When doing test and measurement often the mechanical fixtures and the software get the most attention. My users like the fixtures because they are shiny as they sit on the bench and the software because the GUI is pretty and it's their direct link to the functionality. The electronics that glues these two together doesn't get the credit it deserves, but it's a critical part of the system.
My electronic designs are usually not incredibly complicated. Perhaps a few amplifiers or some simple signal-conditioning filters or, occasionally, a micro-controller when the computer can't do the job by itself. Most often these designs are so simple that my schematic is in my notebook and the design never gets past the solder-less breadboard, or maybe the soldered perf-board, level. Click here to read the rest of this article on Test & Measurement World.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.