This is the first issue of the magazine to appear since the earthquake in Japan on March 11. Let me begin by saying that the thoughts and condolences of myself and all our staff and contributors go out to those affected by the tragedy. Even now, Japan faces months, if not years of rebuilding but, as Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer has noted, we are all sure that the country will emerge stronger from these events.
Our particular focus in this issue is embedded systems, coinciding with ESC2011 and the Multicore Expo in San Jose. It is a market that is already being confronted by the supply-chain issues that are a result of the disaster. Global supply of microcontrollers and memories has been hard hit, as has that for many of the materials used in printed circuit board production.
Again though, this is an industry that knows how to cope with sudden challenges and it will work through these difficulties. The creativity of engineers will be taxed to the fullest extent; some designs may need to be tweaked, others rethought. But it is all very doable. There are several themes that underpin this edition and they stress the importance of electronics to everyday life.
We have contributions on smart metering from Cambridge Consultants and Texas Instruments. This is a technology that addresses the ongoing global challenge presented by optimizing our energy consumption—a reflection also of the current turmoil in the Middle East.
We look at how the GENIVI initiative in the automotive space will help us to realize smarter, more efficient vehicles. We consider ways to scale applications for multicore platforms in the unending pursuit of ‘faster, better, cheaper’. We look at how you can match the right processor to the right application. And we review the potential for Google’s Android operating system (OS).
Beyond that we can look forward to still wider use of embedded Linux, richer user interfaces and highly capable strategies for the deployment of multiple OSs. Not only do embedded systems continue to extend the pervasiveness of computing, they are also now surrounded by a comprehensive array of tools and technologies.
One final note, this issue also coincides with the launch of our new Tech Design Forum website (www.techdesignforums.com). It will provide extra articles and blogs looking at key technological issues addressing the entire system design industry. I encourage you to take a look as soon as you have the chance—we’d certainly welcome your feedback. And, as ever, thanks for reading.