PDA

View Full Version : Update from Embedded Systems Conference?



Oldbitcollector (Jeff)
04-21-2008, 10:27 AM
Curious how Parallax/Propeller made out at the Embedded Systems Conference?

Paul will you share the excitement around Propeller?

OBC

▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔
New to the Propeller?

Getting started with the Protoboard? - Propeller Cookbook 1.4 (http://ucontroller.com/Propeller%20Protoboard%20Designs%20for%20the%20Beg inner.pdf)
Updates to the Cookbook are now posted to: Propeller.warrantyvoid.us (http://propeller.warrantyvoid.us)
Got an SD card? - PropDOS (http://www.orrtech.net/propdos/)
A Living Propeller FAQ - The Propeller Wiki (http://propeller.wikispaces.com/)
(Got the Knowledge? Got a Moment? Add something today!)

Paul Baker
04-22-2008, 07:02 AM
My pleasure, this year's ESC went quite a bit better than last year.

This year we had our QuadRover front and·center in our booth, and that was a definate crowd drawer. People were somewhat incredulous that it's an actual product (they thought it was a prototype that we were just planning on playing with but never sell). And those who know about hydraulics felt the platform is a real bargain at the price we are offering it. We also invited Hanno Sander (myDanceRobot.com) and Eric Moyer (Open Stomp Coyote-1·Guitar Pedal) to sit in our booth as examples of Propeller applications, they both had crowds around thier stations nearly constantly throughout the show. And what was nice is each station tended to draw a different type of crowd: Hanno drew in the robotics crowd, Eric drew in the musicians, the Quadrover drew in the mechanical guys, the Hydra drew in·the gamers, and my kiosk drew in the microprocessor guys; so we always had people milling around our booth.

Last year people were much more critical about the Propeller, expecting it to be something it's not and being displeased when they discovered the difference. People complained there wasn't any interrupts, there was no C compiler or integrated in circuit debugger·and generally being unable to wrap thier head around the concept of OS-less multi-core embedded systems.

This year people seemed to accept the general concept of the Propeller much more freely and were capable of envisioning it's use. We still got alot of questions regarding what's its application and some had a difficult time understanding it's a general purpose microcontroller (some followed our answer with "No really, what is it's intended applications?", which is somewhat understandable since the industry has been conditioning the marketplace into believing you have to hand pick the microcontroller for each application for over a decade now. You need 3 UARTs, pick this chip, you need 4 timers, then pick this chip...). I don't know what to attribute the change in additude to, but it was nice not to encounter as much open skeptisim.

We did have one somewhat irate person in front of our booth when I returned from walking around to see other vendors. He was demanding where we got off selling our chip for $14 when he could buy an ARM for $5 and was happy with it's performance. I asked him what his application was (a PDA, right here I knew we wern't dealing with someone who·was very innovative in thier thinking, I personally can't understand why somone would try to enter a saturated market occupied by giants (Palm, Sony, ....), and·use the same chipset and features as they are?). I asked him if his application required deterministic processing ("no"), if black box library development was important ("no"), if he had to deploy a host of applications but had concerns with the accounting, stocking and knowledge overhead of maintaning multiple chipsets ("no"). So I kindly stated that just like the ARM the Propeller isn't everything to everyone, and that perhaps the Propeller isn't the best chip for the applications he develops. This seemed to calm him down and he thanked me for my time and walked away.

We had a few big shots come around and express interest in evaluating the chip for use in thier projects. Due to the sensitive nature on what they are working on I can't say what they would be in (even after product deployment), but they are some pretty exciting applications.

Jeff was interviewed in a podcast by another booth of people that cover all things regarding embedded Linux, they were excited enough by the chip that they didn't care it didn't run Linux. When we get the link to the edited podcast I will post it for you guys to listen to.

All in all it was a very good show, and it was nice to meet/see again·some of the people that participate in the forums (I even met a forums lurker that lives in Folsom, which is not very far from Parallax).

Here's a link to a page we setup up for the ESC 2008 with some pictures of our booth and descriptions of Hanno and Eric's work along with links back to thier websites: http://www.parallax.com/TopLevelMenu/Company/2008EmbeddedSystemsConference/tabid/640/Default.aspx
And for you astute observers, we have not succeeded in porting winamp to the Propeller, we used a KVM switch to share the VGA display so we could show people the video of the QuadRover pulling our junior IT guy's truck.

▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔
Paul Baker (mailto:pbaker@parallax.com)
Propeller Applications Engineer
[/url][url=http://www.parallax.com] (http://www.parallax.com)
Parallax, Inc. (http://www.parallax.com)

Post Edited (Paul Baker (Parallax)) : 4/21/2008 11:35:04 PM GMT

kittmaster
04-22-2008, 09:52 AM
lots of good publicity.......congrats!

heater
04-22-2008, 11:44 AM
That's excellent. Wish I couldhave been there.

Paul , about your comments
".....I don't know what to attribute the change in attitude to, but it was nice not to encounter as much open skeptisim...."

I have an idea about this. I think people like XMOS have been training/conditioning the market for you when they push the idea of "Software Defined Silicon". Whilst you state "it's a general purpose microcontroller" which is true, the Propeller is also an implementation of the SDS idea re. UARTS, timers etc etc as you also say.

So perhaps XMOS has been doing marketing for you :) For example with articles like thiswww.embedded.com/design/testissue/207000578?pgno=2 (http://www.embedded.com/design/testissue/207000578?pgno=2) which seems to describe he Propeller philosophy quite well.

▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔
For me, the past is not over yet.

Oldbitcollector (Jeff)
04-22-2008, 01:10 PM
Sounds like a great time! Wish I lived closer...

Any chance we can get you to share your KIOSK update from this year?

OBC

▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔
New to the Propeller?

Getting started with the Protoboard? - Propeller Cookbook 1.4 (http://ucontroller.com/Propeller%20Protoboard%20Designs%20for%20the%20Beg inner.pdf)
Updates to the Cookbook are now posted to: Propeller.warrantyvoid.us (http://propeller.warrantyvoid.us)
Got an SD card? - PropDOS (http://www.orrtech.net/propdos/)
A Living Propeller FAQ - The Propeller Wiki (http://propeller.wikispaces.com/)
(Got the Knowledge? Got a Moment? Add something today!)

Timothy D. Swieter
04-22-2008, 02:00 PM
Wow - thanks for the report Paul. In one of the pictures it looks like you had one of those handheld "helicopter" devices as marketing material for the Propeller. Innovative. What I thought was really cool is the upside down coffee cup with the bottom punched out for holding them. Very Innovative!

▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔
Timothy D. Swieter

www.brilldea.com (http://www.brilldea.com)·- check out the uOLED-IOC, an I/O expansion for the uOLED-96-PROP
www.tdswieter.com (http://www.tdswieter.com)
------------------------------------------------------------
One little spark of imagination is all it takes for an idea to explode

Baggers
04-22-2008, 05:06 PM
Thanks for the update Paul, sounds like you all had a great day, wish we could have been there too, maybe next year ;)

▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔
http://www.propgfx.co.uk/forum/·home of the PropGFX Lite

·

Ym2413a
04-22-2008, 05:49 PM
Thanks Paul. That looked like a lot of fun. :)

▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔
Share the knowledge: propeller.wikispaces.com (http://propeller.wikispaces.com)
Lets make some music: www.andrewarsenault.com/hss (http://www.andrewarsenault.com/hss)

tpw_man
04-22-2008, 07:57 PM
Looks like the ESC went wonderfully well http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/smile.gif Too bad I live on the other side of the USA :(

▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔
I am 1010, so be surprised!

stevenmess2004
04-22-2008, 08:04 PM
Hey, at least you live on the same continent. Us poor people down in Australia never get to see these things. :-(

Keep up the good reports though. Nice to hear that it went well.