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Re: self powered chips
goafrit   3/12/2014 5:06:15 PM
>> We are looking into a Plutonium chip which we expect to self power a SOC and external memory.

You may need to use any description as most may be turned off by knowing Plutonium is inside your product. What if there is fire and the thing explodes? Are they safe?. Think of the reason we have MRI as a name to hide what makes people uncomfortable.

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Re: Not the end, just a different model
goafrit   3/12/2014 5:02:49 PM
>> If the hypothesis is that semiconductor innovation requires VC investment in semiconductor manufacturing, I disagree.

I am not sure anyone is talking about fab. We are discussing fabless strategy where innovation in circuits and systems rule and dominate. If you check very well, we are not attracting a lot of dollars in the design innovation phase. No one is talking of the production innovation - that is not a VC kind of game.

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Re: Free-as-in-Freedom Software is key
betajet   2/28/2014 6:12:31 PM
Broadcom has just released documentation and source code for their VideoCore IV processor, which is the GPU in Raspberry Pi's BCM2835 SoC.  Here are the links:

RasPi Announcement

Broadcom Announcement

I've rarely been this happy to eat my words.  May this be the start of a return to open documentation so that engineers and programmers can fully use the parts that they buy.

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self powered chips
toney   2/22/2014 5:01:18 PM
I am working with a small (4 bedrooms in Huntsville and 1 barn in Toney) startup.  We are looking into a Plutonium chip which we expect to self power a SOC and external memory.  Wish us luck!

CC VanDorne
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Re: Govt. vs Pvt funding of R&D
CC VanDorne   2/19/2014 6:08:20 PM
Interesting.  I recommend that you amend the wikipedia entry on Intel's early history as it does not mention this association:

"Early history: At its founding, Intel was distinguished by its ability to make semiconductors. Its first product, in 1969, was the 3101 Schottky TTL bipolar 64-bit static random-access memory (SRAM), which was nearly twice as fast as earlier Schottky diode implementations by Fairchild and the Electrotechnical Laboratory in Tsukuba, Japan.

In the same year Intel also produced the 3301 Schottky bipolar 1024-bit read-only memory (ROM) and the first commercial metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) silicon gate SRAM chip, the 256-bit 1101. Intel's business grew during the 1970s as it expanded and improved its manufacturing processes and produced a wider range of products, still dominated by various memory devices."

Also, if Intel's "first product" was in 1969 and the Apollo mission were from 1961 to 1975, then that begs for many questions your assertion, like, which Apollo mission do you refer to below?  And how many device did those rocket use?  Enough to sustain Intel's quick early growth?  That's not likely, even at the out-of-control prices that govt. pays.  That leaves direct funding then.  NASA directly funded Intel's develpment of the products listed above?  How much?  Were there any other significant investors or would Intel have failed to launch (pun intended) without NASA's (ah.. I mean our father's) money?

CC VanDorne
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Dang, I would like to have been there..
CC VanDorne   2/19/2014 5:09:34 PM
There are few of these types of shows that I regret not being able to attend.  This one looks like a glaring exception to that rule.  I would love to have been there to hear these movers and shakers speak.

Thanks for the consolation prize, Rick.

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Re: Govt. vs Pvt funding of R&D
chipmonk0   2/19/2014 5:09:19 PM
Apollo & other NASA programs, replacing magnetic core memory with solid state, intel's bread and butter before developing the 4004

CC VanDorne
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Re: Govt. vs Pvt funding of R&D
CC VanDorne   2/19/2014 4:55:40 PM
"After all he is still walking on the path created by others like Bob Noyce that was first charted with Govt. / Taxpayer money."

Chipmonk, please provide details here:  What govt program?  When was it started and for what purpose?  Then how was Bob Noyce in volved in said program?

Thanks, CC

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Hardware and Software Cycle
chanj0   2/18/2014 1:39:12 AM
Every development has a cycle. Computer gets faster and faster everyday. A regular user probably don't feel a different between a 3 years old laptop and today's laptop. However, more products and information are moved to the Internet. Those require software engineers to develop. In addition, today's web-based application isn't so easy anymore. A software engineer can hardly go by with knowing only 3 languages. Today belongs to software engineer. Yet, for example, when there is a breakthrough of semiconductor such as using different material than silicon, hardware engineer will thrive again.

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Salaries for Hardware Engineers
makhtar972   2/18/2014 12:22:23 AM
As a Hardware engineer, I find this,

"We continue hiring software developers at a higher rate than hardware engineers"

to be SAD / FRUSTRATING. Especially when it comes from a chip design company. 


RTL Coding <---> App Developement.

Verification <----> C++ Coding

Physical Design <---> Backend User Database management.

In my opinion, the jobs on the left are more difficult / demanding / time consuming. Yet jobs on the right get paid more.

Who / What is responsibile for that?

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