A couple of years ago I introduced this Survivor’s Guide with questions about how bullish Embedded World and its exhibitors would be, given the downturn the global electronics industry was experiencing then. As it turned out, the show at that time was pretty busy and the general optimism of the exhibitors was surprising, even after checks and balances to negate any statements couched in the predictable coating of excessive corporate posturing.

Two years later and Electronic Design Europe will be covering the show again—scheduled for March 1-3 in Nürnberg—and reporting back to our audience via video interviews. But this time my pre-show question is very different: What will companies at the event have to say about whether 2011 will be as profitable for them as 2010? I expect it will be pretty good, but not so financially rewarding as 2010.

The organizers of Embedded World are certainly bullish, and they have reason to be if the predictions of Alexander Mattausch, exhibition director of Embedded World at NürnbergMesse, come true.

“It is already obvious that Embedded World 2011 is heading for a record. Last year’s exhibition area has already been topped and the number of exhibiting companies from all over the world will grow considerably again. We assume that we can welcome more than 750 exhibitors in Nürnberg,” said Mattausch.

“The embedded community fully supports its exhibition. This is not only shown by its continuous development into the most important exhibition of its kind over the past years, but is also clearly confirmed by the constantly growing number of new exhibitors. The industry has a remarkable dynamic. Based on the present level, we will be able to greet 12% new exhibitors again in 2011,” added Mattausch. It will be interesting to see if he is right, and I think that he will be.

Let The Show Begin
This year’s keynote lecture by Dr. Yrjö Neuvo of the Helsinki University of Technology will look at the challenges confronting developers of future embedded systems. He is expected to explain how the constantly increasing networking and interaction between systems will cause Embedded World to expand appreciably.

What Am I Going To See?
Visitors cruising the halls, which is what the majority tend to do, will have the chance to see technology spanning the following areas:

  • New embedded modules
  • Embedded design process/tools and debugging
  • Embedded operating systems/application software
  • Software development, quality, and security
  • Wired and wireless communication
  • Bus systems in embedded applications
  • Embedded Internet/Internet security
  • Interesting embedded applications
  • Real-time systems and applications
  • Automotive and control applications
  • Recon?gurable systems
  • Application reports

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What Can I Hear About?
The event is well known for its comprehensive conference programme and hands-on classes. Key topics include the ARM Cortex architecture, multicore, networking, security, libraries, and open source.

This year’s conference is focused compactly on the major topic blocks, which makes it an unequalled opportunity to meet the industry’s thought leaders for jointly developing the most innovative embedded systems. The main topics are in line with the subject of the “Embedded World Technology Report” prepared by the “Embedded World expert board,” which comprises representatives from 12 companies. In 2011, the board will deal with the subject of “Energy-efficient internal and external communication.”

Embedded specialists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Architecture and Software Technology (FIRST) will chair the individual conference sessions. Additional conference topics will include:

  • Open-source projects/embedded Linux
  • Test & verification
  • Networking
  • Automotive
  • Real-time operating systems (RTOSs)
  • Metering
  • Management of embedded system projects
  • ESI: embedded systems in automation
  • Cortex cores
  • Software development methods
  • Multicore
  • Model-based design/debugging methods
  • Embedded system architecture
  • CPLDs, FPGAs, and ASICs/reconfigurable systems
  • Wireless technologies
  • Development tools
  • Software development in high-level languages
  • Cryptography/security
  • Safety & software quality
  • Machine-to-machine (M2M)/Internet technology
  • Architectural design of software for multicore systems
  • Cryptography and embedded security
  • New Cortex-M4 implementations
  • Architectural design of device drivers
  • GNU/Linux for safety-related systems
  • Modeling behavior with UML: interactions and statecharts
  • Fault-tolerant systems design
  • Safety-critical systems design
  • Floss for safety-related systems
  • Cortex-inside
  • DSP processing with Cortex-M4
  • Cortex M3
  • Embedding USB

You’ve Got To Get There First
For the overseas visitor Nuremberg is not as accessible as its exhibition rival city, Munich. Few flights go directly there. An exception for English visitors is Air Berlin, which flies directly into Nuremberg from London Gatwick. It’s good and it’s cheap. For the long-haul travelers, the best bet is to either fly into Frankfurt and then transfer to another short flight or take the high-speed train to Nuremberg. Alternatively, one could fly into Munich and then get the high-speed train from there.

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My recommendation is to fly into Frankfurt, because the train station is part of the airport complex. Aim to get into Frankfurt at about 10:00 a.m., and then get to the train station by about 11:30 a.m. and enjoy a high-speed ride on the ICE to Nuremberg, which will take about an hour and a half. Use the buffet car, because the food is pretty good and you can sit back, relax, and consume as the train zaps you through the Bavarian countryside at over 200 KMP…Prost!

For travel details, go to www.europeanrailguide.com/trains/ice.html. For travel packages, see www.embedded-world.de/en/visitors/travel_packages/.

Now You Are In Nuremberg
For exhibition visitors, my critical and time-tested advice always applies about hotel accommodation. Do not, under any circumstances, stay near the exhibition because it will be very boring. Forget ideas of morning efficiency and time pressures, meetings, and what have you, and stay as near as possible to the Alte Stadt, Nuremberg’s historic city centre. (And you know what? It really isn’t very far from there to the exhibition grounds. See more detail below.)

The Alte Stadt is stunning: great architecture, charming pedestrian precincts, good restaurants and bars, picturesque churches, and, of course, the must-visit Bratwursthäusle, Nuremberg’s Sausage Eating House. Vegetarians are strongly advised not to enter this establishment. For what’s on the menu, look at travel.yahoo.com/p-travelguide-2880357-bratwursthausle_nuremberg-i.

Having risen to the challenge of the Nuremberg sausage (a trademarked specialty sausage that must be tried and eaten with a challenging dollop of sauerkraut), you will need to ensure your hydration is up to spec. There are scores of bars, but a visit to the microbrewery Bar Fusser will satisfy most thirsts.

Finally on the sustenance front, and for those who prefer the more sophisticated dining that is often described as modern European in style (whatever that means), there is the impeccable Sebald Restaurant, which serves very, very nice food but is not cheap, so make sure you are cleared for that on your expenses budget.

Getting To Work
Okay, enough enjoying yourselves. Why are we in Nuremberg? Ah yes, the Embedded World 2011 exhibition.

It is very easy to get to the exhibition from the city centre. From the Hauptbahnhof (main rail station), use the U-Bahn train Line U1. Board the train heading to Langwasser Süd. It’s only six stops to the exhibition (alight at the station called Messe). The journey time is about 12 minutes from the Hauptbahnhof—hence my advice to stay in the old part of town rather than some dull, faceless hotel near the exhibition. For train details, see www.urbanrail.net/eu/de/n/nuernberg.htm.

Also, the Web page above provides guides about the fare structure. Unlike the Munich U-Bahn/S-Bahn fare structure, which even Einstein would’ve failed to comprehend, Nuremberg’s system is a lot smaller and correspondingly easier to understand price-wise.

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So you’re at the show. It’s compact compared to the gigantic electronica techfest staged in Munich, but still boasts a substantial 750 exhibiting companies. As easy as it will be to get around this event, don’t expect to see all the new technology that will be packed in there.

For stuff you miss at Embedded World, we at Electronic Design Europe will be reporting on with a mixture of magazine articles and technology video clips that we’ll be shooting live at the show. Find us at europe.elecdesign.com/ and at www.engineeringtv.com/pages/trade.shows.

And don’t forget to try those Nuremberg sausages.

Embedded World 2011 Facts And Figures

• Date: Tuesday-Thursday, 1-3 March 2011
• Open: Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Exhibitors: 730 from more than 30 countries
• Free entrance tickets are available for visitors who preregister online at www.embedded-world.de/preregistration
• Special offer VGN tickets (Nürnberg regional transport system): VGN Messetickets are valid for unlimited travel by underground, tram, bus, or urban railway in the Nürnberg region for the indicated period of time; tickets are obtainable from the information counters in the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg or from NürnbergMesse in advance.

Exclusive Online Coverage
If you can’t see everything at Embedded World, we at Electronic Design Europe will be reporting on the show with a mixture of magazine articles and technology video clips that we’ll be shooting live at the show. Find us at europe.elecdesign.com/
And at www.engineeringtv.com/pages/trade.shows.