“The Usual Suspects–and some nice surprises”
Day 2 of the show was a dramatic change from day 1, with a less than full show floor and what appeared to be a more subdued group of engineers.
We’ve been occupying the Digi-Key Tools Xpress booth, and giving away evaluation boards as part of our promotion for the new Digi-Key tools distribution program. Models in red wigs are doling out free evaluation boards from NXP, Blue Tecknik, and Cogent to engineers designing with Cortex, Freescale i.MX and ADI Black Fin devices.
NXP is holding classes upstairs in the conference center in over-flowing rooms. The sessions are on the Cortex-based LPC1100 and LPC1700 series and they’re giving away Xpresso and mbed evaluation platforms to every attendee. The Xpresso Platform includes a simplieifed Eclopse-based IDE and a low-cost target board combined with a JTAG debugger. The mbed lets you create prototypes without having to work with low-level microcontroller details, so engineers can experiment and iterate faster than ever. Designers can compose and compile embedded software using a browser-based IDE then download it to the board’s LPC1768. Both of the boards are innovative, inexpensive, and, I believe, the wave of the future for evaluation platforms.
Down on the floor, Atmel has a great new demo of their maXTouch, touchscreen technology. This is a remarkable advance in old touchscreens–and all on a single AVR XMEGA microcontroller. Touchscreens running on this technology, from portable game machines to netbooks, navigation and mobile phones are all going to be easier to use once this gets implemented.
On the tools side, Arium has just released their new LX-1000 JTAG Emulator for Intel and ARM Cores. Advertised as the fastest (0 to 680 MHz in Nanoseconds, as the poster of the car on the booth says), it is reputed to be the sastest emulator with trace on the market.
By Glenn ImObersteg, Embedded Developer
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