The world of electronics is witnessing a revolution in the way products are conceived, designed and implemented. The ever growing importance of the web, the advent of microprocessors of great computational power, the explosion of wireless communication, the development of new generations of integrated sensors and actuators are changing the world in which we live and work. The key concepts for this new world are:
- transparent electronics, i.e., electronics has to be invisible to the user, it has to help unobtrusively.
- pervasive computing , i.e., electronics is everywhere, all common use objects will have an electronic dimension.
- intelligent environments, i.e., the environment will react to us with the use of electronic components. They will recognize who we are and what we like.
- wearable computing, i.e., the new devices will be worn as a watch or a hat. They will become part of our clothes. Some of these devices will be tags that will contain important information about ourselves.
- write once, run everywhere, i.e., any information we write down will be recorded and digested by the intelligent environment. We will never have to enter the same information twice.
- know more, carry less, i.e., the environment will know more about us so that we will not need to carry all the paraphernalia of keys, credit cards, personal I.D.s, access cards, access codes.
The computer as we know it today will soon be dead! Embedded systems will be the dominant electronics devices. To build efficiently embedded systems that are safe, cheap, powerful and consume a small amount of energy, we need to understand deeply the science of design: separation of concerns, abstraction, successive refinement, models of computation.
Abstract of a lecture by Prof. Dr Alberto Sangiovanni Vincetelli, ETH Zürich