SAN ANTONIO—Freescale Semiconductor Inc.'s 2012 Freescale Technology Forum featured, among other things, the first extended comments from the company's new CEO, Gregg Lowe, dozens of technology tutorials and a sneak peek at the company's strategy across all of the various markets that it serves. But the highlight of the event was arguably the Tech Lab, which showcased Freescale's technology in use in real world applications.
This year's Tech Lab featured over 200 exhibits, including concept cars, smart connected devices, kinetic energy harvesters, skateboards with embedded LEDs and even a blimp. (The Tech Lab also housed the Make It Challenge, a contest in which engineers used their 32-bit design skills using a Freescale intelligent car design kit and the processor of their choice to build and race an autonomous car and compete for the best time. Catalina de la Cuesta, an engineer from Medellin, Colombia, not only won a motor sports prize package for achieving the best time, but also took home $3,000 for winning the "Make it Smarter" portion of the competition, which challenged participants to get creative with Freescale sensors and connectivity tools to impress the judges).
The following pages contain just a few snapshots from the hundreds of cool products featured in the FTF Tech Lab.
This blimp, featuring Freescale's Xtrinsic sensors, took flight inside the exhibition hall that housed the FTF 2012 Tech Lab (click on image to enlarge).
What if FSL put a camera inside the fridge so one could look at the display on the door to see what's inside. This would save energy. And an LED lit interior, instead of the filament lamp. And how about a speaker phone in the door console so one could talk on the phone while cooking...
This is only the tip of the iceberg. The Tech Lab had a lot of really cool stuff. The concept car also made an appearance on stage during the opening keynote presentation. You can watch the entire opening keynote (and others) through Freescale's website.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.