I was a track chair for ARM TechCon this year. The conference, which took place about two weeks ago at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is an annual gathering for ARM licensees, purveyors, developers, and enthusiasts. It was very well attended this year, and many of the sessions were quite crowded.

As I discussed in a webinar just before the show, I had a huge list of sessions to attend. I used the Schedule Builder to organize the list, and that helped tremendously, but it was still difficult to keep sessions straight. There were many overlapping talks, which I and many other people I talked to found unfortunate – despite the pressure it puts on speakers, it is generally best to keep sessions to the same lengths so that people can transition from one to the other without having to leave in the middle. Despite that, though, it was a heck of a good technical conference.

Obviously there was no way I could attend all of the sessions I planned to, but I did go to a fair number and learned quite a lot. Here are some highlights:

  • Wednesday Keynotes: ARM President Tudor Brown, Yahoo’s Ron Jacoby talking about connected TVs, and the very lively and fascinating Sehat Sutardja discussing Marvell’s commitment to ARM
  • My colleague and MontaVista co-blogger Nick Pollitt gave a great talk about a source-based approach to embedded Linux development. I recorded audio for this one and hope to get it up soon on our podcast page
  • I caught the latter half of my friend Gerald Coley’s presentation on the BeagleBoard xM, which was standing room only
  • I listened to David Rusling discuss Linaro, and also found out about its importance in TI’s PandaBoard project
  • I caught the tail end of Thursday’s keynote on mobile payments by PayPal’s Eric Duprat, which made me wish I had skipped coffee and arrived earlier
  • Ian Rickards discussed the dual-core Cortex-A9, which made me want a PandaBoard even more than I already did

I was very sad to miss Khem Raj’s talk on OpenEmbedded. I do wish I could have cloned myself! Or at least sent an ARM-powered robot to all of the sessions I missed.

Speaking of which, of course I must mention the ARM-powered Lego Rubiks-cube solver – a handmade robot that must be seen to be believed!