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Content posted in April 2011
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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?
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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…
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.
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?
Switzerland, the Mecca of Precision Manufacturing
4/12/2011   Post a comment
Check out this MedTechInsider blog from sister publication European Medical Device Technology
I'm flipped out about Cisco
4/12/2011   48 comments
Cisco Systems is killing the Flip video, and Mark LaPedus is not very happy about it.
Open source wireless connectivity
4/12/2011   2 comments
I heard from Texas Instruments today about some new Wi-Fi and Bluetooth drivers available on
Meandering musings on Altium’s bold and exciting move to Shanghai
4/11/2011   15 comments
I must admit that when I first saw the announcement that the folks at Altium were planning to transfer their HQ from Sydney, Australia, to Shanghai, China, I checked the date to make sure it wasn’t April 1.
Nominate now—Tenzing Norgay Interoperability Award
4/11/2011   Post a comment
April 15, 2011 is the deadline to nominate those who improved standards for an industry award.
MIMO – LTE Game Changer or a Show Stopper?
4/11/2011   1 comment
The performance of MIMO is very sensitive to the implementation of the antennas, the environment in which the device is being used, and even the orientation of the device itself.
NXP: Pump, dump or dancing
4/11/2011   6 comments
Peter Clarke proposes two explanations for the rumor and denial swirling around NXP.
Will TI + NSC be less than, greater than, or equal to the individual parts?
4/10/2011   17 comments
Acquisitions look good in theory, but reality is often quite different.
Bait and switch
4/8/2011   9 comments
What is the American Dream? Contrary to detractors of the U.S., it isn't the idea of getting something for nothing, or getting a free ride.
Engineering Investigations Contest Rules
4/8/2011   Post a comment
Contest rules for the Engineering Investigations competition that runs until May 1, 2011
How can you tell when a banana goes bad?
4/8/2011   2 comments
I just saw someone carrying an enormous bunch of bananas, which prompted me to muse on fruits in general and strangely shaped yellow ones in particular…
NXP next as TI resets market values?
4/6/2011   10 comments
NXP looks set to be one of the companies over which wannabe chip industry consolidators will be hammering their calculators.
Attention IT managers: what do you think of cloud storage?
4/5/2011   7 comments
In a survey of past attendees of Storage Network World, when asked about adopting cloud storage, here's what they said...
LTE is coming, but what will it bring?
4/5/2011   5 comments
There's no doubt an LTE storm is on the horizon, but how it will impact everything from carriers to core IP providers is still unclear.
Using RFID for good
4/5/2011   6 comments
So many times, the RFID story is tracking inventory, improving sales, keeping track of a cow's milk production, reducing costs, etc. While all of these are interesting applications, this seems like a really "good" use of technology.
Cadence responds to the Synopsys FPGA prototyping book
4/4/2011   2 comments
In response to the recent book from Synopsys about FPGA-based prototyping, Cadence has issued a white paper titled “ASIC prototyping simplified”.
Am I a Limey, a Pom, a Sassenach, or a Sayip?
4/4/2011   7 comments
Sometimes I find myself leaping from topic to topic with the agility of a mountain goat (I’m talking about the ‘I’ in my head of course… while my body gamely struggles to keep up)…
New advances in remote embedded systems
4/4/2011   Post a comment
A blog post over at the Intel Embedded Community site looks at some examples of how the security and performance requirements of multiple remote embedded devices - such as point-of-sale terminals, intelligent kiosks, digital signage, medical appliances, and gaming platforms - are being addressed.
Random acts of generosity
4/3/2011   2 comments
Yesterday I was the recipient of a random act of generosity that moved me to tears…
Storage hits the limelight
4/3/2011   7 comments
Lately, it seems that memory is getting a bit of attention in the bigger electronics design space.
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