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Memory Design Trends in 2014
News & Analysis  
12/19/2014   1 comment
Memory transitions, increased-density drive design trends: Customers are looking for subsystems that can accommodate both DDR3 and DDR4, while constraint-based design is par for the course as denser memory makes manufacturing more complex.
Successful With Phones & Drones, Parrot Ponders Farming
News & Analysis  
12/18/2014   10 comments
Parrot is a 20-year-old startup that has the passion of "makers" backed by intimate knowledge of telephony connectivity, digital signal processing, and in-house ASIC design.
DesignCon Revs High-Speed Engine
Blog  
12/16/2014   1 comment
DesignCon promises a smorgasbord of sessions on high-speed interconnect engineering at the chip and board levels, including a look at issues on the bleeding edge of 56 Gbits/second and beyond.
TSMC to Use EUV for 7nm, Says ASML
News & Analysis  
12/8/2014   8 comments
ASML says that TSMC plans to buy two EUV scanners next year to extend the boundaries of its process technology, potentially to 7 nanometers.
MediaTek Aims for Fast Entry Into China’s LTE Market
News & Analysis  
11/6/2014   1 comment
MediaTek aims to pare Qualcomm’s lead in China’s 4G smartphone market with the launch of a new octa-core processor in the first quarter of 2015.
Freescale CEO: 'IoT Isn't Just Buzz'
News & Analysis  
10/29/2014   13 comments
Two factors rejuvenating Freescale are the "explosion of connected devices" and "cars so aware of their surroundings that they can't get into accidents," says its CEO.
Clouds Gather in Cellular Nets
News & Analysis  
10/29/2014   5 comments
Carriers say cloud radio access networks will be important for the future of cellular nets, but they still face real-time and software challenges.
Terrestrial Broadcast TV Down, But Is It Out?
Blog  
10/24/2014   33 comments
Why are we so down on terrestrial TV broadcast? There seems to be a growing consensus that broadcasting isn't just irrelevant but obsolete. Part of me agrees. But another part of me wonders if it's all true.
Microsoft Eyes Expanding FPGA Role
News & Analysis  
10/23/2014   14 comments
Microsoft will explore using FPGAs to replace networking chips in its million-server datacenters to deliver new speeds and network functions.
Reinvention of Broadcast TV: 10 Things to Know
Slideshow  
10/23/2014   42 comments
As US consumers grow more comfortable with streaming video mobile devices while continuing to watch cable and satellite TV, terrestrial broadcasters find themselves fighting to redefine an over-the-air digital broadcast system that's now almost 20 years old.
TI’s Rosy Outlook Defies Microchip's Gloom
News & Analysis  
10/21/2014   6 comments
TI reported third-quarter results above expectations, indicating no industry corrections in sight. The solid results came 10 days after Microchip made a downward revision in its revenue forecast.
TSMC Capex to Exceed $10B in FinFET Ramp-Up
News & Analysis  
10/16/2014   6 comments
Taiwan Semiconductor said Thursday that it aims to increase its capital expenditures next year to more than US$10 billion as it accelerates its ramp-up to commercial production of 16 nm FinFET chips.
IC Industry Slowdown: True or False?
News & Analysis  
10/15/2014   10 comments
Did Microchip Technology get ahead of itself by suggesting that its downward revenue forecast was a negative bellwether for the whole semiconductor market? Or is there a macro-economic weakness that bodes ill for the chip industry?
Get 20 Takes on ARM Tech Con
Slideshow  
10/3/2014   6 comments
ARM servers are progressing, but not ready for prime time, the race is on to a mainstream FinFET node, and IoT continued to appear everywhere at this year’s ARM Tech Con.
Why Turn Cars Into Smartphones?
Blog  
10/3/2014   14 comments
Nowadays, no trade show ends without producing a plethora of "car-becomes-smartphone" stories. This week's Paris Motor Show is no exception. But really, why should a car turn into a smartphone?
Spansion to Launch 3D-Embedded Automotive MCU
News & Analysis  
10/1/2014   1 comment
Spansion will launch a new microcontroller designed to offer high-performance human machine interface (HMI) for automobile dash and clusters. It comes with HyberBus interface and 2D or 3D graphics cores (or both) embedded inside the MCU.
Phoneless Billions Lure Google to India
News & Analysis  
9/15/2014   19 comments
Google’s rollout of Android One-branded smartphone in India has suddenly thrust that nation into the middle of the battle for emerging markets among budget smartphone vendors.
Ethernet: Ticket to Driverless Car
Blog  
9/12/2014   6 comments
New vehicle applications will depend on high data rates that cannot possibly be supported by today's CAN, LIN, and FlexRay systems. The "eyes and ears" for self-driving systems, for example, will need a high-bandwidth Ethernet backbone.
Marvell's 4K Ultra HD SoC Targets Hybrid Boxes
News & Analysis  
9/10/2014   7 comments
Marvell’s new SoC featuring a variety of interfaces (Gigabit Ethernet for IPTV, DVB-T/S input) is designed for “hybrid boxes,” allowing the reception of terrestrial broadcast, pay TV, and IP content on the same platform.
Can China Buy Its Way Into Global IC Industry?
News & Analysis  
9/4/2014   13 comments
By taking over OmniVision, China will gain instant access to the global market. Such a deal also generates demand for volume production of CMOS image sensors in China -- enough to fill SMIC’s capacity.
50G Ethernet Debate Brewing
News & Analysis  
9/3/2014   16 comments
The Ethernet Alliance will host a discussion on the future of Ethernet at which engineers are expected to debate the need for a 50G standard, among other issues.
9 Insights From Hot Interconnects
Slideshow  
8/29/2014   4 comments
Facebook described its network switch, while experts picked apart flaws in Ethernet, WiFi, InfiniBand, Linux, last-mile connections, and more at Hot Interconnects where one next-big-thing was silicon photonics.
Data Centers May Ride on ASICs
News & Analysis  
8/28/2014   10 comments
Firebox, a research prototype in the works at UC Berkeley, aims to point the way to warehouse-scale computers for data centers in 2020 based on ASICs and optical links.
Google Preps Virtual Network
News & Analysis  
8/27/2014   2 comments
Google described Andromeda, a central server-based controller users will be able to access to create, run, and extend virtual networks running in Google's data centers.
Breadboard for Lunch, Conclusion
Blog  
8/26/2014   Post a comment
In the conclusion, you'll see why there's a difference between short-term and long-term variations in a clock's edge.
China vs. Qualcomm: Chip's 'Nationality' Still Matters
Blog  
8/15/2014   22 comments
China is using every possible tool to pressure foreign companies. It appears a little too convenient for Chinese regulators to scrutinize multinationals for antitrust allegations while China's chip vendors, now "state-owned," become less transparent.
Google, Facebook Clash at Con
News & Analysis  
7/24/2014   12 comments
Google and Facebook will share their visions of datacenter networking -- likely similar and competing in some ways -- at the Hot Interconnects event in August.
China's SMIC-Qualcomm 28-nm Deal: Why Now?
News & Analysis  
7/3/2014   16 comments
SMIC and Qualcomm revealed their collaboration on 28-nm wafer production in China. Since China's antitrust investigation against Qualcomm, speculation abounds that Chinese are probing ways to coerce Qualcomm into collaborating with their electronics industry.
Datacenters Drive 25GE Effort
News & Analysis  
7/3/2014   11 comments
Ethernet products running at 25 and 50 Gbits/s could emerge within 12 to 18 months, thanks to a consortium driven by datacenter rivals Google and Microsoft.
Fifty Years of TTL
Break Points  
6/25/2014   26 comments
Depending on your source, 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of TTL (transistor-transistor logic). Although some say 1961 is the birth year, TI released the 5400 family in 1964 and the 7400 series in plastic two years later. Since TTL is synonymous with 5400 and 7400, why not offer 50th birthday congratulations?
Why MIPS? Imagination Makes Its Case
News & Analysis  
6/19/2014   19 comments
Here are a few facts about where MIPS stands, and some clues to the big picture Imagination hopes to paint for its new customers.
Know Cost & Options Before You Design SoC
Blog  
6/10/2014   1 comment
eSilicon launches new Web-based tools letting IC designers explore design and delivery options before they start designing new SoCs. It's equivalent to what Kayak is to consumers when travel shopping.
VLSI 2014 Memory: Lessons Learned & Photonics
Blog  
6/9/2014   2 comments
A preview of Micron's presentation plans at 2014 VLSI Symposia.
PCIe Preps for Internet of Things
News & Analysis  
6/4/2014   4 comments
Versions of PCI Express geared for the Internet of Things and SoCs are in the works, the PCI-SIG said at its annual developer's conference.
Cavium Thunder Rattles Xeon
News & Analysis  
6/3/2014   24 comments
Cavium will challenge Intel's Xeon server processors with Thunder, its first server and networking SoCs based on a custom 64-bit ARM core.
100G Effort Eyes One Optical Lane
News & Analysis  
6/2/2014   10 comments
A June workshop will scope out the possibilities and challenges for sending 100 Gbits/s over a single lambda focusing on data centers.
Why Intel-Rockchip Tie-Up Matters
Blog  
5/28/2014   14 comments
After Miya Kong discussed the latest Intel-Rockchip announcement with China's industry insiders, we know the two companies have agreed on three points: X86 architecture, 3G modem license, and 14-nm capacity support.
DesignCon Issues 2015 Call for Abstracts
News & Analysis  
5/22/2014   7 comments
The annual conference on high-speed digital design, signal integrity, and power integrity is now taking submissions for paper abstracts.
MIPS Rallies Open-Source Group
News & Analysis  
5/22/2014   13 comments
Imagination Technologies gathered 10 companies including Broadcom, Cavium, and Qualcomm to develop open-source code for MIPS CPUs.
Implant Gets Power Through Flesh
News & Analysis  
5/19/2014   9 comments
A Stanford team claims it has developed a new approach to sending wireless power through living tissue, enabling smaller, deeper implants.
Photons Coming Down Cloudy Path
Blog  
5/16/2014   8 comments
Systems designers see high-speed optical interconnect between chips coming soon, but there’s little agreement on how best to do it.
NXP Car Plan Teams NFC, Bluetooth
News & Analysis  
5/15/2014   6 comments
The biggest issue for the current version of Bluetooth Low Energy may be "its security and pairing mechanism." NXP is proposing NFC for secure transactions, while BLE offers a data link.
Rambus Rejoins Jedec
News & Analysis  
5/14/2014   5 comments
Rambus has been invited to rejoin the memory standards group Jedec after a nearly 20-year absence marked by suits with major DRAM suppliers.
Managing Vehicle Networking
Blog  
5/13/2014   1 comment
The AUTOSAR alliance has been changing the way vehicle networks and ECUs are designed. Different domains in the car have different safety and performance requirements, and the in-vehicle networks must have predictable and secure performance.
Teardown Compares Combo Sensors
Blog  
5/12/2014   3 comments
The latest nine-axis combo sensors from Bosch, InvenSense, and STMicro have similar costs despite different designs, according to a System Plus Consulting chip teardown.
$6 Billion Problem for Mobile Carriers
Blog  
5/8/2014   10 comments
The real issue of the three-device (smartphone, tablet, and notebook) endgame is not the form factor but a $6 billion revenue loss for carriers -- and potentially a huge problem for device manufacturers.
Post-Merger Spansion 'Integrates' With Big Move Into Auto
News & Analysis  
5/7/2014   3 comments
Synergy is no longer the stated goal behind Spansion’s acquisition of Fujitsu Semiconductor’s MCU and analog businesses. Shown in its Q1 results, Spansion is scoring design wins globally, especially in the automotive sector.
Fully Autonomous Car? Don't Buy Shotgun Yet
Blog  
5/6/2014   29 comments
I suspect what’s discussed today as an “autonomous car” is likely to emerge in phases. These cars in each phase will come with fine print stipulating the conditions under which they must be driven.
Faroudja’s Bit Rate Reducer Gambit
News & Analysis  
4/16/2014   10 comments
At the NAB show, Yves Faroudja and his new startup showed off new technology designed to provide up to 50 percent reduction in video bit rates without reduction in image quality.
ISPD-14 Focuses on FinFETs, Security, Supply Chain
News & Analysis  
4/9/2014   Post a comment
The 2014 International Symposium on Physical Design explored many areas in the development of next-generation integrated circuits. In addition to securing the chip supply chain and the latest FinFET developments, the discussion looked at cyberphysical system design.
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Carlos Bueno

Adventures in Userland
Carlos Bueno
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Editor’s Note: Excerpted from Lauren Ipsum: A story about computer science and other improbable things, author Carlos Bueno introduces us to Lauren and her adventures in ...

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Tired Old iPad 2 vs. Shiny New iPad Air 2
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8 comments
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Make This Engineering Museum a Reality
Martin Rowe
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Vincent Valentine is a man on a mission. He wants to make the first house to ever have a telephone into a telephone museum. Without help, it may not happen.

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Making the Grade in Industrial Design
Rich Quinnell
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As every developer knows, there are the paper specifications for a product design, and then there are the real requirements. The paper specs are dry, bland, and rigidly numeric, making ...

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