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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk


Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics

The Embedded Mood Marcel Consée

At any given time, dozens of engineers take advantage of Mouser’s specific know-how at embedded world 2017

The day starts off way better than expected: On entering the hall, your nose is caressed with the scent of good coffee. You have no choice but to delay your first meeting of the day – after all, it is a trade show and no one is actually expecting you to be on time – and to queue at the source of this invigorating smell. Even though the queue is long, you are not bored: On the way to your coffee, you grab a lottery ticket and – Yeay!– win a dev kit. One of their tech-savvy guys explains what you can do with it and – you’re welcome, Madam – you’re holding your Cappuccino. Oh, and a mug for your lab, that goes really well with the cloth bag you picked up at the entrance.

Now you’ve got to hurry, but there’s so much to see. The first of many flashy cars grabs your attention. Oh, and there’s a sausage grilling robot over there. And another one – no, wait… It’s a drone hovering just above your head. That’s too much. You call your appointment and tell him to meet you here, at the huge slot car racing set. While you wait, the cute technician talks about the TI power management development kit that facilitated the development of the octocopter. He actually acquired it at the distributor you just got the coffee from and the bag with the big blue M.

While you explain that the engineering team you lead works in a totally different field, you see your appointment waiting awkwardly at the slot racing booth.

This year’s embedded world show broke its own record again. The organizers report 30,017 visitors (38% from outside Germany) and 1017 exhibitors from 40 countries.

In the meantime, the single long queue at the Mouser booth has split into three even longer ones. The dev kit lottery is becoming increasingly popular, for a self-respecting engineer coffee is the elixir of life anyways, and people are waiting to have a virtual reality tour through Mouser’s warehouse. The stand is so busy, there is hardly any time to take a breath. A middle-aged man, who looks a bit forlorn in his checked sports jacket, musters all his courage, pets his greying beard one last time, and courteously asks the helpful lady behind the coffee counter if it would be possible to talk to a ‘technical person’. Of course it is. Turns out, the academic-looking gentleman is an inventor looking for an opportunity to bring his invention to market. It’s fascinating how there still are unexplored niches in the embedded business. What an exciting time!

Many more unexpected discussions ensue during the three days, with academics or industry representatives who have found new solutions to old problems, are carving out business opportunities of their own, or invented simpler, more elegant ways to deal with connectivity, programming, or electronics assembly. People like this are the reason the embedded world show is such a special event: The focus is on innovation.

You will find the Mouser logo on almost every photo taken at the trade show. Not surprising, since more than half the visitors picked up a Mouser bag and more than a third have been registered at our stand. Mouser seems to be in the right place at the right time for many, many people.

Since its early days, embedded world – as well as its predecessor Embedded Systems – has been able to master the right mixture of small engineering start-ups, renowned semiconductor manufacturers, board suppliers, and component distributors. The conference ties the trade fair closely to academia and research facilities. Thus, exhibitors as well as visitors are fairly heterogeneous, as is the show floor. Displays of PC/104 boards can be seen alongside nerdy gadgets (yes, someone actually invented a “Pong” playing robot. Not on screen, with real paddles and a puck. Against visitors. The 1970s go cyberphysical!), pimped cars close to demonstrations of 64-bit assembler code. See you again next February in Nuremberg!

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As Technical Content Specialist, Marcel is the internal contact person for technical questions in Mouser’s EMEA marketing team. Originally a physicist, he used to work as editor for special-interest magazines in electronics. In real life, he’s juggling two kids with too many chromosomes, a  penchant for electronic gadgets and a fondness of books and beer. Until now, none has dropped.

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