Rapid debug of serial buses in FPGAs
Design How-To 6/30/2009 1 comment
Low-speed serial buses remain prevalent in computer, semiconductor, aero/defense, communications, consumer automotive, medical, test and measurement industries. Serial buses such as I2C, SPI, CAN, LIN, and RS-232 are often key points for debugging designs with FPGAs which higher speed serial buses quickly pass data from chip to chip. Historically, capturing and decoding the information required significant manual effort if using an oscilloscope or the purchase of custom tools. Oscilloscope v
Altera rolls low power, anti-tamper FPGAs
Product News 6/29/2009 Post a comment
Altera this week is rolling out a new product family, Cyclone III LS, billed by the company as the industry's first low power FPGAs with anti-tamper, design-security and design-separation features.
Mentor adds support for control logic to Catapult C
Product News 6/29/2009 Post a comment
EDA vendor Mentor Graphics announced extensions to its Catapult C Synthesis tool to support full-chip high-level synthesis, a move billed by company executives as the most significant enhancements to Catapult C since the tool was introduced in 2004.
What a clever idea!
Design How-To 6/24/2009 Post a comment
From the sublime (a mega-cool Discworld guide) to the ridiculous (a 15-year old wins $50,000 for texting on her cell phone).
XMOS moves processors to 65-nm, drops price
Product News 6/24/2009 Post a comment
Event-driven processor startup XMOS Semiconductor Ltd. (Bristol, England) has launched a second family of products by migrating designs to 65-nm process technology from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. As a result the company is taking the price for 10,000 units below $5.
Altium Design Competition runner up: Building an in-car MP3 player using NanoBoard
Design How-To 6/23/2009 1 comment
Doug Gibbs, a Senior Staff Software Engineer at Xilinx, was the runner up in the Altium Design Competition. Doug's idea is to build an in-car stereo MP3 player with an 802.11 connection to allow networking with a user's home PC. When you drive into the garage, you're the system will automatically sync to the PC and update all of the music you've downloaded.
Applying embedded design to develop an intelligent solar tracking system
Design How-To 6/23/2009 4 comments
Solar panels are typically in fixed positions. They're limited in their energy-harvesting ability because they cannot consistently take full advantage of maximum sunlight. For more effective solar energy systems, the solar panels should be able to align with sunlight as it changes during a given day and from season to season. This article examines the design advantages of creating an intelligent solar tracking system using an embedded processor and an FPGA in a system-on-a-chip (SOC) architectur
Xilinx sponsors Peking University-UCLA research program
News & Analysis 6/18/2009 Post a comment
Xilinx said it would donate more than $500,000 worth of the company's flagship Virtex FPGA development systems and electronic design software to a new Joint Research Institute of Science and Engineering by China's Peking University and the University of California-Los Angeles.
Moore's Law repealed! But does it matter?
Design How-To 6/18/2009 8 comments
Looking at the real cost, performance and time-to-market requirements designers face, the repeal of Moore's Law, which appears to be in progress, may not even matter anymore, according to Gene Frantz, Principal Fellow at Texas Instruments and creator of "Gene's Law", a power-related corollary of Moore's.
Bridging the voltage gap with FPGAs
Design How-To 6/17/2009 Post a comment
FPGAs have become sensitive to power-design considerations in supporting multiple voltage options for I/O banks. This paper examines how some low-power FPGAs leverage the VCCI of each I/O bank to determine the voltage level of its I/Os, ranging from 1.2 V up to 3.3 V.
Beyond-IR: Remote Controls for Home Entertainment
Design How-To 6/17/2009 3 comments
The alternative to infrared remote control technologies is RF-based remote controls. RF-based remote controls overcome three major limitations of infrared technologies: line-of-sight and range; one-way communications; and high power consumption. Let's take a look at each of these limitations.
The ongoing MathStar saga
Programmable Logic DesignLine Blog 6/17/2009 1 comment
For a company that effectively shut its doors more than a year ago, MathStar still generates a lot of headlines.
U.S. readies broadband stimulus details
News & Analysis 6/16/2009 1 comment
U.S. government agencies may release by the end of June guidelines for applying for the first round of a total of $7.5 billion in stimulus funds to extend the reach of broadband networks, and carriers and communications systems makers are gearing up to apply for the grants and loans, some of which will be awarded as early as September.
ISuppli: Gear costs to derail Moore's Law in 2014
News & Analysis 6/16/2009 5 comments
Moore's Law, which has held as the benchmark for IC scaling for more than 40 years, will cease to drive semiconductor manufacturing after 2014, when the high cost of chip manufacturing equipment will catch up with the industry and make it economically unfeasible to do volume production of devices with feature sizes smaller than 18 nanometers, according to market research firm iSuppli.
Digital high def spec targets security systems
News & Analysis 6/16/2009 Post a comment
The HDcctv Alliance formed by a handful of chip and systems companies is formally launching a new standard for high definition surveillance systems they think provides an easier, cheaper alternative to digital systems based on Internet Protocol.
Actel cuts second quarter sales target
News & Analysis 6/12/2009 Post a comment
Programmable logic vendor Actel cut its second quarter sales guidance, saying it now expects to report revenue of between $44.1 million and $46 million, a decline of 5 to 9 percent compared to the first quarter.
The final frontier?
Programmable Logic DesignLine Blog 6/10/2009 Post a comment
I wasn't born at the time Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon. But that event will shape the achievements of my generation as much (if not more so) than those who watched it live on TV.
FPGA startup crunch: Abound banks on roots, density
News & Analysis 6/10/2009 Post a comment
Executives at FPGA vendor Abound Logic object to the term "startup," because its built on technology and legacy that has been around for many years. The company claims to offer the highest-density FPGAs and is one of several current companies that believes it can overcome the odds to become the first FPGA firm in many years to make it big.
Solving display challenges in mobile internet devices
Design How-To 6/10/2009 1 comment
This article discusses the market opportunity for low-cost consumer devices that provide users with Internet access and the requirement that such products offer a high-quality display to offer the same user experience as a laptop computer.
Lattice Semi narrows guidance
News & Analysis 6/5/2009 Post a comment
Lattice Semiconductor narrowed its guidance for the quarter ending July 4, saying it expects revenue of between $43.3 million and $45.5 million, flat to up 5 percent compared with the previous quarter.