HW market through their own branded products. The message is loud and clear—the companies are looking at increased business from the consumer and the actions that the consumer carries out in the internet; they are out to influence the consumer side devices as well as the server/network side applications in order to maximise the business.
All of these changes are having a huge impact on the traditional eco systems in the mobile, handheld, consumer markets. Only time will tell if the integrated strategies played out by Apple is the way to go for the consumer electronics leaders of the world, though there is an apparent shift in that direction.
All of these changes are fuelling tremendous growth in the embedded markets. Some of the trends that we see in the embedded system design markets are as follows:
Increased use of multi-core processor platforms: Traditional embedded system design principles ensured processor and design simplicity in order to meet the stringent needs of cost, reliability, thermal performance, etc. So the use of multi-core processors was not very common. Of late new process and power conservation technologies are driving the use of multi-core processors in embedded system design without impacting the traditional principles. Enhancements in processor design is looking not only at the increased clock speed, but considers increased efficiency, lower power consumption and integrated graphic performance.
Connectivity is driving security needs in the devices: The convergence of devices features and technologies are happening faster than anyone’s imagination these days and the need for connectivity is driving the device designs. All this is adding a security nightmare to preserve personal and professional information from hostile attacks. The embedded system components (processor, operating system, applications) need to have better security features in them in order to tackle these challenges.
Demand for Video processing: The enhanced processing power in the devices are driving the need to have better video processing for personal and professional data transfers and there is an increasing trend in devices that have video capability being designed. Innovative application use cases are built in to take advantage of the social networking and other converged platforms to share video across devices.
Irrespective of the global economic turbulence, there would be continued investments in providing more innovative and efficient solutions coming up in the embedded domain to cater to these trends. In order to be a winner in the embedded market, the companies and individuals need to constantly develop and innovate on new ideas, approaches that can provide efficient, fast, low power, cost effective solutions to the consumers. The above trends of increased video data, security needs and use of complex processors would demand a new level of expertise in providing these solutions.
*Published in EE Times India