Faces in Vision: Mike Faulkner

Director Business Development & Sales Silicon Software America Inc. (Subsidiary of Silicon Software GmbH) Year and location founded: Silicon Software GmbH: 1997 in Mannheim, Germany.

1709vsd Faces

Director Business Development & Sales Silicon Software America Inc. (Subsidiary of Silicon Software GmbH) Year and location founded: Silicon Software GmbH: 1997 in Mannheim, Germany.

What are three interesting things about you that people might not know? I am car and motorcycle crazy. I am a comic book collector (who sometimes finds gold in his collection like the first appearance of Wolverine). I have been interested in AI since 1987 when I purchased Borland's TurboProlog… it was so slow to provide a simple answer on a PC-AT that paint dried faster!

1709vsd Faces

What are your top three favorite movies of all time?

Star Trek, Star Wars , and the Lord of the Rings. You can see a trend here.

What are your top three favorite TV shows of all time? The Big Bang Theory, Gotham and the Walking Dead series.

What are three of your favorite bands or musical acts?

Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble, Prince, and Gary Clark Jr.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Reading, photography and spending time with family and friends.

How did you get into your field of expertise?

I was studying to be an architect when an uncle purchased a second-hand computer. Without any manuals, I could get it working, and the challenge made me investigate a software career which evolved into application engineering, which evolved into solution sales.

Why did you choose your profession?

It offered a perfect balance between business and bleeding edge technology.

What do you like about working in your field?

The people working in vision are the most interesting bunch to talk to and every day there is a new application that is like a puzzle which never gets boring.

What is your company's core focus and mission?

High-speed/high-bandwidth applications where low latencies are required, i.e. in vision projects with real-time scenarios where reduced bandwidth via FPGA pre-processing is a must. Our mission is to provide FPGA based hardware and software solutions for demanding vision applications. Developing FPGA based applications with VisualApplets is 10x to 100x faster than HDL programming!

What are you most excited about at your company right now and why?

We succeeded in making all FPGA devices easily programmable with VisualApplets via the VisualApplets Embedder, which enables our partners to quickly develop image, signal, and trigger processing algorithms and applications. VisualApplets Embedder makes these imaging devices compatible with VisualApplets, which allows them to be loaded with more specific vision intelligence. Machine learning and convolutional neural networks (CNN) based on deep learning are also hot topics to keep an eye on.

In what markets or applications do you see the most growth?

In North America, I see opportunities in robotics, military, automotive, transportation, and surveillance, as well as opportunities that are camera interface centric like CXP, CLHS and NBASE-T, and 10GigE.

How have market changes affected product development at your company?

We adapted our frame grabbers to changes involved with faster camera interfaces with support for all prevalent camera and vision sensor interfaces. New standards such as OPC UA Vision and GenICam affect but also improve our new hardware and software solutions. Embedded vision gives us the opportunity to access the machine vision market with its special requirements for small component devices.

What is one particularly interesting way you've seen your product utilized recently?

VisualApplets has proven itself in many applications such as tap geometry sorting for linescan cameras, geometrical transformations, motion analysis, 2D and 3D image processing, laser, hyperspectral, PCB inspection, and print inspection, to name a few examples.

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