Electronica 2014 Wrap-Up

Make no mistake about it, Electronica is a real trade show, with suits everywhere, meeting rooms packed to the gills, and €4 bottles of soda. If you dig around long enough, you will find some interesting things, as I did on my excursions to the Messe with [Chris Gammell] and [Sprite_TM].

Actual cool booths

This isn’t a show and tell. The purpose of the booths are for sales people to meet with other sales people, and people who have the letter ‘C’ somewhere in their title to be concerned about things you’ll never understand. Booth displays are a plastic case with a few components in them. If you’re lucky, you’ll have some units running on a table somewhere.

This isn’t the case for all booths, though. The Linear booth wanted to demo some custom sensors, so they built the most primitive thermocouple in existence. It’s a piece of copper pipe and some barbed wire, brazed together. It won’t be an accurate thermocouple when the torch is still hot, but by calibrating it against a known temperatures and values, they can get pretty reliable temperature readings. Oh, the displays are Nixies.


raspberrypi_logo No, Raspberry Pi didn’t have a booth, but RS Components did, and this is where you could find Raspberries and Raspberry-related projects. I hun around the booth after [Eben] gave a talk, and this is what the future of the Raspberry Pi ecosystem will look like:

  • There will be no more form factor changes. Until the next hardware update, we’ll have the B+ and A+ form factor.
  • When is the next hardware update? Some time in 2017 or 2018. They don’t have a chip selected yet.
  • Four million units shipped. I told [Eben] the Commodore 64 shipped 25 Million, [Eben] told me [Jack Tramiel] was running his mouth when he said that. German tank problem with serial numbers and all that.
  • Lots of industrial applications. There are real, legitimate uses of a Pi in controlling million dollar machines.
  • No one has built a cluster of Pi compute modules. I believe the problem is finding vertical SO-DIMM connectors.

The latest from the FTDI display case


Free Stuff

Show up at the end of Electronica, and you’ll quickly figure out the people at booths don’t want to ship their stuff home. This was the Hammond Enclosures booth:


What did I grab? Just some Raspi cases, and one of the wooden Hammond enclosures used for tube amps. Also picked up a sample of unreleased Kailh switches for mechanical keyboards. Data coming sometime.

If someone is at the Munich airport in a few days, I might have a wooden Hammond enclosure for you.

21 thoughts on “Electronica 2014 Wrap-Up

    1. I think the point is the VM800 multimedia controller board that the card refers to. They come with or without LCD w/touch screens. They have an embedded video engine and are controlled via SPI. Also they have example arduino code. You can order it with a 4.3 inch LCD touch screen from Mouser for 65$. They have 22 left to ship immediately. GO!!! lol

  1. Not so sure if vertical connector would help with packing higher density of modules as the SODIMM needs have lots of clearance when you insert them. You would need clearances for the 45 degrees or so for rotating the module at its base when you insert the card too. http://www.signalogic.com/images/sodimm.gif

    Even when you can pack them up vertically, you would have to increase the height of your slots for each processor cards. So that limits # of slot per chassis… So the trade off is either more RPi per card but less cards per chassis or vise versa. When you have to think reliability, might be the case of less RPi per card would be better as all of the RPi on a card might be offline when you have a card level failure…

    There are angled version of SODIMM: 22.5, 25 degrees and that might help a bit to keep the density high by horizontal spacing while still keeping the profile low enough to not increase the height of each processor farm card.

  2. FTDI had a demo of their new USB 3.0 FIFO chips there. I actually wanted to hear some more about those, but instead you show a cable picture?
    Petty vendetta? Come on, you’re better than that.

    1. To be honest, we did not spot that. Most of the stand seemed to be about the 800 and 900 chips, which are already known afaik; they didn’t seem to have the USB3 stuff advertised in a big way. it’s also very possible we just missed it, we were in a hurry to see as much as possible because the show is pretty big.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.