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Content posted in November 2010
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Falling IC development productivity means lost engineering jobs
11/30/2010   23 comments
Steadily declining IC development productivity means more job losses for engineers in the U.S. and Europe to their less expensive counterparts in second-world economies. And the trend is accelerating as chip design complexity outpaces gains in productivity.
Awesome! Two amazing books for free!
11/30/2010   14 comments
Did you see my reviews of the books uC/OS-III The Real-Time Kernel by Jean Labrosse and uC/TCP-IP by Christian Légaré? Well, I just heard how you can get FREE copies of both these works…
Book Review: uC/TCP-IP by Christian Légaré
Engineer’s Bookshelf  
11/30/2010   2 comments
I have to say that I am very, VERY impressed with the quality of books that are being written by the folks at Micriµm – the one I just finished reading on TCP-IP still has my head buzzing!
Big score for TriQuint GaN program
RF & Microwave Designline Blog  
11/30/2010   4 comments
I just heard from TriQuint that they scored a $17.5M GaN manufacturing development contract form the US Air Force Research Laboratory.
The 450-mm development dilemma
11/30/2010   3 comments
The semiconductor capital equipment industry has still not recouped $14 billion in investment in 300-mm wafer processing technology and is not prepared to develop 450-mm tools.
What comes next after smartphones?
11/30/2010   8 comments
Where will the underlying wave of technological and commercial innovation strike next in smartphones?
ESL, FPGAs, and configurability
11/29/2010   1 comment
Here’s a taxonomy for ESL and FPGAs that will hopefully prevent definitions from becoming as word- distorted and confused as they have become in so many other areas of EDA.
From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
11/29/2010   37 comments
The amazing story of how one man single-handedly invented a new computing architecture, designed a multi-million-gate SoC, and went from RTL to GDSII tapeout in just six weeks.
Commentary: Engineering a prosperous future
11/29/2010   2 comments
Economic uncertainty has stalled high-tech hiring, but economic recovery requires that the technology industry make full use of its human capital.
Debug: More return for less clicks
11/29/2010   6 comments
The tremendous growth of the semiconductor industry over the past 40 years is in part attributed to advancements of the EDA industry that caters to chip design companies. Although most design steps have been automated, a significant aspect that still remains primitive is that of RTL debugging.
Nervously watching Korea
Memory Designline Blog  
11/28/2010   13 comments
I was reading a post on today, and the writer had some thought-provoking points in response to the recent escalation of hostilities between North and South Korea, and what impact the situation might have on DRAM and LCD markets
Seagate gaining bidders?
Memory Designline Blog  
11/28/2010   7 comments
Do you think it is more logical for Seagate, one of the world's largest maker of hard drives, to be consolidated with one of the other big memory players (and its current rivals), or would you rather see Seagate remain an independent company?
Social media for engineers: good or garbage?
RF & Microwave Designline Blog  
11/28/2010   31 comments
Two weeks ago, I attended an EDAC panel session on Social Media for emerging companies to learn from the big guys.The insightful take-away… Engineers hate Twitter!
Boeing Dreamliner's travails yields lessons for most engineers
11/27/2010   18 comments
The technical challenges and problems of the Boeing 787 show that progress can't be scripted
The evolution of design methodology
11/24/2010   8 comments
In nature, long periods of relatively stable environments are occasionally punctuated by large-scale changes that are the catalyst for evolution to create a large variety of mutations, and then for natural selection to weed out the unsuccessful ones. The environment in which design methodology lives is similar.
Holiday LED Contest for students
Design Contests & Competitions  
11/24/2010   13 comments
Announcing the holiday LED competition for students from EE Times, Innovation Generation, and Parallax
The case of the calendar screw-up
11/24/2010   15 comments
A calendar gets the dates mixed up.
Software, services & open platforms drive nextgen handset design
11/24/2010   Post a comment
As various players begin to roll out application stores in one form or another, or tie up deals with specific content, the mobile industry is entering what could be a decisive phase in its business cycle
Echoes of bonuses past dance in our heads
11/23/2010   8 comments
I've been recalling tales lately of the extinct holiday bonus and the strange beast of today's performance bonus that has replaced it.
Walkman R.I.P., Audi sound
Audio DesignLine Blog  
11/23/2010   6 comments
My take on the fate of the Walkman (maybe it should be renamed the "WalkingDeadman") and on the efforts by Audi - and other companies - to find the "right sound" for their products.
Book Review: uC/OS-III The Real-Time Kernel by Jean Labrosse
Engineer’s Bookshelf  
11/23/2010   11 comments
I've long wanted to know more about how a Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) performs its magic. The book µC/OS-III - The Real-Time Kernel explains all…
Moore's Law enters the fourth dimension
11/22/2010   18 comments
For Moore's Law to remain relevant, the semiconductor industry must rethink it to include the long-ignored dimension of efficiency.
Semiconductor success is no longer about the chips, it’s about end customers
11/22/2010   3 comments
To achieve high performance, semiconductor companies must lend a more attentive ear and more sharply focus their attention on customers.
Your duck is dead
11/22/2010   5 comments
Sometimes there’s a joke that’s so bad it’s good (if you see what I mean). This one is an oldie that’s made the rounds, but it still makes me grin…
IP in FPGAs: Blessing and a curse
11/22/2010   12 comments
With the IP-SoC 2010 event next week in Grenoble, we see FPGAs finally getting some kind of exposure. But, Dave Orecchio of GateRocket indicates that FPGA designers need to be aware of the unique nuances of using IP in these programmable platforms, and put in place tools and methodologies to overcome the IP use obstacles to success.
Wherefore art thou oh 60GHz?
RF & Microwave Designline Blog  
11/22/2010   14 comments
After three years, WirelessHD and the vaunted 60GHz bandwagon hasn’t gone anywhere. Moreover, it hasn’t showed up in any other interesting applications either. Why? It isn’t because it can’t be made to work.
Enter Now! EE Life December 2010 Cartoon Caption Contest!
Engineering Pop Culture!  
11/22/2010   108 comments
Call for entries for the December 2010 Cartoon Caption Contest
Space Log: What we can, can't afford
11/19/2010   9 comments
We're broke. Something has to give. I propose human spaceflight. What are you willing to give up?
Very funny *Pitchman* video from Lattice Semiconductor
11/19/2010   2 comments
I just received an email from Brian Kiernan, who is the Corporate Communications Manager over at Lattice Semiconductor. Brian pointed me at a really funny video on YouTube.
Computer mouse problems of the furry sort
Engineering Investigations  
11/19/2010   18 comments
Engineer investigates vermin problems in a printer for a medical monitoring device.
Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
11/19/2010   98 comments
There are some movies which celebrate engineering innovation and ingenuity as part of their story line; here are some of my favorites
What's inside the Dell Streak and Archos 7 tablets?
11/18/2010   3 comments
Patrick Mannion and I tear down the Dell Streak and Archos 7 tablet PCs live at ARM TechCon.
Sanmina-SCI aims for transparent interconnects
11/18/2010   3 comments
An executive at Sanmina-SCI recently demonstrated to me that every aspect of the electronics industry all the way down to the printed circuit board. is wagged by two heads, user expectations and economic feasibility.
Technology waits for no one and nothing
11/18/2010   2 comments
Referring to the lyrics of "Time Waits for No One", co-written by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, Bob Smith of Magma explains that, in the world of electronics, technology waits for no one, especially IC developers or EDA suppliers.
Announcing the STM32 Design Challenge!
Design Contests & Competitions  
11/17/2010   2 comments
Announcing the STM32 Design challenge, focusing on the STM32 Cortex ARM-based microprocessor family.
The table of the twist in the tail cable
Engineering Investigations  
11/17/2010   12 comments
A recent article in EETimes about using Transmitting Video over Cat5 Cable reminds an engineer of a problem he encountered when his employer was upgrading the data network.
Amazing "Integrating Touch" Design Challenge
Design Contests & Competitions  
11/17/2010   10 comments
EE Life invites readers to submit their best practical or impractical touch interface ideas in our first ever amazing "Integrating Touch" design challenge.
Van de Graaff generators, model rockets, and Barbie test pilots
Engineering Pop Culture!  
11/17/2010   11 comments
An engineer remembers the good old days running experiments on his siblings
November 2010 Caption Contest Winner!
Engineering Pop Culture!  
11/17/2010   2 comments
EE Life announces the winner of its November 2010 caption contest
Real men have fabs…or do they?
11/17/2010   10 comments
Jerry Sanders' famous quote from the early days of the foundry industry is rightly mocked today, but a slightly modified (and more politically correct) version may still be applicable.
The Emperor of Ice-Cream
11/16/2010   5 comments
I just ran across a poem called The Emperor of Ice-Cream (it’s the author’s hyphen, not mine). If it hadn’t been explained to me I wouldn’t have a clue what it was about. Once you do know what it’s about, however, re-reading it really makes you think…
*Footprint Graphics* or *Land Patterns*?
11/16/2010   9 comments
OK, I know I’m supposed to spend my days pondering the imponderables pertaining to programmable logic, but FPGAs end up on circuit boards, and I just ran into a problem with regard to PCB terminology…
Are low power and FPGA an oxymoron?
11/16/2010   3 comments
FPGAs have a reputation for being power hogs, but does that mean that no battery operated device should use an FPGA? Not so fast on that...
FPGAs: System gates or logic cells/elements?
11/16/2010   8 comments
This is one of those questions that keeps on coming back to bite us. May 1,000 curses rain down on the heads of those marketing weenies who first came up with the concept of *System Gates*
Free Virtual Conference: System-on-Chip 2.0
11/15/2010   1 comment
I don’t know about you, but I’m started to get rather excited about the forthcoming SoC 2.0 Virtual conference, which is to be held on Thursday, November 18…
How to bang often many than vindicatory!
11/15/2010   12 comments
I just saw the funniest thing. It’s a blog about an interview with two guys I know, but it looks like it started off in English, was translated into Hindi, and then...
Talking Teardown with Charbax
11/15/2010   Post a comment
Patrick Mannion and I interview Nicolas Charbonnier, aka Charbax, about the Archos 7 teardown.
Student Entrepreneur's Hawaii adventure
11/15/2010   4 comments
Simon Barker, EE Times' resident student entrepreneur, reports back on his trip to Hawaii to present at the IEEE Sensors Conference.
Key fob foibles
Automotive DesignLine Blog  
11/15/2010   31 comments
How about a simple solution to this annoying problem?
Check out EDA startups on EE Times' Silicon 60 list!
11/15/2010   Post a comment
The EE Times List of 60 Emerging Startups has been updated to Version 11.0. Do not wait and find out whose EDA companies have been added to the list, replacing others that either fell by the wayside or matured gracefully to bigger and better things.
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Just a few minutes ago as I pen these words, I posted this blog about this month's Cartoon Punchline Competition over on