I just came back from a couple of weeks in China. Fascinating country. Besides the usual customer visits, we also held three Regional Development Conferences (RDCs) in Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing.
The RDCs were a huge success with on average more than 400 attendees per day. And they were all very interested in hearing about Wind River’s latest offerings and future plans.
How do I know they all were interested? Well, my leading indicator was that all seats were taken from the front working towards the back. Somewhat different from your typical American or European conference, where the back seats seem to be the hottest commodity. (BTW, I am of course not indicating that our American and European friends are not interested… Perhaps they have better eye sight )
Paul Chen on stage in Shenzhen
We discussed in some detail the various components of Wind River’s Platforms, including new features of our VxWorks, Linux, WorkBench and Diagnostics offerings. If you haven’t seen it already, we just released a new version of our platforms, so there was plenty to talk about. I also had an opportunity to go into some detail about our multicore/multiprocessing offerings. That tied nicely into a presentation from FreeScale about their multicore plans.
Judging from the amount of questions in the QA section and the questions I got afterward, multicore is getting huge in China. A lot of discussion whether Asymmetric Multiprocessing (AMP) or Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) is "better". As with many things in life, there is not a simple answer to that question more than the unsatisfactory "it depends". It is really an area where there is a lot of confusion. The confusion starts at the definition level, where some people might define SMP as Symmetric Multiprocessors (meaning multiple processors that are identical but might or might not have separate OSes on top if them) while others define it as Symmetric Multiprocessing – meaning symmetrical processors handled by one OS. I’ll talk about my views on when to use what in a future blog.
I continue to be impressed by the quality of the engineers in China. Very smart and creative. So impressed in fact that we decided to open a development center in Beijing. We have the first ten engineers on training in Alameda right now so that we can get a running start next year. The team will focus on doing BSP work for both our VxWorks and Linux platforms and I expect a lot of new exiting technology coming out of the group in the coming years. It is also a definite advantage to have developers close to your customers, something we have experienced again and again through our development centers around the US, Canada and Europe. Nothing beats that local first hand experience.
As for my other experiences in China I’ll have to refer to the old saying, "what happens in Beijing, stays in Beijing"…