It is that time of year again, the EDPS Workshop at the Tides Hotel in Monterey. This year will start out with a keynote on IoT from Serge Leef, VP of New Ventures and GM of the System-level Engineering Division at Mentor Graphics. Serge started his career at Intel followed by Microchip and Silicon Graphics. He has been at Mentor for the last 26 years. So yes, this is going to be an interesting session because new ventures and system-level engineering equals IoT, absolutely. And remember this is a workshop so you get to interact with industry experts at a much more personal level:
Keynote: Convergence of silicon, Sensors, Mobility, and Cloud as Driving Forces in System Design Evolution
IoT is not an abstract concept whose existence needs to be debated. It is a reality in the evolving computational landscape. Embedded systems that have once encapsulated a finite feature set in a fixed formed factor (i.e. box) are morphing into disaggregated solutions made up of loosely connected edge nodes talking to gateways which are in turn linked to the cloud. Cloud APIs exposed to web based and mobile apps, unleash creativity of huge communities of developers who can turn, once static, devices into machines with open-ended functionality bounded only by imagination.
IoT is merely an implementation detail that is not “front and center” when the value of end-to-end vertical applications is pitched to the VCs these days. IoT works behind the scenes to enable seamless and readily observable value to be delivered to a consumer. Smart garage door openers and door locks, weather and moisture driven sprinklers, real time patient monitoring and diagnostics, indoor climate and humidity controls are all enabled by the advancements in several technologies that are maturing all at once. This is creating a gold rush as people with ingenious ideas leverage their domain expertise to create uniquely valuable devices and services enabled by rapid advances in sensors, mobility, connectivity, cloud, standard communication protocols and predictive data analytics.
For the engineers the new computational topology presents fascinating challenges. Where in this world do you place the algorithms? An accepted approach is to assign the most demanding processing that requires limited data movement to the cloud, where computational and storage resources are essentially unlimited. Additional processing can be directed at “fog computing” on the gateways which are typically very capable computers containing quad-core processors and can benefit from physical proximity to the edge nodes and low data communications costs. Lastly, some computation can be done on the edge nodes (“mist computing”) where sensors and actuators coexist with low-power CPUs and memories in small, battery powered devices.
The IoT world presents fascinating new opportunities in software. In addition to much discussed and increasingly well understood topic of big data analytics another area of deriving insight from newly available data is emerging: sensor fusion. As dozens of sensor can deliver volumes of readings in real time, an opportunity exists to collect, organize, correlate and process the incoming data turning it into information which can then be translated into knowledge. Doing something with this knowledge and turning it into wisdom is a big domain specific challenge and opportunity. Many consider autonomous driving to be the perfect application domain for experimenting with sensor fusion. Other obvious sensor fusion application areas are medical diagnostics, industrial controls, energy management, etc.
An aspect not to be overlooked in all this excitement is security. With forecasts of 20B – 50B connected devices by 2020, it’s easy to see that security as a concern will soon come to the foreground. Huge number of internet connected devices with highly variable levels of security sophistication will create a massive attack surface for the hackers. While the app world, the cloud and the gateways contain built-in security layers and countermeasures, the edge nodes are the ultimate “soft targets”. Unfortunately, it will probably take a few highly publicized breaches to instill a security discipline throughout the entire IoT chain.
More Information on EDPS HERE… Early bird registration ends April 1st…