Yesterday I went as much as the Embedded World trade fair in Nuremburg, Germany. As a lone hacker, you usually really feel greater than slightly misplaced whenever you purchase chips in single unit portions and the folks you’re speaking to are used to minimal order portions of one million. But what’s heartening is how, when you ask an attention-grabbing query, even a few of the suit-wearing varieties flip into full-on children who like to elucidate the enjoyable tech. I struck up conversations with greater than a pair VPs of world chip behemoths, they usually had been cool.
But my coronary heart remains to be with the smaller gamers, and the hackers. That’s the place the innovation is. I met up with Colin O’Flynn, of Chip Whisperer fame — his firm is promoting fancier chip-glitching instruments, however he nonetheless had a refined model of the open supply, quick-and-dirty zapper circuit from his Remoticon talk last year. There was a small native firm producing digital buttons that had been primarily Pepper’s Ghost illusions floating in mid-air, and the button press was detected by reflective IR. Cool tech, however I forgot the corporate’s identify — sorry!
Less forgettable was Dracula Technologies, a French firm making inkjet-printable natural photo voltaic cells. While they wouldn’t go into deep particulars in regards to the precise chemistry of what they’re doing, I might inform that it pained them to not inform me once I requested. Anyway, it’s a cool low-power photo voltaic tech that will be superior if it had been extra widespread. I feel they’re simply considered one of many companies on this space; preserve your eyes on natural photo voltaic.
When speaking with a smaller German FPGA producer, Cologne Chip, about their enterprise, I lastly requested in regards to the synthesis movement and was fortunately shocked to listen to that they had been devoted to the totally open-source Yosys toolchain. As far as I do know, they’re one of many solely companies who’ve voluntarily submitted their chips’ specs to the trouble. Very cool! (And an indication of issues to return? You can all the time hope.)
I met a various Hackaday readers simply by randomly stumbling round, which additionally exhibits that the hacker spirit is alive in corporations large and small. All of the businesses must make demos to draw our consideration, however from speaking to the individuals who make them, they’ve simply as a lot enjoyable constructing them as you or I might.
And final however not least, I bumped into Hackaday common Chris Gammell and my outdated boss and good buddy Mike Szczys who had been there representing the IoT startup Golioth, and attempting to idiot me into utilizing an RTOS on microcontrollers. (Never say never.) We had an superior walkaround and an awesome dinner.
If you ever get the possibility to go to a commerce present like this, even in the event you really feel such as you is perhaps out of your league, I encourage you to attend anyway. You’d be shocked what number of cool geeks are hiding within the least doubtless of locations.
[Banner image: Embedded World]