Analog Electronics Conferences Learning

Going A-Conferencing!

I recently found out that I’ll be attending the Embedded Systems Conference in Chicago early next week. I also will be attending some of the events at Sensors Expo & Conference, which is being held in the same conference center. I couldn’t be happier that I get to attend two conferences in one shot AND that I get to visit Chicago in the process.

So why embedded systems? “I thought this was a site about analog electronics,” you say. Well, it is. But good luck making an all-analog system these days. These days, analog is more about signal conditioning, power, control and accuracy. I mean, everything is analog in the end. Even digital signals will look analog if you clock them fast enough; but the point is, digital is an important topic to know as well. Embedded systems let you interface to the fun analog systems at a lower level (think running code in C instead of a full blown implementation of Windows) so you can run your systems even faster, cheaper and using less power.

The sensors expo will fit in nicely. Sensors are what analog is built on. They are how electronics interact with the real world! So I look forward to reporting on all the new interface products that are out there.

Finally, this will be my first real conference, at least the first I’ve traveled to outside of a 30 mile radius of where I live. I’ve encountered conferences before–and the culture that they have–but never on a scale like this. It will be interesting to see an electronics conference this large. I recently read “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi. He has an entire chapter about the benefits of conferences, how to work them more effectively and most importantly, how to meet people. I hope to make some connections and add to the growing section on this site of interviews with people from industry.

What about you? Have you ever been to any large electronics conferences? Anyone happen to be going to these conferences? Any tips for this relatively new guy? Any new technologies I should be on the lookout for? Let me know in the comments!

By Chris Gammell

Chris Gammell is an engineer who talks more than most other engineers. He also writes, makes videos and a couple podcasts. While analog electronics happen to be his primary interests, he also dablles in FPGAs and system level design.

10 replies on “Going A-Conferencing!”

Those sound like some fun conferences to go to! I’ll be presenting a poster/paper at the IEEE COMPEL (Control and Modeling for Power Electronics) conference in Boulder, CO at the end of this month for work. It’s my first conference as well. Fingers crossed everything goes well 🙂

Have fun at yours! I’d be interested to see a follow up post on how it went.

I plan to write a follow up (multiple probably). I hope you’ll do the same. I’m sure an IEEE conference with papers will be quite different than a conference about industry stuff.

I presented my paper at IEEE's ISCAS (Int'l Symposium on Circuits and Systems) based on my Master's thesis. I've also attended the foremost conference for chip designers — ISSCC (Int'l Solid-State Circuits Conference), held every year in San Fran.

Mingling is good for your career; so is presenting if you ever get the chance. I got a job offer on the spot at ISCAS right after my presentation. Alas, I wasn't interested in going to Utah.

For me, I looked at the conference program ahead of time and planned out all of my days in advance, knowing exactly which papers/talks that I'd be attending. I was spending the company's money and although I thoroughly enjoyed myself on the company dime in the evening, I made sure I saturated myself in new knowledge from morning to afternoon. It's paid off because I've actually implemented some of the ideas I've picked up at conferences.

I found the whole atmosphere to be exciting. While the technology is interesting, I wouldn’t characterize it as exciting. All the presentations and papers are simply an evolution of current technology. I’d be happy to pick up two or three good ideas or concepts that I can apply.

[…] I didn’t come to these two conferences for this purpose. I could have looked for it at home while browsing the web (I’ve done that before too). But in the midst of walking among many smart people and many products made by other smart people I’ve collected hints. Where to look and who to talk to in order to find the most people interested in technology, in whatever form or level of complexity it may take. Go out and spread the word! […]

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