In certain respects, being in the news business is like waiting for a bus in London: you can stand around for hours without anything interesting happening, and then suddenly ten of the little scamps arrive at once. (This reminds me of the schematics I saw about 20 years ago for a large computer. As I was rooting around, I found a register file named the "Banana Register." When I asked the designer how this came to be, he explained that things in this part of the circuit were quite most of the time, but every now-and-again the data came in bunches. Honestly, you couldn’t make this sort of thing up.)
Anyway, following a dearth of news over the last few days, exciting happenings are now coming thick and fast. As covered in our column
Actel ARMs the masses with the M7, for example, Actel is now offering the 32-bit ARM7 for use in its products, free of license fees.
Meanwhile, as discussed in the FPGA vendors mine specific niches story, both Altera and Xilinx have interesting news to impart. Altera have announced the Stratix II GX family, which feature what is quite possibly the best FPGA-based high-speed serial interconnect solution to date. On the Xilinx front, they have increased R&D spending and staffing in their DSP division by more than 20 percent and promise a flurry of announcements with regard to silicon, software, and IP over the coming months.