Getting Ready for Embedded World 2023

Here are some of the things we like about this year's Embedded World exhibition and conference.

If you like electronics, you will really like the Embedded World exhibition and conference. It’s the industry’s largest event dedicated to embedded technologies, and it’s held every year at the Nuremburg exhibition halls in Germany. This year it runs from March 14th to 16th, and you can get free entry to the show by following the links at the end of this post.

Last year there were more than 720 exhibitors from 39 countries and over 1,400 attendees. It covers every aspect of embedded design, providing companies from across the world a place to show off their solutions to an audience of engineers, from students to seniors.

With so much going on, you may want to know what to look out for. Here are some of my suggestions.

Open source software for embedded systems

Any embedded design must include software. There are many options here and lots of them are open source. Two open source projects that Hacksters might want to look out for are the Yocto Project and the Zephyr Project. Both are Linux-based but address different types of systems.

The Yocto Project is all about building custom Linux distributions up to the server level, while Zephyr is a real-time operating system (RTOS) for resource-constrained devices, like microcontrollers.

You can talk to engineers from Yocto on Booth 4-642b in Hall 4. Zephyr can be found on Booth 4-170, also in Hall 4. Demos include a Zephyr smart oven UI demo based on NXP’s i.MX RT series of crossover MCUs. A limited number of i.MX RT1010 EVKs will also be handed out by NXP at the booth for interested engineers.

Ricard Barry, the brains behind the hugely popular FreeRTOS, will be giving a presentation on Tuesday 14th at 4pm in the Exhibitor Forum area in Hall 2. He'll be explaining his plans for the next 20 years of FreeRTOS.

Schematic design and PCB manufacture

Circuit Mind (Hall 3A, Booth 3A-333) will be in the start-up zone. Its mission is to simplify embedded design, to accelerate innovation by as much as 100 times. Last year it released ACE, an AI-based tool that can turn a high-level description into a low-level design, in seconds.

You will also find myProto in the start-up zone (Hall 3A, Booth 3A-241). If you have your Gerber files and BOM (perhaps produced by Circuit Mind?) then you can have your prototype made by myProto in just a matter of days. If you need less than 50 boards, your order is automatically accepted, and the online platform provides a quote in moments.

Embedded software development

An IDE, or integrated development environment, is an essential part of the embedded engineer’s toolchain. Embeetle (Hall 4, Booth 4-684) felt that some IDEs were too complex, expensive, or restrictive for many engineers, so it decided to create its own. The engineers behind Embeetle have a great sense of humor, too. They tell the story of their small company using comic strips, you can find them on the website. With support for Arduino, as well as Arm and RISC-V, the IDE could be your next favorite tool. And while it isn’t open source, it is free to use.

Free tools are great for anyone hacking together a new idea. If yours needs a user interface, you may want to talk to Slint (Hall 4, Booth 4-306). With a free option, Slint’s HMI toolkit has been designed for GUI development using Rust, C++, or JavaScript. The code it generates is efficient, too, fitting into a few hundred kbytes of RAM.

Ultra-low power design

With billions of smart devices coming online, low-power operation is becoming essential. Harvested energy is one way of reducing our dependence on off-line power or primary batteries. But energy harvesting can be difficult, as you never know where your next watt might be coming from. Nowi, a pioneer in this area, was acquired recently and is now Nexperia Energy Harvesting Solutions (Hall 4, Booth 4-570). Its specialist area is power management ICs (PMICs) for energy harvesting applications. The technology in its PMICs works autonomously to continuously adapt the MPPT (maximum power point tracking) to get the most out of ambient power sources.

Measuring power at very low levels can be difficult. This is where Otii comes in useful; technology developed by Qoitech (Hall 4, Booth 4-147).

Otii is a small device that can profile the power used by IoT devices. It can also be used for debugging at the power level and to predict how long a battery will last in a device.

Artificial intelligence

AI is a hot topic right now and there will be lots of opportunities to discover why at Embedded World. One of them comes from Aizip (Hall 2, Booth 2-238). It has four main products, targeting vision, audio, time-based data, and sensor fusion. Each one is a DNN (deep neural network) based on tinyML technology.

AI-BLOX (Hall 1, Booth 1-236) has taken a different approach and created AI-enabled modules that slot together to create systems. Inside, it is using the Jetson platform from NVIDIA. The blocks are highly customizable, and AI-BLOX also offers a 7" display with touchscreen.

Seeed Studio (Hall 3, Booth 530) will give a first look at their new NVIDIA Jetson-powered edge AI product line and solutions, demonstrating vision applications with their reComputer Jetson and hosting a Jetson Nano Dev Kit lottery for visitors. Seeed will also be showcasing how their advanced perception system product lines like reThings and the SenseCAP series can be combined into an end-to-end industrial solution with a chicken farming demo.

Don't miss the "Seeed Product Launch 2023: Make Sense From THE TRUE WILD" livestream on March 14 at 9am PST where the team will announce 13+ new products that will further enable developers to apply advanced perception systems in the wild to create innovative and sustainable solutions.

AMD (Hall 2, Booth 411) will have a series of demonstrations showcasing its latest adaptive and embedded computing solutions for the intelligent edge. See how its adaptive and embedded computing solutions integrate with technology partners in AI, automotive, healthcare, industrial, and beyond to help you quickly build innovative products for the intelligent edge. For more information, click here.

Conference and Student Day

The conference is an important part of Embedded World, and it runs all three days. Attendees go deep into the latest technologies, like time-sensitive networking, edge ML and virtualization. Other topics include using a low-code approach to embedded system design, and an introduction to LoRaWAN.

In total, there will be 9 tracks, with 65 sessions and 190 presentations. This year offers 200 nonstop hours of learning, including 19 full- or half-day classes. The sessions and classes are not free, but registration is still open for anyone interested.

In addition to the technical conference, you can benefit from the Exhibitor Forum, which includes expert panels. These are free to all visitors and this year's hot topics include:

  • Real-time Linux for industrial automation
  • New IoT security standards
  • High-accuracy inductive position sensing
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Matter — seamless interoperability

You will also get to see and hear experts discussing trends in embedded vision, skilled labor shortages, and responsible AI for sustainability. There will also be pitches from start-ups! The exhibitor forum and expert panels are free and run all day, every day.

If you're there, why not take a look at the presentation showing a connected HVAC sensor solution developed by TE Connectivity, Microchip, Microsoft and Avnet.

Thursday is Student Day, when students from local universities are bused into the showground and given a VIP experience. Although this isn't open to anyone, it is a tradition for Embedded World and part of the organizers’ commitment to helping the next generation of engineers into the industry.

Avnet at Embedded World

Hackster is an Avnet community and while it won’t be exhibiting at Embedded World, Hackster will be well represented by other Avnet companies. These include:

Avnet Abacus (Hall 3A, Booth 3A-125). Avnet Abacus is Avnet's European distributor for interconnect, passive, electromechanical, power supply, energy storage, wireless and sensor products. At this year's event it will be championing sustainability with the umbrella theme, "Transforming Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow". Its stand will showcase IoT and cloud-connected applications that support key trends in the smart industrial and medical sectors. The demos will include industrial sensors from TE and TDK, power supplies from Mornsun, a customer-based application solution for a baby monitor, plus an energy-harvesting kit demonstration based around a CO2 sensor. For more information and a code for free entry, visit Embedded World 2023 | Avnet Abacus

Avnet Embedded & Witekio (Hall 1, Booth 1-510). Avnet Embedded specialises in embedded boards, display solutions, software and IoT. Together with Witekio, Avnet's embedded software company, you can find out about the latest innovations, like the Open Standard Module (OSM), which will be on display. Find out more or book an appointment here: Embedded World - Avnet Embedded

Avnet Silica (Hall 3A, Booth 3A-111). Avnet Silica will be focusing on Smart Industry, in partnership with leading suppliers such as AMD, onsemi, STMicroelectronics and NXP. Come check out multiple demos, including an automated visual defect inspection solution utilizing i.MX8/9 modules and onsemi`s AR0234 image sensors demonstrating AI and the complete machine learning flow and a gesture-controlled robot utilizing Sensortechnik Wiedemann’s new generation of the High-Performance Platform that enables scalable and powerful vehicle control for mobile machines using AMDs Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC family.

On Wednesday, March 15th, Avnet Silica will be announcing the winning prototype from the BayStartUP competition in collaboration with AMD. The competition has particular focus on technology start-ups and supporting innovation and quality in up-and-coming businesses. The award ceremony is an open invitation for visitors to the show and will consist of a cocktail reception and a short presentation from AMD and Avnet Silica at Avnet Silica's booth.

EBV Elektronik (Hall 3A, Booth 3A-125). EBV's stand will feature five themed islands, respectively focusing upon: analog and power, automotive, connectivity, high-end processing and industrial, featuring products and solutions from AMD/Xilinx, ams Osram, AWS, Broadcom, Espressif, Infineon, Lumissil, Microchip, Nexperia, NXP, onsemi, Renesas, SG Micro, STMicroelectronics, Toshiba and EBVchips.

EBV will also be promoting its ‘EBV Innovation Hero Award’ initiative, which together with its partner Innovation World Cup®, EBV invites developers, start-ups, scale-ups and innovative SMEs from the EMEA region to join in the most exciting European competition in the wearable technologies and IoT arena. Learn more and get free entry at Embedded World 2023 | EBV Elektronik (

Farnell (Hall 3A, Booth 3A-519). Farnell provides easy access to electronic solutions, for students, makers and professionals. This year's stand highlights intelligent industrial solutions using advanced machine vision, power management and more with suppliers AMD, Analog Devices, Microchip, Infineon and NXP. They'll also be spotlighting the future of mobility with cost-effective, scalable and reliable EV infrastructure solutions that are changing the game.

As well as featuring many leading suppliers on its linecard, Farnell also includes element14, Hackster's sister community, where engineers of all kinds get together to exchange ideas and share their knowledge. Phil Hutchinson from Farnell’s element14 Community talks through 10 years of history, projects and adventures with Raspberry Pi alongside Clem Mayer from MAYERMAKES on Tuesday @ 10-10:30 AM in Exhibitor Forum, Hall 3, NurnbergMesse. Come say hello!

To celebrate Farnell's 11th anniversary of releasing the Raspberry Pi, they're giving away thousands of prizes at the event, including Raspberry Pi Pico boards and Raspberry Camera Modules 2. Answer their 3-question quiz in advance and pick up your prize at their booth!

Each Avnet booth will have lots of experts to talk with and demos to see. Be sure to drop by and say hello.

Philip Ling
I was born an engineer, grew up to be a technical journalist and evolved into a technical marketer. I'm now part of Team Avnet.
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