The highlight of my day at the Freescale Technology Forum (FTF) In Orlando, FL yesterday was a panel session that I moderated. The session covered software for mobile consumer electronics. Originally, I thought the discussion would cover the issue of who should actually pay for the software, the IC vendors or the system developers.
It quickly became obvious that the IC vendors had no intention of taking on that burden, so the focus of the panel shifted to who would support that software. That's where I heard some answers I didn't care for. In essence, it came down to, "If you're a big customer buying lots of parts, we'll support you. If you're a little guy, you're on your own."
While no one specifically came out and said that, that was the gist of the comments. And when I called the panelists out on the issue, they sort of acknowledged that that was the truth. So much for the little guy.
The final interesting topic in the panel session covered reference designs. We were all in agreement that reference designs are a good thing for everybody involved, assuming the vendors stay on top of those designs and keep them up to date. Having a reference design with old software isn't helping anyone.
That's all for now. Check back later for the next report from FTF.