I think it's probably fair to say that I'm usually bouncing around with excitement about one thing or another. Well, I'm currently even more excitable than usual because the EE Live! 2014 Conference and Exhibition is fast approaching.
In addition to my Bacon, Beerfest & Prognostication Engines talk, I'm also going to be one of the presenters at the two-day FPGA Engineering Boot Camp, which will be taking place on Monday, March 31 and Tuesday, April 1.
It's important to note that this Boot Camp is not going to involve countless hours of mind-numbing hands-on instruction along the lines of "Now click this button, now click that one..." Instead, it's intended for anyone who is wondering whether or not FPGAs are going to be applicable for their future projects. This includes a wide range of people, from embedded hardware designers and software developers to system architects and project managers.
Of course, we're going to start with the basic concepts, including explaining core programmable fabric, discussing the different types of FPGAs, mentioning the various vendors, and so forth. As part of this, we'll also consider the differences between software programming languages like C/C++ and hardware description languages like Verilog/VHDL, along with the differences in the way in which these languages are used in their respective flows.
The main thing is that this is going to be covered in a fun and interesting way that won't make your brains leak out of your ears (I promise). But all of the above will just encompass the first hour. Next we're going to consider things like how one decides whether an FPGA is appropriate for one's project (or not). If an FPGA is appropriate, is the best option to use it in conjunction with an existing microcontroller, or might it be better to use an FPGA that includes an embedded microcontroller?
In addition to key design decisions and tradeoffs, we're also going to be talking about things like best-practices for FPGA-based designs, best-practices for FPGA project managements, risk mitigation, and common design mistakes and how to avoid them. The bottom line is that we're going to be bouncing around from topic to topic with the agility of young mountain goats, so attendees should make sure they are wearing appropriate clothing (bonus points will be given for anyone sporting a Hawaiian shirt).
If you bounce over to the Schedule Builder and click on the FPGA Engineering Boot Camp item in the list of tracks, you'll be presented with a more in-depth overview of the topics we'll be covering throughout this two-day extravaganza. All I can say is that I for one am really looking forward to this and I very much hope to see you there.
Don't forget that EE Live! 2014 All Access passes and Engineering Summits passes are still available at the conference's official site with discounted Advance pricing. Make sure to follow updates about EE Live!'s other talks, programs, and announcements on its social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.
— Max Maxfield, Editor of All Things Fun & Interesting