This was my first time attending FTF, which incidentally was also the first FTF since the NXP/Freescale merger. To be honest, it was one of the most intriguing shows I’ve been to in a while, as the content, exhibitors, and attendees were all focused solely on the nuts and bolts of technology rather than proselytizing on market share, projections of IoT devices, and all the other market speak that makes conference goers wonder why they paid to get rhetoric shilled on them for days on end. From security, sensors, and the smart home to automotive, medical, and industrial applications, the following highlights some of the top meetings I had while in Austin.
1. NXP FTF 2016: Resource-constrained embedded and the security lifecycle
At NXP’s FTF 2016, Embedded Computing Design Technology Editor Brandon Lewis met with Gowri Chindalore, Head of Technology & Business Strategy at NXP Semiconductor. During the conversation, Gowri addresses the need for a security lifecycle management policy for Internet of Things devices, what it entails, and how turnkey security solutions can combine with over-the-air (OTA) updates for extensible security. He also introduces the benefits of the Thread protocol for resource-constrained, networked embedded devices.
2. NXP FTF 2016: The why and how of intelligent sensors at the edge
For the past few years, Ian Chen, formerly of Freescale’s Sensor Business Unit and now the Director of System Architecture for Software and Algorithm Development at NXP, has been working to make sensors more accessible to the industry at large. The result of this work is an Intelligent Sensing Framework that the company developed for its Freedom boards and hopes to extend over time to other hardware platforms with more and more software functionality.
3. NXP FTF 2016: Integration and algorithms are putting the “smart” into smart home
Ian Morris, an Applications Engineer in the Smart Home division at NXP explains in detail how the various arms of his company can be sourced to develop advanced embedded solution that considerably speed time to market for developers and take IoT from abstract to actionable.
4. NXP FTF 2016: Security, criticality, and connected healthcare
At NXP’s 2016 FTF, Steven Dean, Director of Healthcare at QNX Software Systems, described to me how diverse the medical landscape has become in the age of “everything connected,” and introduced a demo the company had running on the NXP Smarter World Truck that took data from a pulse oximeter, displayed it on a multi-parameter patient monitor, and pushed it via HL7 to an IT backend for doctor review.
5. NXP FTF 2016: Eliminating tradeoffs of Java versus C in embedded, IoT
As the IoT brings IT developers closer to the world of embedded application development than ever before, interest in using Java for resource constrained devices has piqued. However, as any good embedded developer knows, Java typically carries too much baggage for embedded MCUs and MPUs. Find out how virtual machines and acceleration engines can make Java suitable for embedded systems, and how a tool based on Java and C can make for extreme IoT portability.
6. NXP FTF 2016: The MCU memory bottleneck and optimized IDEs
At NXP’s 2016 FTF, Dave Edwards, Founder, CEO, and CTO of U.K.-based tools company Somnium walks Embedded Computing Design’s Technology Editor Brandon Lewis through an optimized IDE that’s compatible with GNU tools and can be used to create memory-friendly code packages.
7. NXP FTF 2016: Shrinking SSL for secure communications in IoT and embedded
Chris Conlon, a software engineer at wolfSSL, discusses aspects of SSL/TLS encryption that make them such a burden on embedded devices, then explains how his company is working to shrink those footprints to help secure connected devices on the Internet of Things.
8. NXP FTF 2016: Savari’s vision for V2X and autonomous driving
At the 2016 NXP FTF in Austin, TX, Embedded Computing Design’s Technology Editor Brandon Lewis interviews Paul Sakamoto, Chief Operations Officer at V2X sensor and software company Savari. The company currently has its technology deployed in V2X test beds and pilots across the country, and here, Paul demonstrates how it can be put to use in a series of active safety scenarios.
9. NXP FTF 2016: Is the hysteria around connected device security warranted?
There’s been a media frenzy around security breaches such as the Jeep hack, pacemaker’s being compromised, and insulin pumps being commandeered, but is it really warranted? In all of these cases, the white hat hackers demonstrating vulnerabilities had months (if not years), physical access to the devices, and intimate knowledge of the systems they were attacking. Well, according to Mike Rohrmoser, Director of Product Management for Embedded Systems at Digi International, the concerns are real. And, in part, this is thanks to the maker movement.
10. NXP FTF 2016: Why embedded vendors are missing the maker movement
It seems that almost everyone has a maker-level evaluation platform these days, but many embedded vendors appear only half-heartedly invested in the space, perhaps because it lacks the instant gratification they seek. In this NXP FTF interview with Gianfranco Comune of SECO, a successful embedded board manufacturer with a thriving maker community, Technology Editor Brandon Lewis tries to figure out what’s wrong with most maker plays.
11. NXP FTF 2016: Keep it simple, stupid. Focus on your value add
With the complexity of embedded systems today, companies need to focus on their value add. I truly believe this, and Todd DeBoer of Future Designs, Inc. thinks so too. In this NXP FTF video interview, Todd shows how his company does the heavy lifting involved with GUI development so their customers can focus on what they do best. FDI also supports its designs for ten years, offering a pill for product revision headaches.