This years ECEDHA 2018 was held in beautiful Monterey, CA with three of the host universities being UC-Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, Stanford. As always it was well attended by Department Heads from all over the US and Canada and was a great opportunity for us to display our latest teaching solutions.
This year we highlighted Remote Access Labs netCIRCUITLabs, which delivers both analog, digital and wireless labs at a distance, as well as our new TIMS- SDR module which works with GNU Radio, MATLAB & LabVIEW, but runs GNU Radio on a USB stick so you don't have to mess up your operating system to get it up and running... Its just plug in and play.
The Emona approach to SDR
The EMONA TIMS philosophy has always been to create equipment which allows students to GET INVOLVED with the fundamental principles they are studying...not just observe and record. For this reason our approach to SDR is to get students out of the "simulation bubble" and have them encounter real world issues such as synchronization. An excellent example of this is the difference between situation (a) placing a signal source block on screen, followed by a modulator, etc and having them all operating at the exact same frequency and phase as if the whole world works like clockwork. Situation (b) is where the student has an external signal source, which is brought into the SDR environment and needs to be aligned with the software sampling rate...so the student is faced with real world , multi-rate, synchronization challenges from the get-go.
By bringing signals in and out of hardware and software domains, we aim to "explode" the black box that is a purely SDR solution so students can develop true understanding of what's happening once they get to real world applications.
The speakers at ECEDHA 2018 were engaging and a presentation by Arvind Krishna, Director IBM Research was particularly illuminating with him giving us an update on the progress of quantum computing and its accessibility via the cloud.
Finally, no trip to the Silicon Valley are a would be complete without a visit to Stanford, where the buildings are named after luminaries such as Hewlett, Packard, Gates & Allan to name a few, and where we had the chance to enjoy the prolific Rodin sculptures and visit the amazing Stanford Memorial Church, a stunning example of Romanesque revival architecture.
A stop over at Santa Cruz beach capped off a very worthwhile trip before we jumped the Pacific puddle back to sunny Sydney.