I am aquiver with excitement and anticipation, because ESC Brazil is coming ever closer. In fact, it's only two weeks away as I pen these words.
ESC Brazil is to be held August 26 and August 27 in the Transamerica Expo Center in São Paulo, and yours truly will be speaking on both days.
I had a slightly worrying time a few minutes ago while rooting around the Conference Agenda because I couldn't find my presentations anywhere. I'm happy to report that, eventually, I did find myself (it was a very "Zen Experience") on the Sponsored Sessions page.
I did wonder about this for a while, but then I realized that these sessions are FREE and open to anyone attending the exhibition. Also, since UBM/EETimes is paying for my time and expenses, I suppose I am being sponsored in a way.
On Tuesday. August 26, my presentation will be about FPGAs. When the developers of embedded systems first think about the architecture of their creation, the vast majority only consider a traditional microcontroller-based implementation. This is unfortunate, because FPGAs can offer significant advantages for a wide variety of application scenarios.
I know a humongous number of embedded designers who have only ever worked with microcontrollers. When we are chatting and I ask them about FPGAs, they have almost always heard of these devices and they are aware that FPGAs can be configured to perform whatever function is required, but that's about the extent of their knowledge. Similarly, they may have heard of languages like Verilog and VHDL, and they know these are the languages hardware design engineers use to capture their design intent, but they have no idea as to how this happens and the types of tools that are employed.
This is the perfect audience for my presentation -- embedded designers who understand microcontrollers and regular programming languages like C/C++ and regular software tools like IDEs and compilers and debuggers, but who have no real understanding as to how their systems can be enhanced by the use of FPGAs. I cannot wait to share the good news and kindle everyone's enthusiasm to discover more.
The robot apocalypse and trends in embedded systems
On Wednesday 27, my presentation will be about... well, all sorts of things, really. Where are embedded systems heading? Where will we be in 10, 20, 50, and 100 years' time? What are the chances of us making it through to the end of ESC Brazil 2014 without a robot uprising taking place?
A lot of people tend to scoff at the idea of a robot apocalypse. "We will never be able to create an artificial intelligence that is truly self-aware," they say complacently to themselves. Well, that's probably because they haven't heard about... but no, I'm not going to give all my secrets away here, you'll just have to attend my presentation.
Now, it's a well-known fact that an Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie (AFDB) is a type of headwear that can shield one's brain from most electromagnetic and psychotronic attacks, including brain-scanning, mind-reading, and even the subtlest of mind-control carrier signals. What is perhaps less-well-known is the fact that even superior artificial intelligences can be confused by a human sporting an AFDB.
By some strange quirk of fate, I happen to be one of the world's foremost experts in this technology. For example, consider the following photograph that was taken during one of my presentations at the EE Live! Conference an Exhibition earlier this year:
It's obvious that these world-leading engineers would not be wearing homemade AFDBs they created during my presentation unless they had absolute faith in my every word. Trust me. Have I ever lied to you before (that you're aware of)?
But what of the embedded designers in Brazil? Are they to be left fighting off the robot hordes on their own with no one to stand by their side? "No!" I cry, "This will not be!" Fear not, because I have the situation in hand. Attendees to my presentation are, of course, free to bring their personal AFDBs with them. In the unlikely event they forget, however, I will have numerous rolls of aluminum foil on hand (do I look like the sort of man who would go anywhere without a roll of duct tape, a roll of aluminum foil, and a traveling moustache?).
What I'm thinking is that we'll have a competition to make the most novel, unique, and generally interesting AFDB -- the sort of thing we'd all be proud to wear to the bar where you'll find me almost immediately after my presentation has concluded (LOL). And, just to make things interesting, the creator of the winning entry will receive a $100 Credit/Gift card.
So, are you planning on attending ESC Brazil 2014? If not, why not? This is the place to "see and be seen" for any hardware designer and software developer of embedded systems based in South America.
— Max Maxfield, Editor of All Things Fun & Interesting