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Content posted in April 2011
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Quiz lead changes hands!
Design Contests & Competitions  
4/29/2011   6 comments
Malcolm Stagg and Frank Froelich surge into the Nos. 1 and 2 spots in the EE Life Techno-Pop quiz
We have met the enemy and it is management
Engineering Investigations  
4/29/2011   19 comments
A new factory with 200 ft of beautifully designed burn tunnels...what could possibly go wrong?
Speaking out of line
Engineering Investigations  
4/29/2011   7 comments
Fix a crashing embedded development platform or enjoy a summer evening outdoors...which would you pick?
Survey points to variation-aware design as top custom IC focus
4/29/2011   Post a comment
Two-thirds of designers and managers named variation-aware design as a top segment where technology advancement is needed over 2011 and 2012, according to a survey of 486 engineers and engineering managers on Variation-Aware Custom IC Design.
The patron saint of engineers
4/28/2011   14 comments
If any profession needs a good word with the Big Boss, it is engineering. Slowly bled and eventually tossed aside, the long-suffering members of this profession exemplify self-sacrifice and virtue. But, where are the patron saints of engineering?
Flip video's rise and fall just the latest chapter in ongoing tool dilemma
Engineering Pop Culture!  
4/28/2011   7 comments
Optimized, single-purpose tool; multipurpose tool; or infinitely flexible tool: there is no "best" choice
Electronics companies falling down on the job: survey
Engineering Pop Culture!  
4/27/2011   44 comments
Engineers don't trust management and lack career opportunities in their companies, according to a new survey
The six basic audio tests in video tutorials
Test & Measurement Designline Blogs  
4/27/2011   3 comments
A series of video tutorials on "the six basic audio measurements" - produced by audio test company Audio Precision - covers the topics of frequency response, THD+N, phase, SNR, crosstalk and level & gain.
How Green Is Your MCU?
4/27/2011   3 comments
With energy efficient, ‘green’ designs devices being all the rage, embedded developers need to be asking semiconductor vendors, “How green is your MCU?” (OK, so it’s black. Work with me here.)
Analysis: Why ARM-AMD makes sense
4/27/2011   26 comments
With many-core processing leveling the playing field for microprocessor makers this would be a good time for AMD to focus on system-level issues impacting its processor ICs and let ARM do the heavy lifting in terms of architecture, argues Peter Clarke
ESC live broadcasting schedule
4/26/2011   Post a comment
A schedule of EE Times live-streaming broadcast interviews, May 3-5, 2011, from San Jose, Calif.
The Royal Wedding – call me an old softie, but…
4/26/2011   7 comments
The sands of time are slipping through the hourglass as the day of the Royal Wedding approaches. I don’t know about you, but I shall be glued to the television (metaphorically speaking, of course).
The F-35, and the engine of waste
4/26/2011   10 comments
An alternative engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter made little sense when the plane itself is beyond our means.
The force that pulls dogs toward the groins of strangers
4/25/2011   40 comments
Please cast your mind back through the mists of time to when I posted my blog ‘Three puzzles to ponder.’ Someone just emailed me with a question to which I’m sure I know the answer, but…
Protecting Internet-connected embedded systems
4/25/2011   Post a comment
Maury Wright over at the Intel Embedded Community site looks at a security methodology for protecting Internet-connected embedded systems.
IGBTs Transmit Woe to Analog Signal Conditioning
Engineering Investigations  
4/22/2011   10 comments
The ship date is looming, but a noisy VFAC drive creating huge signal spikes refuses to be calmed.
A Jar of Tomatoes Saves Rocket Avionics Project
Engineering Investigations  
4/21/2011   8 comments
Food preserving saved the day when a deadline was fast approaching and there was no pressure chamber to be found.
STMicro previews ESC demonstrations and freebies
4/21/2011   Post a comment
If you are heading out to ESC2011 this May 2-5, you might like this preview of what STMicroelectronics has planned.
I have radioactive balls!
4/21/2011   23 comments
Hmmm, perhaps it would be more appropriate to say that I am now the proud owner of a pair of radioactive marbles…
Brrr! Transmitter failure in the Arctic chill
Engineering Investigations  
4/21/2011   1 comment
What caused the transmitter to fail at night but work the next day?
From the Edge: Need to use USB in your industrial application?
4/21/2011   Post a comment
While it's clear that any user that gets their hands on a USB cable has an easy-to-use plug and play interface, it's not so straight forward for the design engineers who have a tremendous burden in transitioning them from serial to USB connectivity.
When a worthy design priority has unpleasant consequences
Engineering Pop Culture!  
4/20/2011   27 comments
Having an overriding project priority can also yield less-pleasant attributes
Does your job suck?
Engineering Pop Culture!  
4/20/2011   22 comments
We hear many complaints about incompetent management, company vision and lack of respect. Just how bad is it?
Multicore: coming to a screen near you?
4/20/2011   Post a comment
New programming tools are needed to analyze and partition applications to take advantage of the many multicore systems already shipping into the marketplace, and to harvest their available computing capacity.
Why engineers should run for political office
Engineering Pop Culture!  
4/19/2011   18 comments
The 112th Congress has five engineers. We need a lot more. That's where you come in.
Interesting Stuff – Ring Finders – Auto-Unicycle Thingy – Cool Videos and Pictures…
4/19/2011   1 comment
I can’t keep up. So many cool things are zipping back and forth in front of my eyes that I don’t even have the time to write about them before they’ve been eclipsed by something else…
Required change in EDA vendors’ role and reward vs. scaling yield
4/19/2011   1 comment
For the past few decades, I have heard EDA industry leaders complaining about being the enablers of the semiconductor industry’s production while being poorly compensated for the value created by their tools.
A wakeup call for the global semiconductor supply chain
4/19/2011   5 comments
As the situation in the aftermath of the March 11 Japan earthquake shows, the ability to quickly provide second source chips is now more important than ever.
Two amazing videos – I bet you haven’t seen anything like this before
4/18/2011   3 comments
My old chum Jay Dowling just pointed me at two amazing videos that blew my socks off (note to self, must start wearing elasticated socks).
My memory is not what it used to be!
4/18/2011   2 comments
With so much memory now available, we seem to be using it in a willy-nilly fashion, when in reality it is our biggest roadblock.
Has Altera broken the record for transistors on a chip … or not?
4/18/2011   3 comments
As of this morning, if you Google ‘most transistors on an IC’, you get lots of hits with the title ‘Altera Breaks Semiconductor Industry Record for Most Transistors on an Integrated Circuit,’ but is this true?
Anyone in the market for a HDD business?
4/18/2011   6 comments
The time seems ripe to sell off one's hard disk drive business.
Intel should follow Wind River into Android
4/18/2011   5 comments
Wind River has set up a new mobile software R&D group focusing on Google Android; parent company Intel Corp. should follow suit.
Connected experiences and embedded cloud computing
4/18/2011   Post a comment
Connected experiences with embedded devices and embedded cloud computing are the topics of a couple of blog posts over at the Intel Embedded Community this week.
Convergence kills the Flip-what's next?
Semi Conscious  
4/18/2011   31 comments
Convergence wasn't the only villain in the tragic death of the Flip camcorder, but its fingerprints were among those found at the scene of the crime. A number of other seemingly healthy gadgets also face increasing threat from the convergence of applications in high-end and even mid-tier handsets. An examination of seven other product categories that also face threat from this menace.
Synchronizing your email across multiple computers
4/15/2011   28 comments
I am so happy. In addition to the fact that my data is backed up and secure, my email from multiple accounts is now so synchronized it brings tears of joy to my eyes…
Star Wars clones used to recreate famous photos
4/15/2011   1 comment
I’m always amazed at the creativity of people – I love it when I see things that make me say “Wow – I wish I’d thought of that!”
Cisco turns the Flip into a Flop
4/14/2011   5 comments
I cannot believe it. Just two years after Cisco bought the startup company that created the Flip Video – the most popular video camera in America – they’ve decided to kill it as a product.
Sorry, I can only do one thing at a time
Engineering Investigations  
4/14/2011   15 comments
Obscure islands, a bottle of Calvados, a protocol analyzer and a problem
EuMW: Call for papers
4/14/2011   2 comments
If you are planning to exhibit at European Microwave Week (EuMW) 2011 in Manchester, UK this October, consider making an applications presentation as part of the Microwave Application Seminars (MicroApps)
Hardware mess cleaned up with software
Engineering Investigations  
4/14/2011   10 comments
Often little things (and software) matter when a design isn't working properly
Instruction set for a 4-bit HRRG Steampunk Computer
4/14/2011   13 comments
Sad to relate, I haven’t gotten around to completing Part 4 of my Heath Robinson Rube Goldberg (HRRG) Steampunk Computer mini-series this week, but this is because I’ve been pondering its instruction set…
Using a Tektronix 834 to fix a balky printer
Engineering Investigations  
4/13/2011   4 comments
How to fix a remote British Airways printer, while wrestling with oddball IBM bit protocols in a far-away land
Preventing innovation erosion
4/13/2011   8 comments
A common problem faced by companies is "innovation erosion"—the gradual reduction in the level of innovation of a product as it makes it way through the development cycle.
Spread-spectrum clocking to reduce EMI: clever or cheat?
Test & Measurement Designline Blogs  
4/13/2011   24 comments
This common technique can help you meet a spec or solve a problem, but has worrisome implications as well.
Engineers hijack Libyan telecommunications system
Engineering Pop Culture!  
4/13/2011   15 comments
A group of engineers is doing its part to help topple Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi
The incredible shrinking Max
4/13/2011   7 comments
I always wondered what it would be like to be six inches tall. I just saw a site that creates custom figurines. These look really tasty – I think it would be mega-cool to have a mini-me on my desk…
In search of best-in-class R&D organizations
4/13/2011   4 comments
How do you know if an organization's performance is best-in-class, especially that of a competitor?
'Newbie' engineer and the attack of the solder blobs
Engineering Investigations  
4/12/2011   9 comments
A 'newbie' EE proves that term is relative when he solves a pc-board failure
Switzerland, the Mecca of Precision Manufacturing
4/12/2011   Post a comment
Check out this MedTechInsider blog from sister publication European Medical Device Technology
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