ARM Tech Con 2014

Posted by: Roy Sherrill

Arm TechCon logo This conference was all about ARM, from a history of ARM (nearly 30 years, starting with the Acorn and Newton) through the newest systems challenges to Safety and Security. The mbed OS looks interesting - developed by ARM, this RTOS has power management, many different connectivity stacks and other components.

The Internet of Things was of course a major topic, and we enjoyed hearing about all the storage needed at the edge of the network. From data analytics to logging and cloud interface, it looks like MCUs will need a reliable file system for the best solution. Also interesting was the plan for MCU firmware updates in the field - they plan to provide a Flash area big enough for 2 copies of the application and a bootloader. Only one copy is updated, and the bootloader identifies the newest valid application and executes it.

There was a definite focus on energy use and efficiency. Some of the incredibly low-power (or low current) applications described were an ARM solar powered micro server. These harsh environment capable devices will be key in the third world. Especially fascinating was Jack Ganssle's session on Ultra-Low Power design and debunking the 20 year life claim of coin cell devices.

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