Archive for the ‘Marketing and Sales’ Category

Innovative Wireless Applications that will become an Essential part of IoT

 

At the beginning of the auto age, market research indicated that the market for horse-drawn carriages was much larger than for autos. Communications vendors should avoid looking in the rear view mirror of market research and concentrate on where new markets, new opportunities and new competitive communication battlegrounds will appear. We are in an age of unlimited bandwidth and enhanced connectivity – the new marketplace will revolve around those technologies that waste bandwidth to achieve comprehensive connectivity (handhelds to enterprise to Internet access, etc.) – not to those technologies that foster yesterday’s packet switching SS7 infrastructure.

 

Central to these opportunities are wireless protocols that can be effectively and easily integrated into embedded developments.

 

EMF believes that we are in the cusp of a radical change in the world of technology that will have distinct consequences for embedded vendors. Today’s hand held devices have more compute power than large computer systems of a decade or two ago. We have already deployed a network protocol that allows easy scaling among users. Big data has been in place for a long time – remember scanning your grocery card for discounts? Modeling has been around for more than a decade and allows for effective maintenance, and makes easy software and hardware upgrades without losing tested and deployed software apps.

 

There is the uneasy feeling among some that this is all going to come together somehow and we need to be ready for the both the opportunity as well as the threat.

 

Wireless technologies are central to future communications development – and in particular to the Internet of Things (IoT). That said, wireless providers that have evolved innovative applications that help developer and development teams to cost effectively design and deploy wireless-based devices will prosper at expense of those that don’t. In addition, OS vendors that don’t provide an integrated OS-wireless capability will lose market share to those that make it easier for developers to integrate wireless capabilities into the design process.

 

EMF usually doesn’t endorse any product, however the uniqueness of the following Clarinox and Texas Instruments wireless offering deserves a “call out” with the hope that he industry will see more such offerings hat support embedded development.

 

Clarinox Technologies, a leading provider of wireless protocol stack software has risen to the challenge by providing Clarinox™Blue Smart Ready protocol stack on the Texas Instruments (TI) WiLink™ 8 platform for the recently announced SMART kapp digital capture board. Unveiled at InfoComm 2014, SMART kapp allows users to write, draw, diagram and brainstorm using an ink marker, just as they would with a dry-erase board. But with SMART kapp, co-workers and clients can follow the process in real-time, where everything written on the capture board appears as if by magic on their digital devices. The work is simply saved with SMART’s advanced software and then as a final product as PDFs or JPEGs and then easily shared with anyone, anywhere, instantly.

 

For the project ClarinoxBlue is integrated on the WiLink™ 8 Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth combo connectivity solution with SYS-BIOS and TMS320C6748. Additionally, the Clarinox built-in Bluetooth protocol analyzer provides enhanced visibility and faster debugging.

 

Using “Little Data” to Gain a Competitive Advantage in Cost Controls, Marketing, Sales and Product Development

How Developers, Managers, CFOs, and Sale and Marketing Executives can Affordably Determine Competitive Advantages from the background Noise of Claims, Counter Claims and FUD

Introduction

 

We are all becoming familiar with the concept of “Big Data”. We already have experienced the intrusiveness of “data mining” be it from the grocery store that sends out targeted coupons, or other sources that seem to know more about us than we might want.

 

“Little Data” concerns the plethora of information existing and transmitted throughout the embedded industry. If surveyed properly, we can learn a lot of what developers are doing, using, liking, disliking, where they are located, what tools, chips, OSes, etc. they are using, and what their experiences – good and bad – have been. When combined into a tool we call the EMF Executive Dashboard, this information can be efficiently mined to determine many interesting aspects of the embedded marketplace, including comparative costs of development between operating systems (including a comparative analysis of the costs of using open source software and free Linux compared with commercial OSes) and determining whether modeling offers a cost savings as compared with similar developments that don’t use modeling..

 

Pick up any journal or read any “market research” paper and one can be left wondering. Is Open Source software really “free”? Is it better than commercial RTOSes? Does free Linux offer a cost savings over commercial Linux software or commercial RTOSes?

 

How does a senior financial manager or development manager gain insights into cost savings or better design outcomes? How is development cost measured?

By upfront cost of tools and software? Or can it be measured by total cost of development, cost of late delivery, time-to-market – or by other measures?

 

Who can managers and executives trust? Can a market research director who has never managed a real P&L or met a payroll really offer value and insights based on internal surveys and personal interpretations? What is the real cost of knowledge and is it of value?

 

Is there a tool that would enables managers or financial executives to look at the marketplace from their personal perspectives – or must they dependent on the graphs and tables published (or purchased) by journals or market research organizations? Moreover, the real issue is whether these managers or executives can test their vision of corporate reality against the underlying reality of the embedded marketplace.

 

The answer is YES and we will illustrate how it works.

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Give me some of That UK Venture Capital – They must be throwing it away

Never ask a barber if you need a haircut – Warren Buffet

The giggles keep coming – Atego has purchased another company (albeit a competent one – notwithstanding a questionable fit). This time it was Hi Rely, a service company that actually knows what its doing – although at a premium price.

I guess that in Jay Gambrel’s “Alice in Wonderland” dreams he believes that he’s going to match IBM’s 35,000 person service capabilities. Jay once told me that he’s a banker and that he doesn’t have to understand how the embedded world works.

I’ve known Vance Hildebrand for a long time – and I have previously recommended him and his organization. At least Hi Rely offers a useful service and has good people – good offerings and good people, however, do not necessarily create a positive and revenue producing combination. Time will tell.

Knowing Vance as a friend and colleague, I asked him why he sold to Atego – going in my mind from Upper East Side to downtown Newark. I asked if  a) he’s in trouble with his bookie, or, b) grandma needed implants to get her job back at Hooters. For the record, Vance loved my email to him and told me that he passed wine through his nose while laughing so hard. He offered to explain his willingness to be bought out by Atego after the May ESC conference. Vance has not responded to my emails since the wine-nose incident and we are on the lookout for a much too happy guy. Vance was paid in dollars (or Euros) and not in Atego stock – I told you that he is competent.

So Jay, please tell us who these more than generous VC folks are so that companies with good prospects and poor financial positions can gain access.

Jay, as a gesture of good will from this side of the puddle – and hoping that I can throw a bone to your financial backers, I’d like to introduce you to Gregg Miller of Oak Grove, Missouri.

So let me posit the following question: What differentiates the Atego acquisition strategy from Mr. Miller’s business? The answer is that neither seem to make sense – BUT Mr. Miller has made $20 million with his product he calls “Neuticles”.

Mr. Miller felt strongly that post-neutered dogs were too ashamed to show their face (or southern exposure) to other dogs, so he created fake testicles (Neuticles) that he sells for $100 a pair (not including surgery). To date he has sold over 250,000 Neuticles. Truth be told, I have a distant cousin who had Pekinese-sized Neuticles implanted in her Great Dane (we suspect nothing sinister) . The dog probably had emotional problem to begin with.

I guess that Neuticles is an easier sell than realtime Java

So Jay, don’t give up – if Mr. Miller can find gold with his “not of this planet” inspiration, so can you. Rumor has it that there is an embedded Unix company for sale.

How to Tell the Difference between Market Intelligence and Market Stupidity

Ignoring important business information in order to save money is like saving up sex for your old age. Warren Buffet

An archeologist was searching along the Amazon River when he stumbled onto a tribe of warriors. They were both shocked and surprised to see each other. The archeologist cried out “Lord, please save me for I am totally screwed”. A black cloud appeared and a loud voice cried out “you are not screwed – pick up the rock in front of you and kill the chief”. He picked up the rock and threw it hitting the chief in the head killing him instantly. The archeologist looked up to see 40 tribesmen coming at him with their spears aimed at him. He looked to the cloud and a loud voice said …

“OK – NOW you’re screwed”

Sometimes market advice seems to work that way.

A decade ago the merchant computer board industry was abuzz with CompactPCI (cPCI) forecast to replace the VME Bus. Market analysts were calling cPCI the two-billion dollar marketplace. Given that cPCI was controlled by three vendors (by definition a commodity marketplace), we called it the “zero-billion dollar marketplace”. Advocates told me that I was looking at the tip of the iceberg. I said that we were looking at the tip of the ice-cube!

The outcome was a no-brainer. commodity markets don’t grow as strong and as large as polyopoly markets (those that support a broad range of vendors). In addition, virtually every cPCI design was custom – not off the shelf. So who won? Not us – we were correct in our analysis, but no one bought our research. Other market research firms made a lot of money selling what vendors wanted to hear – but those vendors (Force Computer and Motorola Computer Group, among others) are long gone.

We never regretted our strategy – although we didn’t make any money in having the correct analysis. Ten years later, we are still here and doing fine.

 

The EMF Approach to Comprehensive and Reliable Market Intelligence

EMF’s Market Intelligence Program involves three steps

  • A comprehensive and statistically accurate survey statistically derived to insure randomness
  • An initial series of cross-tabs to provide an overview of the survey results
  • And an interactive Dashboard that enables you to explore the data set to  determine relationships in the data that can be essential to one’s efforts

No survey is adequate unless the data can be interrogated from a multitude of perspectives to establish relationships and correlations. EMF does this using a unique tool we call the Executive Dashboard.

 

A well constructed survey and the use of the Dashboard can provide the following:

 

Determine comparisons between your competitor’s products and yours

• Determine developer metrics: number of developers per project; number of lines of written code as well as total lines of code; cancellations; designs completed ahead of or behind schedule – and how many months behind schedule; and, comparisons between pre-design expectations and final design results – and be able to do this for any vertical market, any chip architecture used, etc.

• One can look at developers’ most pressing concerns, what design processes are used and what developers believe are best practice

• Look at product line deficiencies and needs

• Look at what developers are planning to use and do

• Degree of satisfaction of customers with products and tools

• Find market messages that resonate with potential customers, and keep products aligned with these benefits

We have put together a series of videos to illustrate how our surveys are constructed and how the dashboard is used. We encourage you the reader and embedded professional to think about how you evaluate information that is critical to your success.

You don’t want that black cloud telling you that “now you’re screwed”. The only thing worse would be if you had paid for that information.

How Embedded Developers Research and Stay Knowledgeable About Embedded Products and Services

 

Comparing EMF Blog Reader’s Responses with Those of the Embedded Industry

 

There is an old Chinese curse that says “May you live in interesting times.” As the pace of technology change continues to accelerate (did anyone consider the ascendancy of Linux in the past or Android today?) the plight of many embedded developers and managers (not to mention cost controlling CFOs) – many facing limited windows of opportunity – makes choosing among the best alternatives very difficult.

 

For the past 15 years, EMF  has conducted detailed and extensive surveys of embedded developers. Using the EMF Executive Dashboard (a data analysis tool unique to the embedded market intelligence community) we have been able to relate the decisions of embedded developers to their design outcomes. This also enables us to develop ROI and total cost of development calculations to establish the most cost effective of the many possible design undertakings. Our readers and downloaders of our many white papers are familiar with our results.

 

In our 2011 EMF Survey of Embedded Developers, we asked our readers to take the same survey as that of the statistically accurate industry wide survey. It has been an assumption/theory of mine that embedded professionals that take the time to research and read authentic market intelligence would produce better and more cost effective design outcomes.

 

We are currently examining this comparative data and we will report on our analysis in a later blog or white paper. The first step, however, was to look at whether there was a difference in how our readers stay knowledgeable as compared with developers in the industry at large.

 

Comparative responses to the question “How do you typically first become aware of and stay knowledgeable about embedded products and services?” is presented in Table I.

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Opportunities and Threats Confronting Mobile Device Manufacturers and Application Developers

 

EMF has recently published a detailed analysis of the Mobile Device Industry focusing on best practices and ROI analysis. This paper is available for free download from our website.

 cellphone

  Overview: It’s not easy being a mobile device manufacturer today

 

 Profound economic conditions spawn profound opportunities and challenges. As in any economic contest, there will be winners, losers and those that can’t tell the difference. Market uncertainties challenge vendors and OEMs alike to find new niches, competitive advantages and markets that will remain stable while enjoying growth potential.

 

For example, the FCC has recently adopted a regulation that could dramatically improve our wireless devices. The rule offers a brand new and much-improved slice of the radio space for unlicensed use. The new frequencies are known as “white spaces” and result from making available to the public the frequency spectrum previously used by analog TV transmissions. This spectrum will enable greatly enhanced WiFi capabilities which will provide for mile-long connectivity as well as increased and more reliable data handling capabilities. One can imagine the many new and powerful apps that will emerge – most of which will require reusing developed code.

 

EMF believes that this will both increase opportunities as well as risk for mobile device manufacturers. EMF strongly believes that the issues we present in this report are essential to those manufacturers that will dominate this emerging market opportunity. Merely maintaining a growing position in the current expanding marketplace will not be competitively sufficient.

 

As processor costs continue their downward spiral, and as fickle consumers of mobile technologies are increasingly ready to move to more interesting and useful displays and functionalities, consumer-based markets are becoming characteristically disposable. New platforms appear nearly monthly – like quantum particles appearing and disappearing into the void of consumer insanity – characterized by more functional and entertaining GUIs that enable the technologically disadvantaged to easily link to social sites, read email, text and perform acts of information magic that would have made Merlin give up his wand.

 

Points of Pain: issues that mobile device manufacturers must consider to remain competitive

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Establishing a value for Market Intelligence? Can you avoid the Coming Embedded Tsunami?

We all can agree that good market information is essential for a company’s growth, competitive and strategic planning and sales support.

 Giving up

 

        

       But what is worse – bad information or no information whatsoever?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I recently read a story about an explorer looking for artifacts along the Amazon River when he happened upon some 50 or more tribesmen each carrying spears. Fearing for his life he cried out “Dear Lord I’m totally screwed”. A dark cloud appeared and a loud voice cried out, “you are NOT screwed – pick up the stone in front of you and kill the chief.” The man picked up and threw the stone hitting the chief in the head, killing him instantly.

The explorer looked up to see more than 50 tribesmen running at him aiming their spears at him. Looking up to the dark cloud, he heard the voice say “NOW you’re screwed!”

 

This is what Dolores and I ponder when we are publishing survey-based market intelligence and using it to address opportunities and threats that confront our subscribers. Giving advice is easy – giving “good” advice based on statistically accurate comprehensive surveys is essential.  

 

We carefully track what we and what others publish and how close each of us comes to correctly forecasting the marketplace. As Dolores is relatively new to our industry, she is finding it hard to understand why market research groups that have been grossly wrong made much more money than we did. Dolores was beside herself asking what happened to those companies that got it wrong. The answer is nothing – newer companies bought their research and the analysts that were wrong found new lines of work. We, on the other hand, have been here for 15 years and plan to be here a lot longer.

 

Before we get to our forecasts, let me provide some background. Perhaps some of you can help me answer some of Dolores’ questions – questions that I wish I could answer. Times have changed since I was on your side of the industry.

 

 A bit of background:

 

Dolores moved from education to the dreaded private sector when we became engaged some 5 years ago. Though having sufficient credits to complete a Ph.D. in performance analysis for validating student progress (skills that would bide her well at EMF), she was already at the highest pay level she could attain and she was more interested in seeing student improvement first hand, rather than theorizing about it and writing papers for her peers.

 

The professional environment in which she performed was union-based and raises were predicated on time on the job, degrees and post-graduate credits – actual performance was not a consideration and tenure was earned in as little as 3 years.

 

Her transition to our performance-based world was easy – she studied hard and attended many conferences and technical presentations over the years, yet her background in data analysis and performance outcomes supported her curiosity regarding how businesses grow or fail based on how they use available information for strategic planning, competitive analysis and sales support. Not only was she able to support my data-mining efforts with her experience, but she is able to ask embarrassing questions of me when she read (and schoolmarmed) my reports.

 

As embedded professionals, perhaps you can relate to the questions she has asked – and maybe provide us some feedback.

 

It usually begins with “I’m sure that this is a stupid question, but …” If I can’t explain it to her, then I probably didn’t think it through sufficiently.

 

Here are some of the many questions that she asks about companies in the embedded industry that I have a hard time answering:

 

1)     Why do companies with very smart people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on sales development and much less on marketing?

2)     Why to companies that understand the value of marketing for sales and competitive positioning – and spend in some cases millions of dollars in their marketing efforts – spend very little on detailed, relevant and comprehensive market intelligence information?

3)     Why do these very smart people choose to ignore clear market signs (even when made aware of them) that can significantly impact current markets, future revenue streams and company survival?

4)     Why do so many European-based company CEOs micromanage their executives instead of hiring the best and freeing them up to success? Is this a better approach to corporate controls?

 

Forgive what might be construed as a commercial – what really drives her buggy is that she asks me (and not infrequently potential subscribers) “Tell me what I’m missing here; Companies can have access to detailed data that they can use for sales promotion, strategic planning, and competitive analysis for less than one-fourth what they pay for an administrative assistant. Moreover, they can have access to the information that the US military and many prime contractors have about them in order to better respond. Why isn’t someone fired?”

 

 

 What’s on the Embedded Horizon?  EMF’s look at markets that are in transition – creating opportunities as well as threats

 

Looking at Mobile Devices and Consumer Electronics

 

If you are in – or looking to get into – this market segment you will find plentiful opportunities and incredible challenges. New processors and new platforms are appearing regularly and the fickle user base will drop you without hesitation. Now that analog TV signals have gone the way of the Platypus, the FCC is assigning these “white channels” for public use. Herein we will see long range WiFi, and enhanced data handling capabilities that will provide new and dazzling apps that will drive newer markets. Time-to-market will be a crucial consideration, so the ability to reuse code and to apply such code to new interfaces and hardware will determine who will win and who will lose.

 

Do you provide mobile or consumer electronic products or applications? Do you know what processors, OSes and platforms provide better and timelier design outcomes? Does it matter to you? Is your resume up to date?

 

Looking at Medical Devices

 

If we separate medical devices into two cadres; one that supports devices that are attended to by medical staff (ultrasound, CAT scans, renal dialysis, etc.), the other that needs to operate independently of medical support staff (patient monitoring) we see that the same technology that keep military and commercial aircraft operating under secure and mission critical conditions is overkill for medical applications.

 

Did you know?

 

  • The medical device marketplace has been growing at a double digit rate – and new considerations should enhance opportunities for embedded vendors in 2011 – IF they take the time to correctly understand the selling points
  • Considerable attention has been given to the medical marketplace by vendors seeking a safe haven from the expected decline in mil/aero. EMF believes that many such vendors don’t understand the market segment, how to sell to it, or what the users need and will purchase
  • It would be funny if it wasn’t sad that certain leading RTOS vendors are pushing their certified high power, mission critical OSes towards an industry that develops products whose defining frequency requirements are less than 100 Hz
  • New CDRH/FDA initiatives are acting to create opportunities and threats.

 

Having brought many products through the 510k process and to market, and understanding the purchasing value system within the medical device marketplace, I am amused at the hundreds of thousands of dollars that vendors throw away on pursuing meaningless approaches to this marketplace. Dolores gets the “everything looks like a nail theory” and it was hard for her to keep a straight face when one colleague who is a vendor’s VP told us that it took them a year (and mucho dinero) to discover that what we gave them for free was correct.

 

The Coming Tsunami

The Aerospace and Defense Industries of the United States are poised to undergo one of the most significant changes since the end of the Cold War; perhaps the most significant since World War II. We believe that observers (embedded vendors included) who expect small changes are mistaken, thereby fostering a false and dangerous sense of security across much of the industry and government.

 

The impact to our economy goes far beyond our current financial problems and involves fundamental structural changes taking place in the industry and in the market. As in prior shifts of this nature, there will be winners and losers – however these shifts may be profound, creating more dramatic winners and losers than in the last cycle.

 

The impact of major primes shifting financial challenges to their vendors (and by association to embedded sub-vendors) will reach down into the value chain, in some cases devastating naïve second and third tier vendors.

 

To make matters more challenging for industry, as spending draws down, the effect on industry will be dramatic beyond the proportions of top line reductions.  This will be caused by a squeeze on the so called “Investment Accounts.”  These Investment Accounts are the funds used for product development and buying equipment.

 

Embedded vendors that offer “high end” OSes and tools will be hardest hit as reductions in DoD discretionary funding and the actions of prime contractors to absorb overhead within the limits of their financial structure.

 

We expect to see reductions in outsourcing to and purchasing from embedded markets defined as “mission critical” and that involve MILS security, DO-178B, and virtualization technologies as these anticipated contractions take place over the ensuing 2-3 year period. Many high-end vendors are already looking to alternative markets to shore up expected reductions – but most lack the data to determine which markets they can competitively serve.

Model-Based Design (MBD) and Model Driven Development (MDD)

Comparing Modeling Design Outcomes with Comparable non-modeling Design Outcomes

 Windowsselect

 

 

 

In a soon to be published EMF white paper, cadres of comparable design outcomes were developed between developers that used MBD tools and those that didn’t. Cadres were established worldwide, for North America, for Asia, and for Europe.

 

In addition, specific analyses were conducted for MBD and non-MBD cadres for Telecom/Datacom, Medical, Automotive Transportation and Industrial Automation application markets.

 

 

 

Total Cost of Development calculations were conducted using:

  • Number of software and hardware engineers per project
  • Time from design start to product shipment
  • Percent of designs cancelled and the number of months elapsed before cancellation
  • Percent of designs completed behind schedule and number of months behind

 

The following table summarizes EMF’s findings. For comparison, the cost per developer man month was chosen to be $10,000. Clearly, this dollar value is high for Asian developers. However this value was chosen for internal geographic analysis only – to establish whether MBD provided an advantage or not. These values are not to be used to compare, for example,  Asian costs with European costs.

 

   

 

 

MBD

   

Non-MBD Cost

MBD Cost

Advantage

  North America 

$3,921,519

$3,153,452

24.4%

  Europe 

$3,744,894

$2,722,134

37.6%

  Asia 

$10,189,266

$3,374,067

202.0%

         

 

Looking at worldwide developments (that is interrogating the entire database irrespective of geographic considerations), the following table summarizes the EMF findings.

 

     
 

World

World Industry

 

Industry MBD

Not MBD

Devel time Months

13.4

13.1

% behind schedule

44.3%

49.9%

Months behind

3.7

3.7

Ave Delay Months

1.63

1.83

% cancelled

10.1%

12.1%

Months lost to cancellation

4.2

4.7

SW Developers/proj

11.0

16.3

HW Developers/proj

8.9

10.9

Total project developers

19.9

27.2

Average Developer months/project

266.2

358.1

Developer months lost to schedule

32.4

49.8

Developer months lost to cancellation

8.5

15.5

Total developer months/ project

307.1

423.4

At $10,000/developer month    
Average developer cost/project

$2,662,098

$3,580,843

Average cost to delay

$323,977

$497,835

Total developer cost/project

$2,986,075

$4,078,677

     
 

MBD Adv

36.6%

 

 

 

 

It is interesting to note that in every analysis, regardless of the cadres used (i.e., each vertical or geographic comparative breakout), MBD projects used fewer developers. When analyzing cost overruns (i.e., the number of developer months lost to cancellation or late completion) to total project developer months, the percent of cost overruns to total project developer months was less for MBD in every analysis.

 

EMF suggests that this data shows that the advantages in using simulation-modeling as a design methodology are real and that these practices will be adopted for reasons not only related to design outcomes, but for financial ROI reasons as well.

Criteria which developers use to select an Embedded Operating System

Insights from the 2010 EMF Survey of Embedded Developers

  

Each year EMF conducts a thorough and detailed survey of embedded developers. Using the EMF Dashboard – a web based tool that permits vendors and developers to correlate information between any responses to any question, EMF presents selected insights from its analysis of the 2010 data. The Dashboard enables vendors to look at the responses of their customers (and potential customers) as well as to their competitor’s customers. This provides invaluable insights for strategic and sales planning. Developers can see what their fellow developers are considering in their selection criteria

 

Product opportunity windows are fleeting and time-to-market issues dominate design considerations. The two factors that invariably make the difference between success and failure are first, the knowledge that comes with an accurate insight into the internal and external forces which drive product markets and second, an insight into the concerns, desires and thought processes of those customers who make the decision to purchase a particular product or deal with a particular vendor.

 

The following data, taken from the 2010 EMF Embedded Developer Survey, addresses many issues of which embedded vendors and developers should be aware. The data presented here represents embedded industry averages across many application verticals, many vendors, many OSes, etc. Subscribers to the 2010 EMF Market Intelligence Program have access to their custom Executive Dashboard with which they can create unlimited cross tabs to further examine the data presented here.

 

 Criteria Most and Least Important to Developers in Selecting an OS

 

Developers were asked to indicate which criteria were most important to their decision in selecting an OS. The top (most important) responses and the bottom (least important) responses are presented in the following tables.

 

There was an interesting reordering of priorities in 2010 with cost remaining the principal factor. Realtime performance fell (no surprise here) and safety certifiable and virtualization remained as a small part of the collective consciousness of embedded developers.

 

 

Criteria most important for selecting an OS:         Top 8 Responses

2010

2009

 

 

 

Acquisition cost

44.6%

36.7%

Availability of source code

33.1%

26.4%

Microprocessor support

30.4%

22.9%

Real time performance

29.8%

34.8%

Compatibility with our development tools

27.6%

29.0%

Includes good development tools

26.6%

24.5%

Reliability

25.2%

31.1%

Compatible with Linux

24.1%

17.8%

 

 

 Criteria Least important for selecting an OS

2010

2009

     
Supports virtualization

4.9%

5.1%

Preferred vendor or on company approved list

4.3%

9.1%

POSIX or SCA compliant

4.3%

4.9%

Provides memory protection

3.9%

4.0%

Security certification (such as Common Criteria or NSA)

2.6%

4.2%

Must not be based on GPL

2.6%

2.1%

ARINC 653 compliant

1.6%

0.7%

Subscription licensing available (annual or fixed term)

1.4%

0.9%

Response to RFP

1.4%

2.8%

2010 Embedded Systems Conference – Silicon Valley (ESC)

Fearless and no longer loathing in San Jose (with apologies to the late Hunter Thompson)

 aim-high

 

Dolores and I made our annual trip to the Left Coast to attend the annual Embedded Systems Conference last week. It was the best ESC West in many years – more booths; larger booths; good floor traffic; interesting announcements and new to embedded players.

 

I’m not sure how Rich Nass does it – but the keynote speaker was again excellent. This time Michio Kaku, the co-founder of string theory and TV science presenter was the speaker and was charming, funny (but Seinfeld can breathe easy), informative and delightful. We joined the mass exodus to avoid the obligatory hour dedicated for the Microsoft Embedded Group (aka MS Purgatory – otherwise known as We B Arrogant). Granted that Microsoft contributes a lot of $$ to these very important events – for which I am grateful – but give me a friggin break MS, Windows 7 is not the promised land for the embedded world.

 

This was the year that the chip companies made confessions of love to many OS companies. Freescale made announcements with such stalwarts as Green Hills, while Intel teamed with LynuxWorks for an ill chosen medical product. ARM was very impressive as was Microchip, while Xilinx ran away with the FPGA application announcements. Xilinx for the 7th consecutive year (by EMF survey data) was the most used FPGA in the embedded space (and had the best ROI).

 

Green Hills also made a networking arrangement with Cavium (who recently acquired MontaVista and MV Linux) which caused us to ask if Dan O’Dowd (who has publicly claimed that anyone who used Linux was brain dead – or worse) had to be drugged or restrained to cut a deal with a Linux company. We checked the stock market for Prozac manufacturers to see if consumption was up in Santa Barbara. All chuckles aside – it was an excellent deal for Green Hills.

 

It surprised and impressed us that Green Hills made behind the scenes moves that portend for significant growth and positioning against Wind River by hiring two individuals that bring another dimension to the competitive marketplace that will be to their advantage. Although I’m not obliged to keep such under wraps, I do respect the Green Hills folks and will keep these details to ourselves – other than to mention that they are the first of the usual suspects to clearly see the light.

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