Five companies to look out for at Embedded World 2014


Are you planning on visiting the Embedded World show in Nuremberg, Germany next week? Here are my top five picks of companies to make a beeline for, in no particular order...


If you haven’t seen RS Components’ free of charge design tools yet, it’s definitely worth stopping by to see them at Embedded World.

RS will be demonstrating a new version of DesignSpark PCB, the free tool for schematic capture and PCB layout which has been adopted by 200,000 users globally. In this sixth edition, DesignSpark PCB adds three of the most popular requests for new features: cross probe, custom shortcuts and simplified export to DesignSpark Mechanical.

DesignSpark Mechanical, their 3D solid modelling and assembly tool will also be demonstrated. The idea behind this one is to remove the prohibitive costs and considerable learning time associated with traditional 3D CAD tools – it only takes a few hours to get to grips with it. Files can be exported directly to 3D printers – a feature which will be demonstrated live on the booth.

RS Components will be exhibiting on booth 5-451.

MAXIM: 4A-128
Maxim will be sharing a booth with Avnet-Memec again this year. The company is planning to launch an IO-Link ambient light sensor that will be the industry’s smallest to detect clear, RGB and IR light.

According to preview information, the new sensor features unsurpassed light sensitivity and low latency. The integrated IO-Link software and device stack provide for self-identification and configuration without additional programming resources.

Maxim also plans to unveil a smart temperature-transmitter reference design for factories that transmits temperature measurement over -200°C to +850°C range with better than 0.1% accuracy using the highway addressable remote transducer (HART) protocol.

You can find Maxim at the Avnet Memec booth – 4A-128.

ELATEC: 4-470j
I’m keen to see Elatec’s TWN3 and TWN4 modules because they cover all the common RFID standards in one device, plus NFC.  The idea is to enable multi-standard RFID readers to make it simpler and easier to migrate between stock systems. The RFID specialist will also be showing other exhibits aimed at migration scenarios such as adapter boards, that mean state-of-the-art reading devices can be connected to existing cabling, avoiding time-consuming cabling work.

You can see the TWN3 and TWN4 modules at booth 4-470j.

SILICA: 1-340
Silica will be explaining new benefits of its ArchiTech development system, which provides a portfolio of boards together with Board Support Packages (BSPs), software drivers and training. More boards are being added as well as an embedded Linux distribution developed within the Yocto project.

Some of the boards being added include Hachiko, a dev board for door entry phones and vending machines featuring Renesas’ RZ/A MCU, and Tibidabo, a higher-end board for digital signage and gaming apps, powered by Freescale’s i.MX 6 Quad running Linux and featuring a GPU and two LVDS interfaces.

ArchiTech provides schematics, gerber files and a common SDK across the range meaning you only need to learn one tool, which is not vendor specific.  Similarly all BSPs are developed in house by the ArchiTech team.

Call by and find out more at the Silica booth, 1-340.


Silicon Labs will be focusing on Internet of Things applications, including low-power ARM MCUs, wireless SoCs, high-accuracy sensors and ZigBee solutions this year at the show.

Demonstrations on the booth will include combining EFM32 Zero Gecko MCUs with small-footprint, accurate and easy-to-use sensors for temperature, relative humidity, ambient light, intrusion and gestures, within the extreme power constraints required for long battery life. Demos will also combine Ember ZigBee wireless SoCs with the EmberZNet PRO mesh networking protocol stack to connect hundreds and even thousands of devices in a single mesh network.

Silicon Labs will be giving away EFM32 Zero Gecko MCU starter kits and sensor boards to qualified developers visiting the company at booth 4A-118.

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Sally Ward-Foxton

Sally Ward-Foxton is Associate Editor of Electronic Design Europe. Her beat covers all areas of the European electronics industry, but she has a particular interest in wireless communications and...
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