Future Electronics – Too much information? How design engineers can streamline evaluation of the new products displayed at Embedded World


John Robins
Business Development Manager for Embedded Solutions (Northern Europe), Future Electronics

In February, some 1,021 exhibitors displayed their products and services to more than 32,000 visitors from 78 countries at the Embedded World exhibition in Nuremberg, Germany. Such is its popularity that it is now probably the world’s most important exhibition for the embedded engineering community.

What struck me as I walked the halls at Embedded World was the breadth and complexity of the product options available to the system developer. Of course the familiar names in microcontrollers and microprocessors, such as STMicroelectronics, Microchip, NXP Semiconductors and Cypress Semiconductor, were well represented. But Embedded World also has whole halls dedicated to other parts of the embedded ecosystem, including displays and imaging, security and safety devices, operating systems, development tool suites and embedded computers.

There was far more technology on view than one engineer could possibly study in a day’s visit. Yet on almost every stand there was some performance enhancement or a valuable new feature that could help a designer to gain a competitive edge when implemented in an end-product design.

So how can designers possibly select the most important and valuable innovations that the embedded community has to offer? Part of the answer is provided by Future Electronics’ Centres of Excellence: as a franchised distribution partner to the world’s top electronics component suppliers, Future Electronics has early access to technology and product introductions that can have a big impact on customers’ designs.

This enables the Centres of Excellence to create rapid development kits which accelerate customers’ implementation of exciting new technology. An example was on show at Embedded World: the Amber display solution. This is an integrated platform which combines a choice of high-performance processing options from NXP, Microchip and ST available as daughter cards, combined with a selection of industrial displays in 4.3″ and 7″ sizes, with and without a touch-sensing interface, and in various resolution and brightness specifications.

The Amber platform allows the developer to instantly see the effect of different display choices, and make a selection of the best new user-interface technology with confidence that the end product will closely match the appearance of the Amber system. This is an important design decision, because end users generally rate the quality of an entire product based on their interaction with the user interface.

The Amber platform is the Board of the Month, featured on page 17, so readers of FTM can easily request to see it. This FTM’s Application Spotlight section also describes a range of sensor, driver and switch products for user interfaces. For help in evaluating any of them for new product designs, simply email info@my-ftm.com or contact your nearest branch of Future Electronics.