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Content posted in February 2012
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Commentary:Why it’s wrong for Intel and AMD to abandon WSTS
2/29/2012   Post a comment
Intel deserves censure for its wrongheaded, short-sighted and arrogant desertion of WSTS – for two reasons: “disclosure” and “bargaining power.”
Hoping Intel, AMD will reconsider exiting WSTS
2/29/2012   1 comment
Hoping Intel, AMD and the WSTS can work something out in order to keep the integrity of the WSTS data and comparisons with historical trends intact.
Engineering's strangest offices
Engineering Pop Culture!  
2/29/2012   3 comments
Engineers send in photos of the strangest things in their offices and the result is eye-popping!
Why it’s wrong for Intel, AMD to abandon WSTS
2/29/2012   12 comments
Intel deserves censure for its wrongheaded, short-sighted and arrogant desertion of WSTS – for two reasons: “disclosure” and “bargaining power.”
EDA/IP Weekly Roundup – Feb 29th
2/29/2012   Post a comment
Agilent, Accellera, ARM, Brite Semiconductor, SpringSoft, Synopsys and Posedge made the lineup today. See here for their news…
Today's teenagers are tomorrow's space explorers
Military & Aerospace Blog  
2/29/2012   Post a comment
Seeking to encourage scientific vocations among young people, YouTube has launched a worldwide competition, YouTube Space Lab, in partnership with Lenovo, Space Adventures, NASA and the Europe and Japan space agencies.
No sir, you cannot walk. You must take a bus
Engineering Pop Culture!  
2/28/2012   7 comments
Walking is clearly a thing of the past and is now being discouraged. Urban planners stop considering the pedestrian…
Cadence book preview: Advanced Verification Topics
2/28/2012   Post a comment
Book preview: The acceleratable Universal Verification Methodology (UVM) packages allow portions of a standard UVM environment to be accelerated using a hardware accelerator...
Rebuilding America: Creating a culture of mini engineers
Engineering Pop Culture!  
2/28/2012   8 comments
Electrical engineering should start at elementary school, as it does in our everyday life, says John Escobar of Miami, FL.
Who needs career fairs when we have Best Buy?
Engineering Pop Culture!  
2/28/2012   35 comments
We don't need career fairs to promote engineering. Just take a trip to your local Best Buy.
Does memory need more respect?
Memory Designline Blog  
2/27/2012   1 comment
Like offensive linemen, memory performs an essential task but (like offensive linemen) it often only attracts attention when it fails.
The Battle of the Bands
2/27/2012   7 comments
One thing the framers of regional frequency allocations did not anticipate was the evolution of global mobility.
Synopsys introduces new VIP architecture
2/27/2012   4 comments
VIP architectures have evolved over time and this has led to inefficiencies. Synopsys goes back to the drawing board and “all SystemVerilog” VIP emerges...
LG to make Google's next Nexus phone?
Engineering Pop Culture!  
2/27/2012   5 comments
Word on the Barcelona street is that LG is in discussions to become Google’s next hardware partner for Nexus phones.
Ericsson plays standards cards to LTE win
2/25/2012   3 comments
Ericsson played the standards game for a winning hand in LTE, according to ABI Research, but they are neither first nor last to play that game.
What engineers really do…
The Engineering Life - Around the Web  
2/25/2012   36 comments
Is there a difference in perception between what your friends, parents, kids, and your boss thinks you do… and what you actually do?
John Aynsley recognized for contribution to SystemC
The Engineering Life - Around the Web  
2/24/2012   3 comments
John Aynsley is the first recipient of the Accellera Systems Initiative Technical Excellence Award. This is due in part to his involvement in the IEEE 1666 SystemC™ Language Standard Working Group…
What were they thinking: Play time with patents
Engineering Pop Culture!  
2/24/2012   12 comments
Patents are often quite silly and should never have passed the obvious test. But we can learn from them sometimes. Today I look at a device for exercising your cat…
The SoC is no longer just for embedded systems
2/23/2012   13 comments
Barriers are meant to be broken down and new applications will be found where perhaps none existed before. NComputing provides an example…
Whose engineering office is this?
Engineering Pop Culture!  
2/23/2012   19 comments
Send us photos of the oddest thing(s) in your office and we'll share them with the community.
Upcoming Conferences: calls and more – Feb 23rd
2/23/2012   Post a comment
Conference related information, calls for papers, contributions and participation are all found here…
The case of the confusing clues
2/23/2012   20 comments
Is it the hardware, the software, or both?
Aircraft designers turning to simulation to avert delamination issues
Military & Aerospace Blog  
2/23/2012   1 comment
Boeing has called for the inspection of 787 Dreamliners after finding signs of delamination on the fuselage of the first passenger jetliner built of carbon-fiber composites. Here, Robert Yancey at Altair Engineering raises delamination issues and the challenges surrounding subcontractors’ use of various techniques to make composite parts. He explains how simulation can prevent delamination.
Should smartphone OEMs design their own chips?
2/23/2012   7 comments
It’s amazing how often the argument for OEMs to design chips raises its ugly head in the electronics industry. You would think that at almost 40 years old, the semiconductor market would be mature enough to put this argument to rest, but the rapid pace of consumer device innovation manages to create micro-ecosystem lifecycles within the industry as a whole.
R&D tax credit: Big benefits, but little used by industry
2/22/2012   4 comments
The biggest problem of the R&D Tax Credit is threefold: 1) Electronics companies vastly underutilize the credit; 2) the credit should be made more generous; and, 3) it should be modified to allow more small and medium businesses.
Norwegian Odyssey (Stardate 19987+6)
The Engineering Life - Around the Web  
2/22/2012   12 comments
Following my talk I received an email saying "Dear Max. I found your talk today both exciting, inspiring, and entertaining. Three of my favorites. ;-)"
Neil Young: Say No to MP3s
Audio DesignLine Blog  
2/22/2012   53 comments
Musician Neil Young says we need to save music from MP3s (and other lossy audio formats). But does music quality need rescuing, and is a new hi-res audio format the answer?
The best FPGA papers of all time!
Programmable Logic DesignLine Blog  
2/22/2012   5 comments
The ACM/SIGDA Technical Committee has released a list of the best papers of the FPGA Symposium
Free Live Webinar: Achieving max efficiency / Precision motor control with Xilinx FPGAs
Social Mania  
2/22/2012   1 comment
I just heard from the folks at Xilinx about a rather interesting free live webinar on a subject that is dear to my heart – motor control using FPGAs…
EDA/IP Weekly Roundup – Feb 22nd
2/22/2012   Post a comment
Agilent, Premier Farnell, Real Intent, Verific, Blue Pearl, Elliptic, Cyclos and Cadence made the lineup today. See here for their news…
Dispelling the myth about analog scaling
Semi Conscious  
2/22/2012   6 comments
We often hear that analog circuitry doesn't scale, but this apparently is hogwash.
Rebuilding America: Don’t teach to the test
Engineering Pop Culture!  
2/22/2012   1 comment
It’s not often you get to meet a true dynamic duo. After corresponding with Bill and Shirley Mars about technical education in Mogadore, OH, I think I’ve found just such a rare breed.
Free panel: Hardware/software co-design from a software perspective
Social Mania  
2/21/2012   Post a comment
Co-located with DVCon and hosted by the EDA Consortium Emerging Companies Committee, this free panel looks like a “must see” for anyone who is at DVCon.
Panels next week associated with DVCon
Social Mania  
2/21/2012   Post a comment
Next week is DVCon and there are five panels that I want to draw your attention to, two moderated by yours truly. I hope to see you there…
The 8051 is over 30 years old and still going strong
2/21/2012   2 comments
In 1980, Intel introduced the 8051 microcontroller. Who would have believed that 32 years later there would still be news to report about it…
The industry needs a renewed approach to verification IP
2/21/2012   9 comments
Every VIP brings unique challenges to integration with the SoC environment, such as synchronizing SystemVerilog test sequences with SystemC/C/C++ code…
Why I don’t buy Eyal’s 40G story
2/21/2012   4 comments
The chief executive of Mellanox is pushing server makers to adopt this year his 40 Gbit/s Ethernet controller, but I see him facing a steep hill and a big new competitor.
Assessing scope accuracy
2/20/2012   2 comments
How confident are you in your scope's accuracy in measuring the signal?
Industry considers counterfeit risk analysis tool
2/17/2012   11 comments
Obsolescence, market shortages and price hikes are the key motivational factors for counterfeiters to target a part and make a quick buck, according to data compiled by electronic components database firm SiliconExpert Technologies.
What were they thinking: Summer Time
The Engineering Life - Around the Web  
2/17/2012   14 comments
Why do we change out clocks for some months during the year. Has anybody ever proven that it actually helps anything…
Let the debate begin over U.S. patent fees
Engineering Pop Culture!  
2/17/2012   3 comments
The debate has begun among users of the U.S. patent office, large and small, to hammer out a fair and usable fee structure.
Power Tip 44: Handling high dI/dt load transients, Part 1
Power Tips  
2/17/2012   Post a comment
Understand how to handle this common circuit challenge, which is an increasingly important hazard
[Worst] Building contractor of the year awards
The Engineering Life - Around the Web  
2/17/2012   14 comments
I can only imagine what Canadian building contractor Mike Homes would have to say about these “things” (I don’t even have the words to describe them)…
January Caption Contest: Break the tie
Design Contests & Competitions  
2/17/2012   13 comments
Never seen such a thing: Caption voting is at a tie for first, second, and third places ... next I expect planets to start aligning
Remember 'If Microsoft made cars…' jokes?
Automotive DesignLine Blog  
2/16/2012   15 comments
For a split second on a recent test drive, I felt they had.
A standard who's time must come – SCE-MI
Engineering Pop Culture!  
2/16/2012   4 comments
Some standards are very prominent in our industry, such as SystemVerilog, but verification methodologies rely on much more, including SCE-MI…
To have or not to have a fab in India
India Chip Chat  
2/16/2012   29 comments
Several weeks back, a Palo Alto-based venture capitalist specializing in semiconductors said partnering with Israel rather than with U.S. or Taiwanese companies would be a great idea.
Upcoming Conferences: calls and more – Feb 16th
Social Mania  
2/16/2012   Post a comment
Conference related information, calls for papers, contributions and participation are all found here…
Viewpoint: How will the chip wars be won? -- Part 2
2/16/2012   5 comments
The slowdown in the pace of Moore’s Law, the emerging importance of the SoC and the rapid growth of the mobile market all tend to favor an open, plug-and-play foundry and design ecosystem.
Viewpoint: An Evolution in Design for Test
2/16/2012   1 comment
Designers relate to Design for Test (DFT) in much the way that small children relate to scary programs on TV: if they cover their eyes with their hands, perhaps it will go away…
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Aloha from EEWeb
Max Maxfield
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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