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Slimming ICs to a Single Molecule Wide
News & Analysis  
4/23/2014   Post a comment
Conductors with a layer of built-in insulation are helping chip developers control the power of nano-circuits, according to recent research from the University of Rochester.
Bluetooth LE Promises Fewer Cables, Less Weight in Cars
News & Analysis  
4/22/2014   7 comments
Bluetooth Low Energy technology is about to get exploited for opening and closing doors and windows, or adjusting seats, mirrors and lighting – wirelessly -- by touching a smartphone or punching a wirelessly controlled in-vehicle button.
Neuromorphic Roadmap Plots Analog Path
News & Analysis  
4/21/2014   8 comments
Human-brain-like cognitive computers will employ mixed-signal neuromorphic SoCs, according to the roadmap plotted by Georgia Tech researchers.
Google’s Project Tango Helps Robots Fly on ISS
News & Analysis  
4/21/2014   2 comments
Google's experimental, 3D-navigating Project Tango will form the brains of NASA's SPHERES robots.
Slideshow: 10 Embedded Design Trends
Slideshow  
4/21/2014   16 comments
Among 10 trends in the 2014 version of our annual survey, Bluetooth is on the rise and FPGAs on the decline in embedded systems designs.
BMW Has Most Advanced Connectivity
News & Analysis  
4/21/2014   11 comments
In the rush to create a better connected car, a new study finds that BMW is ahead of other car makers.
Wearables, Drones Scare Americans
News & Analysis  
4/21/2014   4 comments
Google has some public relations to do. People remain wary of tech breakthroughs including care-giving robots and drones, Pew research finds.
SanDisk Finds Profit Behind the Tech Curve
News & Analysis  
4/18/2014   3 comments
Focus and frugality put SanDisk in several sweet spots in the storage market, specifically by selling SSDs to datacenters while Samsung spends big on 3D NAND.
AMD Narrows Its Losses in Q1
News & Analysis  
4/18/2014   Post a comment
As sales of PC continue to decline, AMD is looking to reverse its losses through sales of its new Radion GPUs and gaming APUs.
Smartphones, 28nm Tech Drive TSMC 1Q Revenue
News & Analysis  
4/17/2014   Post a comment
Thanks to demand for high-end smartphones and investment in technology such as 20nm manufacturing, TSMC posted first-quarter net income of $1.59 billion. That momentum is expected to continue in the second quarter.
Quantenna Speeds Up WiFi
News & Analysis  
4/17/2014   Post a comment
As several major companies roll out 802.11ac solutions with multi-user, multiple input-multiple output (MU-MIMO), local startup Quantenna Communications has announced chip that’s a step ahead.
Samsung Patent Leaks Point to Google Glass Competitor
News & Analysis  
4/17/2014   2 comments
In a series of leaked patent documents from South Korea, Samsung is proposing a one-ear "earphone" design that seems to be a response to Google Glass sales. This many replace a two-ear design that came to light during CES in January.
DARPA Turning Drones Into WiFi Hotspots
News & Analysis  
4/17/2014   1 comment
The US military's research division is equipping aging drones used in Afghanistan and Iraq and equipment with wireless networking gear to make communications easier for soldiers in remote areas.
Samsung’s Galaxy S5 BOM Tops $250
News & Analysis  
4/16/2014   5 comments
IHS has estimated that the Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone carries a $251.52 bill of materials price tag thanks to new components such as Qualcomm MSM8974AC processor, as well as a 802.11ac MIMO WiFi module. The device is also packed with sensors.
Faster Cryptocurrency Mining With Digital Power
Blog  
4/16/2014   Post a comment
Mining for digital currency has created the latest race for computing power. This new contest will ask much of microprocessor and ASIC designers and power system architects.
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.
Gartner: Windows XP End Boosted Q1 2014 PC Sales
News & Analysis  
4/16/2014   1 comment
The ongoing move to tablets and smartphones continues, but the end of Windows XP support got many consumers to plunk down money for new PCs, which helped shipments during the first quarter of 2014.
Motorola Solutions' Enterprise Business Sells for $3.45B
News & Analysis  
4/15/2014   1 comment
Motorola Solutions is selling its enterprise business to Zebra Technologies for more than $3 billion. The newly expanded Zebra plans to focus on IoT, mobility, and cloud-based applications.
Google Has Plans for Titan Drones
News & Analysis  
4/15/2014   1 comment
Titan Aerospace's drones are expected to help deliver Internet connectivity to remote regions.
Tunable Semiconductors Offer Better Detectors, Solar Cells
News & Analysis  
4/15/2014   1 comment
Researchers at Georgia State University have published a paper showing how to get a semiconductor to detect low-energy light sources. These tunable semiconductors could offer better detectors, as well as new types of solar cells.
Apple's Run at Auto Industry Makes Tier-1 Suppliers Nervous
News & Analysis  
4/15/2014   1 comment
With Apple looking to enter the automobile market with CarPlay, carmakers eventually will have to make some hard choices, since the company is known to take over ecosystems with software and hardware offerings.
Where's the CPU?
Break Points  
4/14/2014   6 comments
Jack Ganssle is having fun with Raspberry Pi and other popular boards by asking fellow engineers to find the CPU. Most can't.
TI Unveils Cloud Support Ecosystem for Embedded Developers
Opinion  
4/14/2014   Post a comment
In what may be a template for processor design support in the IoT era, TI has developed a cloud service ecosystem for its hardware design customers.
Electron Spin Could Yield PCs That Run Fast While Turned Off
News & Analysis  
4/14/2014   8 comments
Based on new findings, researchers call for redesigns to let computers run at normal speed with little or no electricity.
Mushrooms Recover Gold out of Mobile Scrap
News & Analysis  
4/11/2014   11 comments
Researchers have developed a novel way to extract metals, specifically gold, from discarded electronics: mushrooms.
Archer Supercomputer Is Fastest in UK
News & Analysis  
4/11/2014   4 comments
The University of Edinburgh has installed a Cray XC30-based supercomputer, which is now the fastest supercomputer in England.
Optical Diode Reverses Time, Making Photo-Based IC Possible
News & Analysis  
4/11/2014   4 comments
According to new research coming from Washington University, parity-time symmetry leads to optical diodes that will fit on microchip.
Jobs Saved at Micron Italy: Reports
News & Analysis  
4/11/2014   5 comments
After a contentious month of back-and-forth between management and workers, Micron has agreed to keep most of the jobs at its Italian facility. Instead of 418 job cuts, the company plans to trim about 50 positions.
Freescale Upgrades Small-Cell SoC
News & Analysis  
4/10/2014   1 comment
At its annual trade show, Freescale Technology Forum, Freescale Semiconductor debuted its next generation SoC for multi-standard wireless base stations. Developed in partnership with Alcatel-Lucent, the QorIQ Qonverge B4860 chip is designed for widespread deployment in dense metropolitan areas.
China’s Quest for ‘MIPS in Wearable’
News & Analysis  
4/10/2014   10 comments
Despite initial success in e-books and tablets, Ingenic, a Beijing supplier of MIPS-based mobile SoCs, abandoned the tablet market in late 2012. Now Ingenic is betting its life on the yet-to-be-defined smartwatch market.
ARM Moves to LLVM Open-Source for Future Compilers
News & Analysis  
4/9/2014   Post a comment
In move away from proprietary technology, ARM plans to move any future compilers it develops into the open-source community through the LLVM license.
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.
Sony Curves Images Sensors & TSMC Stacks Them
News & Analysis  
4/9/2014   Post a comment
At an upcoming conference, Sony and TSMC will present papers that detail new developments in sensor manufacturing and development technologies.
Chip Market Grew 5% in 2013, Says Gartner
News & Analysis  
4/8/2014   Post a comment
The worldwide semiconductor market hit $315 billion in revenue in 2013, thanks to robust demand for memory technology. Intel held the top spot, despite a drop in revenue.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 & 808 Chips Boost Network Capabilities
News & Analysis  
4/8/2014   4 comments
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 and 808 processors will be the highest-performing yet from the company, will offer the ability to aggregate LTE networks, and could deliver 300 Mbit/s. However, carriers would have to support the technology first.
Global Chip Sales Rose 11.4% in February
News & Analysis  
4/8/2014   1 comment
The increase was the largest year-over-year increase in three years, according to SIA.
B'com, Freescale Clash in Comms
News & Analysis  
4/8/2014   7 comments
With their latest SoCs, Freescale and Broadcom are going head-to-head to capture sockets in communications systems aimed at software-defined networking.
Startup Unveils CPUs for Wearables
Blog  
4/8/2014   5 comments
SoC startup Ineda targets wearables with a new SoC and backing from others, including Imagination, Qualcomm, and Samsung.
Micron Reorg Focuses on 4 Key Businesses
News & Analysis  
4/7/2014   4 comments
During its recent earnings report, Micron executives announced a company-wide reorganization that will focus resources on four key businesses: computing and networking, mobile, storage, and embedded.
Internet, Apps & Now Hardware
Blog  
4/3/2014   8 comments
Web designers, software developers, and non-engineering professionals with no prior experience in designing a system are turning their attention to hardware, Marvell's Kinoma vice president says.
SK Hynix, Others Benefit From DRAM Shortage
News & Analysis  
4/3/2014   1 comment
The semiconductor industry's record revenue is skewed by a shortage of memory and a spike in costs, according to Garter. SK Hynix is one company that has benefited.
ON Semi Acquiring Truesense for $92M
News & Analysis  
4/3/2014   3 comments
The deal expands ON Semiconductor's sensor offerings for the industrial sector. Truesense was previously Kodak Image Sensor Solutions.
Micron Improves in Latest Chip Vendor Rankings
News & Analysis  
4/3/2014   Post a comment
With improved sales, memory chip maker Micron moved into the top five of IC Insight’s latest chip maker rankings. Intel and Samsung ranked first and second respectively.
Apple Bidding for Chip Maker Renesas SP Drivers: Reports
News & Analysis  
4/2/2014   1 comment
Apple is reportedly bidding for Renesas SP Drivers, a Japanese company that makes the semiconductors for the iPhone display. Competition from co-owners may block such a deal for Apple, which has no other supplier for the chips.
'Thingularity' Triggers Security Warnings
News & Analysis  
4/2/2014   7 comments
The Internet of Things is creating 50 billion Internet-connected devices. Who is going to keep them updated and secure?
European Commission Intervenes in Micron Italian Jobs Case
News & Analysis  
4/2/2014   3 comments
The European Commission is now involving itself in a dispute between Micro and the company's workers in Italy.
Silicon Labs' IoT SoC Gambit
News & Analysis  
3/31/2014   11 comments
Silicon Labs' CEO came to Shanghai and captured the audience's imagination with a slide labeled "IoT SoC." Though it did not show the real chip, it illustrated the IoT in tangible terms.
Meet Me at Shanghai IC Café
Blog  
3/28/2014   19 comments
The Shanghai IC Coffee Club was patterned after the Beacon Street bar in Boston that served as the model for Sam Malone’s bar in the popular TV series Cheers.
Nvidia Pulls off 'Industrial Light and Magic'-Like Tools
Blog  
3/27/2014   3 comments
Nvidia has pulled together its seemingly disparate software tools and technology and bundled them into a product it is calling GameWorks. It's the Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) of the game development industry.
Will SMIC Narrow Tech Gap?
News & Analysis  
3/27/2014   13 comments
Critics worry that SMIC, under Tzu-Yin Chiu’s leadership, might have already given up a dream of directly competing with the world’s Tier 1 foundries such as TSMC, Samsung, and Intel.
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The USB Keys in the Urinal
Terry Cutler, CTO, Digital Locksmiths
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Security is a major obsession today, particularly as the industry makes the shift from traditional, standalone devices to the design of connected, networked systems that are “always ...

Engineer's Bookshelf
Caleb Kraft

The Martian: A Delightful Exploration of Math, Mars & Feces
Caleb Kraft
6 comments
To say that Andy Weir's The Martian is an exploration of math, Mars, and feces is a slight simplification. I doubt that the author would have any complaints, though.

Design Contests & Competitions
Caleb Kraft

Join The Balancing Act With April's Caption Contest
Caleb Kraft
58 comments
Sometimes it can feel like you're really performing in the big tent when presenting your hardware. This month's caption contest exemplifies this wonderfully.

Engineering Investigations
Caleb Kraft

Frankenstein's Fix: The Winners Announced!
Caleb Kraft
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The Frankenstein's Fix contest for the Tektronix Scope has finally officially come to an end. We had an incredibly amusing live chat earlier today to announce the winners. However, we ...

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