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Embedded World turns spotlight to security

Posted: 29 Feb 2016     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Atmel  Cypress  VIA Technologies  Embedded World 

The recently concluded Embedded World conference show finally gave due importance to security as organisers placed greater emphasis on protecting critical industry infrastructure. Last year, the event was wild with wide-eyed excitement about the Internet of Things (IoT). This year, it looks as though a bit more reality has set in, with the show offering an exceptional focus on embedded security and safety.

Embedded World is a substantial show, sprawled across multiple halls of the convention centre in Nuremberg, Germany. It's also quite well attended, with more than 900 exhibitors and 25,000 visitors last year. Even more are expected this year.

Last year's theme was the IoT, and it showed. Virtually every exhibit featured the IoT phrase prominently somewhere in their signage. And it really didn't seem to matter what their technology specialty area was. Even equipment racks were tagged as being suitable for IoT systems (data centres, presumably).

I got the sense that a lot of the exhibitors didn't really have a good grasp on the IoT at that time. The addition of network, particularly Internet, connectivity makes a profound change in what an embedded system can do, and the challenges that developers must face. Many of the exhibitors didn't seem like they had yet grasped the realities of this change. The few technical sessions I was able to attend seemed likewise lightweight.

Embedded World

Figure 1: Embedded World focuses on protecting critical industry infrastructure. (NurnbergMesse)

But that was last year. This year, the conference organisers have added a second theme to their show: Safety and Security. To me, this bodes well for showing a dramatic jump in IoT sophistication. Safety and especially security are major challenges that IoT developers must recon with.

As part of their stated focus, the Embedded World organisers are sponsoring a special session and panel discussion under the slogan "Safe for the Future." The emphasis will be on protecting critical industry infrastructure, and the session will feature speakers such as Mathias Wagner, senior fellow and chief security technologist at NXP Semiconductors, and Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Labs.

The exhibit also has dedicated Hall 4A of the show floor to security and safety. Here, companies with a significant story to tell in the realms of safety and security in embedded systems design will be concentrated to magnify the impact of their message. Atmel, Cypress and VIA Technologies are among the major companies with a presence in this area.

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