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Ready for More Inspection

Not long ago we covered a set of inspection tools announced by KLA-Tencor. They have recently announced yet another inspection tool, which they call CIRCL. The idea is that it’s actually three or four tools in one, with stations for frontside, backside, and edge inspection as well as one for spot check and review all integrated into one cluster, with loaders for up to three lots at a time.

(And yes, apparently backside matters. Years ago when I worked in the fab, … Read More → "Ready for More Inspection"

World’s Smallest Server?

Given all of the effort that goes into building internet capabilities into embedded systems, I was intrigued by a claim to the “world’s smallest device server” from Lantronix, a single-chip solution. After all, why is everyone going through all this effort if there’s already a single chip that does it all?

Well, as might be expected, it’s not everything to everyone – it’s what they call a serial-to-Ethernet converter, although just saying it goes to Ethernet is not really giving it enough credit, since it has full … Read More → "World’s Smallest Server?"

Audio Upgrade

Used to be that there were processors (of the “regular” kind) and there were DSPs.  It’s no longer enough to be a DSP: you have to be the right kind. At least that’s how CEVA has rolled out their offering, with one family for communications, one for video and imaging, and one for audio and voice.

They recently announced the latest version of the latter, their TeakLite family. As in other areas that used to seem so … Read More → "Audio Upgrade"

PolyCore Updates Multicore Tools

We took a look at PolyCore’s tools away back when MCAPI had first been approved as a standard for low-level multicore communication in embedded systems.

They’ve just announced an upgrade, and they continue with their goal of abstracting away a lot of the fiddly bits that are necessary to get different processes talking to each other in a multicore setup. In particular, they have structured … Read More → "PolyCore Updates Multicore Tools"

There was another company at Des

There was another company at DesignWest doing something similar, but not exactly competitive. Nabto puts a tiny webserver into your mobile device or onto your chip that places it behind the corporate firewall. So rather than have to upgrade multiple devices, you just upgrade the primary firewall. If I were a small business with multiple devices, I might prefer Icon Labs, but for a large enterprise, Nabto might be a better choice… or a combination of both.

Read More → "There was another company at Des"

What’s In a Name

We’re all still getting calibrated on sensors, and we can sometimes get tripped up on terminology. In discussions about their sensor fusion IP, Movea explicitly included some definitions to make sure we were aligned.

Most prominent is their finessing of the mythical 9-axis or 9-DoF sensor. They do this by distinguishing between true degrees of freedom and axes. Spatial motion involves only six true degrees of freedom: 3 dimensions linear and three dimensional rotational. That’s all there is. The problem is that when accelerometers ( … Read More → "What’s In a Name"

Drifting Towards Hardware

In touting their sensor fusion product offering, Movea announced their MotionCore IP in a manner that sounded like they were developing hardware. While that’s not strictly true, they are packaging up their IP in ways that intentionally make it easier for hardware developers to implement hardened versions of the cores. They target three implementations:

–          software only, optimized for time to market; this is the primary implementation at present;

–   & … Read More → "Drifting Towards Hardware"

Another 3 from Springsoft

On the heels of their Verdi3 announcement, Springsoft continues its triplication, now with Laker3. They position Laker as the “best established interoperable custom design flow.” As with all carefully-crafted positioning statements, the key qualifier they use here is “interoperable.” This refers both to the fact that they use the OpenAccess database and to their ability to integrate with Mentor’s RealTime engine for on-the-fly … Read More → "Another 3 from Springsoft"

featured blogs
Nov 17, 2017
CASPA is the Chinese American Semiconductor Professional Association. Once a year they have their annual conference and dinner banquet. I ended up getting involved with them a few years ago when I stepped in with 24-hours' notice to moderate a panel session for them, plu...
Nov 15, 2017
SuperComputing 2017 remains in full force this week from the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.  There are lots of activity in presentations, seminars, demonstrations and exhibits on the tradeshow floor. Stay tuned to the Samtec blog the rest of the week for more highligh...
Nov 16, 2017
“Mommy, Daddy … Why is the sky blue?” As you scramble for an answer that lies somewhere between a discussion of refraction in gasses and “Oh, look—a doggie!” you already know the response to whatever you say will be a horrifyingly sincere “B...
Nov 07, 2017
Given that the industry is beginning to reach the limits of what can physically and economically be achieved through further shrinkage of process geometries, reducing feature size and increasing transistor counts is no longer achieving the same result it once did. Instead the...