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Safety as the Megatrend in the Embedded Industry

TTTech, the leading supplier of dependable networking solutions based on time-triggered technology and modular safety platforms, and TTA-Group, a cross-industry community for technical and market development of safety-related architectures and time-triggered networks, hosted this year's TTA-Group Open Forum together in Vienna, Austria. Themed "Safety as the Megatrend in the Embedded Industry" this one-day event offered a platform for key players to exchange knowledge and experiences in the field of safety-relevant embedded systems.

Nowadays it is taken for granted that vehicles and other means of transport, as well as industrial facilities, function reliably and safely. At the 2011 TTA-Group Open Forum the challenges behind maintaining this expected level of safety were examined from various perspectives. Also discussed were various development methods for different markets and applications, as well as the corresponding effects on development costs and time.

With international presenters from various companies, like Bosch, Cisco Systems, Hydac, Hamilton Sundstrand, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI), TTTech and Volkswagen the conference demonstrated the relevance of safety issues across the embedded industry. "The world needs to be safer," stated Jerold Givens, worldwide business manager of safety microcontrollers, TI, and one of the keynote speakers of the event. "The development of safety-critical applications plays a central role in more and more embedded systems across industry sectors."

One of the goals of this conference was to build a bridge from today's technical achievements to the opportunities and potential envisioned for the coming 5 to 10 years. Professor Hermann Kopetz, one of the key architects of Time-Triggered Architecture and co-founder of TTTech presented the scientific perspective: "In designing embedded systems, the concern shifts more and more from functionality to dependability. As safety is a key attribute of dependability, we will have an increase in the number of safety-critical applications in the future."

The panel discussion at the end of the open forum demonstrated once more the importance of synergy in questions of safety between different industrial sectors: "The areas of automotive, aerospace, off-highway, and industrial automation can benefit from one another," explained Andreas Schell, President, Hamilton Sundstrand Electric Systems. "Collaboration and best-practice sharing among industries are the keys to better confronting future challenges with regard to robustness and reliability."

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