In late April, members of the Dell OEM Solutions team headed west to the Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose, CA. ESC Silicon Valley brings together system architects, design engineers, suppliers, analysts and media from all over the world to share their insights and lean about the embedded market.
While I skipped the gown, I felt it an accurate assessment when I was told by a journalist that this seemed like the OEM Solutions Group’s arrival at a debutante ball.
Don Dingee of Embedded Computing noted: “Admittedly, much of (Dell OEM) is bordering IT space…But much of this business is straight up embedded: computers in medical, industrial, communications, and other apps where a moderate lifecycle combined with a cost effective supply chain, a controlled configuration, and a worldwide logistics base add together to make a solution.”
It was an opportunity for us to educate the market on how we fit into the embedded space and learn from those in the trenches. A big takeaway for me was that this is an intensely fragmented market with multiple market segments and perspectives on what constitutes an embedded system.
For instance, we define “embedded” differently from most ESC attendees and exhibitors. While design engineers generally define embedded systems as motherboards and the “embedded” software design required to customize them. At Dell, we’re not in the motherboard business. For us, an embedded customer is one who purchases Dell-standard hardware to power its OEM solution (i.e. medical imaging, surveillance, kiosks). While at ESC, I delivered the industry address, “Driving Innovation with Dell OEM Solutions Group,” which leveraged some of EE Times own research on the embedded market to highlight how we’re addressing the real-world challenges design engineers face every day.