This week was spent at the annual Worldwide Microchip MASTERs Technical Conference. This curtailed my training a bit, but I still managed to hit the gym a few times. It would be nice to have gone for a run, but Arizona in the summer is not the best place for that. I sometimes wonder why so many semiconductor companies base themselves in the middle of a desert; I think it might be down to all the free sand!
Microchip holds the MASTERs event to help embedded engineers learn techniques and technology that will help them in their next designs. I find this a really stimulating event—it is great to talk to so many engineers from different fields and learn what they’re working on next. We tend to ban the ‘sales guys’ from the event, so the engineers really get to concentrate on the hardware and software.
I spent the week presenting on Real-time Operating Systems, something that many customers are considering for their next designs to help them integrate large, complicated software libraries. The particular one we used was FreeRTOS, as it is a popular product and runs really well on the 32-bit Microchip PIC32 microcontrollers used in the lesson. My students spent four hours learning how to build an audio player using standard libraries. It plays audio files from a USB stick, while generating a waveform display and a real-time FFT of the sound data.
The Board From My MASTERs Class
Collecting the Device & Flag for My Climb
For me, the other major event at MASTERs was the collection of my tracking device, along with a little send-off ceremony with the CEO of Microchip, Steve Sanghi. If we fail to get either device to the summit, Steve offered to take it another time... I may have to hold him to this!
Tim Moffat and I Had a Flag-Signing Ceremony With Microchip’s CEO