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Content posted in January 2014
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Who Needs 64-Bit or 8-Cores?
1/31/2014   3 comments
Spreadtrum's latest news shows there is still a great deal of growth left in 3G smartphones for cost-effective 32-bit SoCs.
Doing Math in FPGAs, Part 4 (Fixed-Point)
1/31/2014   8 comments
There are as many ways to implement fixed-point as there are people trying to implement it. This is Tom Burke's implementation.
Smart Nixie Tube Kickstarter Project to Drool Over
1/31/2014   11 comments
I just ran across an amazingly cool Kickstarter project that mixes two of my favorite things -- Arduinos and Nixie Tubes.
Management for Engineers: Don't Be a 'Pointy-Haired Manager'
1/31/2014   14 comments
Almost every engineer knows about the "Pointy-Haired Manager" and other management stereotypes.
How Not to Give an Insulin Injection to a Diabetic Dog
1/31/2014   28 comments
It's easy to become confused by what the vet tells you. The results can be disastrous.
Defensive Designing for Displays
1/30/2014   4 comments
Aubrey Kagan wants to reduce the probability of problems and ensure the system can recover gracefully if (when) they occur.
Cloud-RAN: Emergence in Heterogeneity
1/30/2014   Post a comment
Using programmable logic devices is the most effective way to address the fluid and continuously improving algorithmic and connectivity function requirements in Cloud-RAN.
The Principal Edwards Magic Theatre Meets Led Zeppelin
1/30/2014   14 comments
They don't make music like they used to.
3 Google Moves Signal End of Smartphone Era
1/30/2014   54 comments
Connect the dots among the three big moves Google made this month to dump Motorola, snatch up Nest, and make peace with Samsung, and what do you get? I see the end of the smartphone era.
EcoBot Turns Waste Into Power
1/30/2014   2 comments
This robot uses sewage waste as a fuel source and works to clear sewer blockages.
Ideal Scope for Hacking PCBs at Home
1/29/2014   41 comments
Having one's own oscilloscope may cause pain for one's wallet, but it's a sacrifice we must make to get a fully functional laboratory at home.
A Kaleidoscopic View of Finite State Machine Design
1/29/2014   1 comment
This article explores an EDA tool that acts as a kaleidoscope for FSM designers, because it provides different views of an FSM design.
Slideshow: LEDs Light Up Detroit Auto Show
1/29/2014   6 comments
Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are chipping away at the century-old automotive lighting market in ways that no one foresaw even five years ago.
AMD Delivers With ARM
1/28/2014   11 comments
AMD announces its first ARM v8 server processor codenamed Seattle based on the ARM Cortex-A57 CPU core, from Open Compute Summit.
Datacenter Utilization Boosted
1/28/2014   1 comment
Stanford researchers create an automated tool for managing datacenter resources that can boost utilization 47 percent.
My Favorite Troubleshooting Tools
1/28/2014   9 comments
TDRs rank high on Tom Burke's list, but simple tools also help.
DesignCon Revs to 28 G, Beyond
1/27/2014   7 comments
Here are eight hot sessions on high-speed design -- many driven by the move to 100G Ethernet -- at least some of which Rick Merritt hopes to see this week.
Automated Face Analysis Gets Real
1/27/2014   2 comments
Face analysis algorithms can now make a pretty good guess at age and gender, but face recognition is admittedly not yet perfect.
PCB/FPGA Power Architectures, Part 1
1/27/2014   Post a comment
The first stage in defining the power architecture of a system is a determination of all the voltage rails and the currents drawn by each of these rails.
Video: People Are Awesome
1/27/2014   4 comments
There are so many amazing clips that it's hard to choose among them, but one sequence did catch Max Maxfield's eye.
Nvidia’s G-Sync Nears Gamers' Nirvana
1/27/2014   11 comments
The Holy Grail in computer graphics and in particular games is the suspension of disbelief. If the graphics are good enough the player will become immersed and lose himself in the game.
Pain of MCU Software Development Stings Without a Process
1/27/2014   8 comments
You realize just how much your OJT (on-the-job training) in software engineering was lacking when a planeload of FBI agents comes to get stuff fixed.
Migrate a PCB Design to DDR4 SDRAMs
1/27/2014   1 comment
What are the challenges and best ways forward when migrating an embedded PCB design from DDR3 SDRAM to DDR4?
Starting a Company: A Great Adventure
1/27/2014   7 comments
Anyone who has ever started a technology company knows what it's like to design and assemble that first product.
IP Core Business Is Survey's Focus
1/24/2014   2 comments
The Global Semiconductor Alliance has opened an updated version of its survey of industry practices for licensing IP cores.
Profiles in Design: Thomas Pawlowski
1/24/2014   2 comments
"The most valuable people are the ones who can integrate the most different disciplines."
Video: Vacuum Tubes Lit With Tri-Colored LEDs
1/24/2014   9 comments
The latest experiments combining antique vacuum tubes with tri-colored LED strips are returning spectacular results.
A Few Good Bits
1/24/2014   3 comments
How many number-related jokes are there?
M2M Test Equipment Will Be Needed & Soon
1/24/2014   4 comments
The growth of machine-to-machine communications will force test-equipment manufacturers to develop new equipment, particularly for installation and maintenance.
IBM Exits Hardware in 2020?
1/23/2014   27 comments
I project by 2020 IBM will sell off whatever remains of its semiconductor and server businesses to be a software and services company.
Using a ZedBoard, Part 1 (Opening the Box)
1/23/2014   3 comments
Adam takes delivery of his ZedBoard boasting a Xilinx Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoC and starts the process of getting it up and running.
Feature Phones Are Back?
1/23/2014   30 comments
The mobile market has a strange way of refreshing old products and making them new. A case in point is the so-called Bluetooth dialer.
Properly Track Test Capacity
1/23/2014   2 comments
There are three things you need to know about to get the most out of your ATE.
Conformal Coatings for PCBs
1/22/2014   6 comments
Conformal coatings extend the useable life of a PCB by protecting against contaminants and preventing short circuits and corrosion.
Glasses Refocus Mobile Power Design
1/22/2014   1 comment
Wearable computers such as glasses open up the door to new user experiences in context awareness, but they need new power architectures to drive them.
Whatever Happened to Superconducting Power Lines?
1/22/2014   7 comments
We were assured that these zero-loss transmission lines would be among the next disruptive technologies to go mainstream, but it is not clear what their reality actually is.
My First Job as an Electrical Engineer
1/22/2014   14 comments
Following his "Retrospective" in which he described how he entered the electronics arena more than 40 years ago, Sven continues his saga with his first job as an electrical engineer.
Why SoC Design Teams Still Struggle in a Connected World
1/22/2014   5 comments
Global SoC design teams now have more ways to communicate with one another. Why, then, is it still so difficult to complete System-on-a-Chip designs?
Engineering Classrooms Take a Flip
1/22/2014   27 comments
Engineering students are learning to solve problems because the educational focus is shifting away from lectures, problems, and labs.
Ooh! Vacuum Tubes Lit With Tri-Colored LEDs
1/21/2014   31 comments
I have just taken possession of a box of the most amazing old vacuum tubes; you will not believe your eyes!
Why Hi-Tech Startups Should Care About Culture
1/21/2014   Post a comment
It's a no-brainer that CEOs have to attend to company culture, but the CEO in high-tech has a set of additional cultural burdens.
Intel's Cough Gives Industry Flu
1/21/2014   18 comments
The world's biggest semiconductor vendor is slowing its move to 450mm wafers and cutting staff, potentially leaving a gap for others to fill to avoid a slowdown.
Business for Engineers: Risky Engineering Behavior
1/21/2014   4 comments
Don't fall in love so hard with the product or company idea that you can't (or won't) see the risks.
Does Programming Style Really Matter?
1/21/2014   18 comments
How important is programming style? Just how pedantic should we really be in code?
Top 2013 Comms Stories Go Mobile
1/21/2014   1 comment
Teardowns of smartphones were the most popular communications stories in 2013 in a year when mobile mania about Intel, Bluetooth, and LTE drove the most clicks.
USB Flash Drives Still Have (a Little) Life Left in Them
1/21/2014   11 comments
Pervasive WiFi and cloud services mean there's less need for USB thumb drives. They will die a slow death as users hit connectivity and online storage constraints, as well as limited drive space on tablets.
Samsung's 28nm HKMG Inside Apple's A7
1/21/2014   5 comments
Chipworks looks inside A7, Apple's first 28nm device, at its front end of line (FEOL) transistor structure.
Internet of Things Impacts Manufacturing, Too
1/20/2014   7 comments
The Internet of Things will have a great impact on manufacturing, first in how products are manufactured.
Which PCB Connectors Are Best?
1/17/2014   32 comments
There are many approaches to flexible (i.e., versatile) connections, but it appears that European offerings are slowly taking over the market.
A Few Good Bits
1/17/2014   25 comments
How many number-related jokes are there?
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