Embedded Computing Seminar Prof. Scott Kirkpatrick
More computing power is brought into the world each year through cell phones, digital cameras and similar simple appliances than through the production of new computers. These 'appliances' are no longer simple fixed-function devices, but can communicate, can support collaboration, and can be programmed to permit new types of applications.
The result is a great revolution in consumer technology. Media, imaging, and networking technologies are undergoing massive miniturization and comoditization, with a vast convergence taking place as a result. Most new cell phones are expected to come with digital cameras built in. Localization services are becomming cheap enough to be found in new cars and phones. LCD screens have almost eliminated the massive CRT, and the computer is rapidly taking its place as the hub of people's music centers (be they mobile, ala the iPod, or static, ala iTunes).
This seminar course will look at the technologies embedded inside a representative sample of today's consumer objects (Cell Phones, phone cameras, GPS, Digital Cameras, Robots, etc). The purpose of the course is to develop within the students an understanding of the building blocks, architectures, and technologies currently used to design, build and develop the hardware and software layers of such devices. Students will be expected to research an area of this emerging technology and present their findings through classroom presentations and demos. In some areas, lab facilities for experimentation will be provided. Lectures will introduce the evolution of the hardware and discuss the status of the software environments involved.