In the next 5 to 10 years, which technologies will present the most viable development opportunities for your organization and for the embedded computer industry?
MITCHELL: The ever-expanding Internet of Things will continue to drive embedded development – specifically distributed tech. Back in the days of mainframe terminal controllers, we all shared resources to keep availability up and costs down. When PCs entered the market, everyone got their own resources, and it was all about owning bigger hard drives and more RAM. Now, we are moving toward everyone having thin clients and sharing resources again. It’s all about mobility and always-on availability. This distributed evolution will drive opportunity for Altera and for embedded, in both infrastructure and end-user embedded computer equipment.
Another factor is consumer trends. As an example: 3D printing is really hot right now. It brings robotics and automation to the people – makes it affordable and available just like PCs did for computing in the early ’80s. Robotic technology helps with science, like medicine and mechanics, and also with art, productivity, and efficiency. As engineers, we should keep our eyes open for anything that melds the analog and digital, the human-machine interface that bridges organic and inorganic.