EFY India Electronics Week Conference 2018

Manivannan Sadhasivam


Electronics For U (EFY) group hosts India Electronics Week, a new age technology show for those interested in latest technology, every year around India. This year’s IEW conference is a great success and as per EFY, “This time the 2018 edition witnessed 10-plus conferences and 15-plus workshops, 150-plus exhibitors and 10,000-plus visitors. The other more interesting figures are: 100-plus speakers, 3,000-plus conference delegates, over 31 per cent of visitors traveled from outside Karnataka for the show”. The above quote portrays how much the show has been valued in India. As far as I know, this is one the biggest conferences happening in India around cutting edge technologies.

This blog summarises the experience of me representing 96Boards for the first time and also some generic feedback about the event.

96Boards Arrival

The event was scheduled from 7th February 2018 to 9th February 2018. There were 4 kinds of passes released for the conference,

  • Expo
  • Single day
  • Business
  • Pro

I initially planned to attend conference for the fist two days only, so decided to go with *Business pass.

For attending the conference, I arrived at Bangalore on the first day morning, 7th Feb 2018. Hotel was already booked and I straightaway headed towards the hotel upon arrival. There I took a nap and freshed myself for the conference at 8.30AM. Breakfast was provided at the hotel itself, so I grabbed some Idly’s and walked towards the venue, KTPO.

First day - 7th Feb 2018

I arrived at the venue sharply at 9AM and collected my badge and some swags. I have to say that, this part of the conference was hassle free. Since, I have already booked the passes through online, my badge was already ready beforehand.

Pre Lunch Session

After collecting the badge, I headed towards the hall Aryabhatta, where the keynote session “DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES: THE NEW NORMAL was going on. This keynote session revolved around the latest emerging technologies such as AI, Machine Learning, IoT, Blockchain etc…

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At the session itself, I found one of the coolest and smartest person I have ever met, Mr. Balajee Seshadri. He is an experienced Embedded Systems professional and also the most viewed writer in Quora for Electronics and Communications Engineering.

He has spent almost 31 years working in Embedded systems field and now he is helping the students community by offering free classes in the topics of Electronics, Embedded Systems, C and much more… Since meeting for the first time, we introduced each other and had some coffee together. He was very much interested in getting 96Boards into the hands of every person who is willing to learn Embedded Systems and Linux. The main reason he chosed 96Boards was the OpenSource nature we have adopted. Yes! most of the hardware and software details are freely available at our website for all of the 96Boards.

After exchanging much valuable information, we both deicided to roam around the conference to visit the stalls hosted by various companies in and around India.

To be honest, the entire conference hall was flooded by the booths/stalls.

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That’s why I said, this is the biggest event happening in India around the emerging technologies. First of all, we started from our 96Boards partner booth ST Microelectronics. As we expected, they had showcased their awesome collection of Cortex-M based boards and its daughter/expansion cards for Display, Connectivity etc… Those solutions were completely built by ST and it showed their commitment towards it.

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After going through all the boards/solutions, I can see no ST based 96Boards. So, I met some of the representatives from ST and introduced myself as a 96Boards representative. Surprisingly, they were not aware of 96Boards/Linaro. So, I explained them about our company and 96Boards initiative, ST being a member of Linaro etc… and finally they realised how important is 96Boards as a platform for ST. Also, they promised me to showcase our ST based 96Boards in the future conferences and also invite me to their booth.

All ended well. After finishing ST and several startup booths, we breaked out for lunch. There too EFY group has done a great work by serving a variety of Indian foods for both Veg and Non-Veg. We (Me and Balajee Seshadri) had lunch together and back to the conference.

Post Lunch Session

We started our post lunch session by visiting booths/stalls once again. One of the remarkable one would be our visit to Fujitsu’s booth. Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company, offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services.

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They had showcased their FRAM based solutions. FRAM is being used lately as a replacement for EEPROM’s as an onboard storage. They have an impressive performace factor of consuming low power but providing much more speed. Only drawback is, they are not so cheap as like EEPROM’s.

For demonstrating the performance, Fujitsu showed a benchmark demo of capturing an image and storing it onto both EEPROM and FRAM memory and retrieving it for display. FRAM outcasted EEPROM by both performance and power efficiency.

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They also showed the demo of a battery less kerboard which can be used with tablets/PCs. Their speciality is drawing power from the host wirelessly.

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After all, we left the Fujitsu booth and visited some local startup booths. They were also up to the mark with their IoT based product solutions. This fascinated me with the way how startup culture is growing in India.

Finally, it was time for tea. We grabbed some tea and headed towards the, “IOTBRIX - BUILD, NOT CODE IOT DEVICES” session by Sridharan Mani of American Megatrends. He showcased their product, IoTbrix, a simple drag and drop cloud based platform for building the IoT products. It is much more like the Simulink platform by MathWorks. Once, the talk ended we had some snacks and I left for the hotel.

Second day - 8th Feb 2018

Second day was the final day of my stay at the EFY conference, since I had plans only for the first two days. So, I took my back bag with all the belongings and checked out from the hotel. On this day, I had planned to meet some more people and check out the remaining booths.

Pre Lunch Session

I reached the venue sharply at 9.00AM. On the entrance hall itself, I found my college senior Mr. Karthikeyan Prakash. He is working a Project Engineer in Techolution India Pvt Ltd. He was also happened to be a speaker, which I came to know only when I saw the speakers list at the entrance. I was so proud to meet him and we both shared some cool memories during college days.

From there on, I roamed with him (as I did with Balajee yesterday). We both started the day with the keynote session on “THE SECURITY THREATS IN IoT PARADIGM – A HYPE OR A SCARY REALITY?”. The discussion was about the security thread which will be imposed by the growing technolgies and how to avoid them. A much needed discussion I would say.

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Then, we both visited the remaining booths and one of them was Toradex’s booth. Toradex is the leading manufacturer of SoM based solutions.

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At their booth, they showcased the new SoM based products featuring various silicon manufacturers. They also had plenty of carrier boards for the SoM modules for breaking out the connectors and pins.

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Next, we visited UniQtronics Booth. UniQtronics is a PCB assembly and manufacturing company in India. One unique factor about this company is their willingness to take orders in less quantity. Which most of the companies deny doing so. They also showcased their range of PCB designs and they all showed the capability of them to handle most of the packages. This is something which 96Boards can take account for manufacturing our boards in India.

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Then, we went for having lunch together. I must say that the lunch was not that great when compared to the first day.

Post Lunch Session

After finishing lunch I introduced Mr. Balajee to Karthikeyan and we together had some discussion about the IoT market and the education sector in India. While we were having a discussion, one gentleman stopped by after seeing my 96Boards T shirt ;-)

He inquired me about Linaro and 96Boards initiative. I explained him and asked him to join OpenHours to know more about 96Boards and to be part of our vibrant community.

Next, me and Karthik attended the session by Intel, “INTEL’S IOT SECURITY PORTFOLIO”. It was so informative and mainly focussed on the security solutions from Intel for the IoT gateway and nodes.

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After the session, we met Mr.Rajesh Sola from KPIT Technologies. He is a well known person in India’s OpenSource world and a contributor to EFY’s OpenSource For U magazine. We decided to sit down and talk for a moment but sadly there was no place to sit. So we moved to Speaker’s lounge and continued our conversation. During the talk, Karthikeyan showed us the product he and his friends created, a Vehicle and Motorcycle GPS tracker. This product also has the ability to report the vehicle’s OBD (OnBoard Diagnostic Data) remotely.

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I was so glad to see the first Automotive product coming out of Erode, my hometown. Karthikeyan also told me his desire to use Dragonboard410c as the prototype platform for his upcoming IVI solution. Here, I have to mention that Dragonboard410c is already supported in AGL project and I have written a blog series about it.

Finally, it was the time to say Goodbye to all the folks I met during these two days. I also got a set of books written by Mr.Balajee in Electronics and Embedded Systems as a present.

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I must admit that this EFY conference gave me an opportunity to meet some of the bright minds of India. And since this was my first experience representing 96Boards at a conference in India, I was so privileged. This visit gave me a chance to expose 96Boards to the domains of the hobbyists, educational and commercial sectors in India. And I hope that we will be able to see more products coming out of India with 96Boards.

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