What can I say? It's great to be me! I just received some wonderful news, but before I tell you about that, let me first introduce you to André Castelan Prado, who is an embedded systems designer in Brazil:
André Castelan Prado
Have you seen how big Brazil is? It's positively ginormous! In fact, Brazil is the world's fifth largest country -- both by population and by geographical area -- and it boasts the world's seventh largest economy.
Brazil is how big?!?
Of course, we all know that Brazil will be hosting the 20th World Cup this year. Also, the 2016 Olympic Games are to be held in Rio de Janeiro, which is the second largest city in Brazil. I must admit that when I saw the incredible opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London I thought two things to myself: "This is going to be a hard act to follow" and "I'm so glad I'm not the person in charge of creating the opening ceremony for the Brazilian games!" But we digress...
André is a research and development (R&D) engineer working at Reason Tecnologia -- an Alstom company. André is also a publisher of the Embarcados website portal, where "Embarcados" comes from "Sistemas Embarcados," which is the Brazilian equivalent of "Embedded Systems."
The mission of the Embarcados website is to form a large base of knowledge accessible to all Brazilians and to facilitate the exchange of information and experiences to increase and develop everyone's capacity in the area of embedded systems. André's particular focus is to write about programmable logic and software development.
Earlier this week, André interviewed me for Embarcados (click here to see the English version of this interview). As part of our conversation, André noted that many engineers in Brazil are still unaware of the possibilities that may be afforded by using FPGAs. This is not to say that FPGAs are a "silver bullet" for every design, of course -- sometimes a standalone microcontroller is the best way to go; sometimes a microcontroller accompanied by an FPGA will provide an optimal solution; and sometimes an FPGA with an embedded hard or soft core microcontroller may offer significant advantages.
During our chat, André asked if I would be attending the forthcoming ESC Brazil Conference and Exhibition, which is to be held August 26 and August 27 at the Transamerica Expo Center in São Paulo (the largest city in Brazil and the seventh largest city by population in the world). Furthermore, he foolishly said that if I were to attend, he would be buying the beer.
São Paulo is a "happening" place!
Well, André's best dream (or his worst nightmare) is about to come true, because just this morning I was invited to present a paper introducing FPGA technologies (devices, tools, and design flows) at ESC Brazil 2014.
I must admit that I'm very excited about all of this. I've never been to Brazil before, but I have heard that it's a beautiful country. Now all that remains is to inform my long-suffering wife as to this new development...
— Max Maxfield, Editor of All Things Fun & Interesting