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Content posted in September 2010
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U.S. must fast-track policy on rare earth materials
Blog  
9/30/2010   26 comments
China's export and tariff rule changes for rare earth materials are a wakeup call: The U.S. must fast-track its policy on exploration, development and commercialization.
Hello from the Abstruse Goose
Blog  
9/29/2010   4 comments
Have you seen the cartoons on the Abstruse Goose website? If not there are some real corkers (that means "good ones") there that will bring a wry smile to your face.
Live blogging Maxim's editor-analyst day
Blog  
9/28/2010   3 comments
What's new at the quiet giant of the analog world?
Chris’ big day arrives: heading to Africa
Blog  
9/28/2010   42 comments
The flight to Kenya went smoothly, but an hour before departure of the connecting Kili flight, we were told the flight had closed!
In search of the gasoline-powered diesel engine
Blog  
9/28/2010   73 comments
Here's a cool idea that you may or may not have in the back of your mind—why not a petrol-fueled diesel-combustion-cycle engine?
The nose knows what we don't: is "smell" the final transducer frontier?
Blog  
9/28/2010   28 comments
We have incredible sensors for every phenomenon except scent; will that change soon?
Multicore processors: Now a movement
Blog  
9/27/2010   17 comments
Multicore processors aren’t just the odd anomaly, and not a mere trend, but in late 2010 multicore has turned into a movement – a full-fledged 1960’s Arlo Guthrie society-changing movement.
Securing high-tech goods across the supply chain
Blog  
9/27/2010   2 comments
Segmenting high-tech products by complexity and criticality can help balance the cost and risk of securing goods across the supply chain.
Student Entrepreneur learns two lessons
Blog  
9/27/2010   7 comments
Student entrepreneur and electronic engineer Simon Barker has learned a couple of lessons about media relations and is happy to share.
Don’t re-cycle – free-cycle!
Blog  
9/24/2010   9 comments
I just heard about the most amazing organization that facilitates one's giving and getting stuff for free... I'm now hoping to acquire a really nice antique radio plus I have a bunch of things I no longer need...
Space Log: NASA budget logjam broken?
Blog  
9/24/2010   4 comments
A NASA budget compromise could reinvigorate the space agency if lawmakers ever get around to voting on the spending plan.
Darren heads for the mighty mountain
Blog  
9/24/2010   39 comments
Last-minute improvements to the logger and general fretfulness before embarking for Tanzania (sorry, no PowerPoint slides).
Why Altium has acquired Morfik
Blog  
9/24/2010   2 comments
Australian software company Altium has acquired Morfik to help electronics designers add cloud connectivity to anything. To better grasp the ins and outs of this transaction, Alan Perkins of Altium has agreed to explain the company's intention to bring the ‘Internet of everything’ a step closer.
Tim talks about the logger software
Blog  
9/24/2010   43 comments
Engineer Tim Moffat takes you step by step through what it took to build the logger for the expedition.
New Intel Atom is all about embedded
Blog  
9/23/2010   Post a comment
Kenton Williston reviews the new Atom E6xx processor.
Best of Intel Developer Forum (IDF)
Blog  
9/23/2010   Post a comment
Kenton Williston offers his view of the best of the Intel Developer Forum.
Phantastic Phabulous Phun
Blog  
9/23/2010   4 comments
Phun allows you to quickly and easily model real-world systems in a graphical manner to illustrate the effects of friction and gravity and all sorts of stuff.
Engineer as conductor
Blog  
9/23/2010   13 comments
An early mishap at work has an engineer never forgetting to eliminate the charge first.
When your simplest connector is also your weakest link: the tale of the DC power plug
Blog  
9/22/2010   41 comments
So much sophistication, all brought down by a basic connection
Book Review: Mining for Gold in FPGA Design
Blog  
9/22/2010   1 comment
A design team as a group can benefit from having at least one copy of FPGA Design – Best Practices for Team-based Design in its library.
Eat, pray, blog
Blog  
9/22/2010   2 comments
It's been three years since I started blogging. How much has changed in three years with blogging in the EDA and IP industry!
Eliminating value destructors in design
Blog  
9/22/2010   3 comments
In embedded systems design, value is not just a monetary number. We need more ethical and value-driven design practices for true innovation in our world.
Knot Now!
Blog  
9/21/2010   13 comments
Have you seen that amazing site that features animations of knot-tying techniques? This is really, really clever ... who knew there were so many knots?
Desperately seeking solutions
Blog  
9/21/2010   2 comments
SoC design teams are desperate to find solutions to the verification nightmare. Solutions come in abundance, but not all are what they claim...
Debugging FPGAs at full speed
Blog  
9/21/2010   6 comments
There was a time, not so many years ago, when an FPGA was used only for glue logic, connecting together the main elements of a system; the thought of having to simulate the FPGA design was crazy talk.
E-beam: Ecosystem investment grows, but more neede
Blog  
9/20/2010   5 comments
Governments, photomask makers and tool vendors are investing in e-beam technology, but more funding is needed to enable e-beam technology to live up to its promise in enabling cheaper and earlier design starts for future technology nodes.
ESC Boston 2010 reasons to visit
Blog  
9/20/2010   Post a comment
Great fall weather and good grub aren't the really compelling reasons to visit ESC Boston this week.
Why do we even bother to listen to pundits, since they are so often wrong?
Blog  
9/20/2010   16 comments
Experts and their crystal balls are everywhere, and we still pay them attention even though their record is dismal
FitBit teardown at ESC: Exploring the confluence of MCUs, wireless and MEMS
Blog  
9/19/2010   6 comments
With its combination of wireless, low-power processing and MEMS, few personal fitness monitors are as hot as the FitBit, which is why it’s going under the knife at this week’s ESC in Boston on Tuesday. However, this isn’t just another teardown: not by a long shot.
Accessing memory-mapped classes directly
Blog  
9/17/2010   2 comments
If you think using pointers to access memory-mapped devices is too slow, here are some alternatives you can try.
Darren takes a detour to Arizona
Blog  
9/17/2010   12 comments
Darren decides to slack off at the MASTERs Conference instead of going for a salubrious training run in the 100+° (40+°C) Arizona summer sun.
EDA Videos... some are great, but some...
Blog  
9/17/2010   3 comments
There are some really clever (funny and/or educational) videos out there on the Internet created by EDA and electronic companies, and then there are some eye-wateringly bad ones...
One great big diode, conducting lots of current
Blog  
9/17/2010   16 comments
When a controller goes up in smoke, engineers learn never to assume the other guy has done his job
CD Review: Magnification by YES
Blog  
9/17/2010   7 comments
I only recently became aware that YES have a CD out called Magnification. Some of the tracks sound very much like the original YES (like listening to YES for the very first time), while others...
A closer look at analog verification
Blog  
9/17/2010   Post a comment
The power of digital verification is being brought into the analog domain with the aid of improved modeling and test bench methodologies.
Space Log: Back to the moon, with machines
Blog  
9/17/2010   2 comments
The moon has been probed like never before over the past year.
Book Recommendation: Bill and Dave...
Blog  
9/16/2010   4 comments
I just received a recommendation for a book called *Bill and Dave: How Hewlett and Packard Built the World's Greatest Company* by Michael Malone...
Eeek! Altium is going to buy Morfik
Blog  
9/16/2010   17 comments
Altium has announced its intention to buy Morfik. The interesting thing here is that Morfik is not an EDA company – it's an Australian software company....
Do-it-yourself: is this the best of times, the worst of times--or maybe both?
Blog  
9/16/2010   24 comments
Today's technology is a mixed-bag for home-based experimenters and hobbyists
Trends in data conversion for 2011: more features, better performance, lower power—and hot markets
Blog  
9/16/2010   1 comment
The critical mixed-signal component space will see changes, improvements, and enhancements—and many growing markets
Has alien life been discovered?
Blog  
9/16/2010   7 comments
A recent thread on the Yahoo How Things Work [HTW] group caught my eye. It seems that there's a chance we (by which I mean humans) may have actually discovered alien life.
FDA's Frances Kelsey is a 'profile in courage'
Blog  
9/16/2010   10 comments
Frances Kelsey, a young FDA scientist, had the guts to stand up to a big drug company 50 years ago. As a result, Kelsey kept thalidomide off the the U.S. market.
I want to attend the Actel Space forum!
Blog  
9/15/2010   4 comments
I just heard from the guys and gals at Actel that they are going to be holding the American kick-off of their 2010 series of Space Forums on Thursday 2 December at the Four Points Sheraton in Los Angeles, CA.
The Embedded Treasure Map for IDF 2010
Blog  
9/15/2010   Post a comment
Intel's Eric Mantion offers an overview of some of the Embedded events happening at the Intel Developer Forum.
Point - Counterpoint: Onload versus offload processing
Blog  
9/15/2010   Post a comment
Of the several articles posted during the last week to CommsDesign, two take a point - counterpoint stance on onload v. offload processing. But, the debate between the two companies doesn't stop there!
How do mirrors work (Part 2)
Blog  
9/14/2010   9 comments
When you look in a mirror – it appears to invert your image Left-to-Right; Why not Top-to-Bottom?"
How do mirrors work?
Blog  
9/14/2010   7 comments
As part of my do-it-yourself Magic Mirror Hobby Project, I've been pondering mirrors in general, and I've come to the startling realization that – at the most fundamental level – I don’t actually know how they work.
The drama continues...
Blog  
9/14/2010   4 comments
It appears that the 100 Gigabit Ethernet family will continue to be a source of technological drama for the industry, with at least two efforts on the IEEE 802.3 horizon likely to provoke industry debate.
Hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) for FPGA Verification
Blog  
9/14/2010   1 comment
One of the things I think is really rather clever is the cunning Hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) FPGA verification and debug solution from GateRocket in the form of their RocketDrive (hardware) and RocketVision (Software).
Pop goes the capacitor!
Blog  
9/13/2010   18 comments
An engineer marvels at how far component design has progressed... which is soon followed by a loud "POP!"
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