Smart motes mean new life for 8-bit MCUs Blog 1/31/2005 Post a comment Consider, if you will, the lowly 8-bit microcontroller. To many designers, it is the epitome of the bad old days-the days when not only performance, but I/O configurations and even processor architecture were dominated by the constraints of a minuscule transistor budget. "Never again" might well be the vow of hardware designers and programmers who have wrestled a slow and helpless 8048 or 6805 MCU into a mildly demanding application.
Pocket Convergence Blog 1/27/2005 Post a comment What was once a cell phone is now a cell phone, address book, portable game player, digital camera, camcorder, and GPS location device. Audio MP3 jukebox will be next, followed by video multimedia jukebox, and TV.
Intel's reinvention Blog 1/24/2005 Post a comment Chip giant Intel Corp. went back to the future in a reorg last week that effectively returned the company's ambitions in communications silicon to about 1998. Tucking its wireless and wired comms business units inside the more traditional and successful notebook and server groups, Intel once again looks like a PC giant dabbling in related comms businesses.
Embedded systems disaster stories Blog 1/21/2005 Post a comment To err is human, to learn from other's mistakes divine. Here in the Soapbox you can go one step further -- learn and share. We challenge you to share your embedded systems programming mistakes, disasters, and near misses whether they pertain to team miscommunication or technical errors.
Opinion Blog 1/17/2005 Post a comment A growing chorus of informed voices is calling for change in the U.S. patent system. Some charge that huge companies protect their markets with massive portfolios of broad patents. A newcomer with limited legal resources, facing the threat of perpetual litigation, could feel compelled to cross-license or even abandon its technology. That punishes innovation instead of rewarding it, violating the very purpose of patents.
It's not a straight line: Computing the Correct Drain to Source Resistance from V-I curves Blog 1/12/2005 Post a comment Is the V-I curve of a MOSFET switch really a straight line as we imagined? The RDSON is clearly a function of the current through the MOSFET. But with the device alternating between peaks and valleys, what current value do we use? We can do a "worst-case analysis" based on the highest RDSON (an instantaneous value) along the V-I curve. But is that value really "worst case", or is it even worse than "worst-case"?! Power supply guru Sanjaya Maniktala celebrates his ann
A fresh perspective Blog 1/10/2005 Post a comment Yes, we do look a little different this week. It's the culmination of a year's worth of hard work and decades of evolution in the information publishing business.
Looking glass Blog 1/10/2005 Post a comment Another year, and January dawns foggy, gray and drizzly. The rebound we enjoyed (did we really enjoy it?) was about as fast as that blackbird that zips by and disappears into the mists.
A plague on the industry Blog 1/1/2005 Post a comment For years, the semiconductor industry coped with counterfeiting by burying its head in the sand. The word was rarely uttered in the boardroom or to suppliers, and never within earshot of a customer. It was the industry's version of "Don't ask, don't tell."
China's challenges Blog 1/1/2005 Post a comment Founded a mere 20 years ago, Cisco Systems Inc. is an adolescent compared with its older siblings in the electronics industry. But when president and CEO John Chambers speaks, many in the global manufacturing economy pay close attention.
Virtual companies, virtual profits Blog 1/1/2005 Post a comment The primary reason for operating a for-profit enterprise is profit, which is defined as the difference between a product's manufacturing cost and its selling price. Therefore, at least in theory, reducing product costs generates additional profit-and generating profit is a good thing, isn't it?
5 forecasts for '05 Blog 1/1/2005 Post a comment We're midway through the first decade of the new millennium, but first a bit of recent history. 2004 picked up where 2003 left off: The economic recovery continued, with strong corporate earnings and a surging job market. However, unlike '03, political concerns, high oil prices, inflation and the war on terror held equity markets back in '04. Nevertheless, Bush was re-elected and Martha Stewart went to jail, so we're hopefully safe from terrorists and homemaker merchandise moguls.