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Characterization vs. Corners

Once you’ve got a circuit that you think is what you want, you have to make sure it works across the entire range of conditions and scenarios to which it might get exposed in real life. So you need to set off a suite of SPICE simulations to get that confirmation. You’ll execute a matrix of combinations and, if everything looks copacetic, you’re good to go.

Doing this, often a series of command-line instructions, can be laborious, so Berkeley Design has released ACE, a tool for automating this process of setting … Read More → "Characterization vs. Corners"

Big and Little Core Combos

A long while back ARM introduced their big.LITTLE concept. (So cute how they put the big in little letters and the little in big letters! Did you notice that?) The general concept is to have one beefy processor for heavy lifting and one small one for light duty; by powering them up and down, you can save energy by assigning the right core to the right task.

But at last week’s Multicore DevCon, processor guru Linley Gwennap showed, among other things, various ways in which companies are implementing this concept. Although, of course, ARM … Read More → "Big and Little Core Combos"

Imperas Gen 2

Imperas has launched their second-generation virtual platform technology. In so doing, they’re adding more capability as well as restructuring their product offering.

We’ve been following their OVPworld approach for a few years, now, Dick Selwood having covered the technology back in 2009. What was then OVPsim has morphed into three “DEV” products – C*DEV, S*DEV, and M*DEV for microControllers, microprocessors (S=Standard), and multicore, respectively. (The * is pronounced “star.”) Each of these has … Read More → "Imperas Gen 2"

Freescale’s Sensor Hub Integration

We’ve seen the move from APs managing sensors to MCUs acting as sensor hubs to integration of sensors with MCUs, as with ST. Well, Freescale has now jumped in as well, integrating an accelerometer with a 32-bit Coldfire V1 MCU into what they’re calling their Xtrinsic Intelligent Motion platform.

Given the number of IMUs out there integrating accelerometers, gyros, and magnetometers, I asked why they were just going with an accelerometer only. They said that, frankly, in earlier days, customers didn& … Read More → "Freescale’s Sensor Hub Integration"

Sophisticated Variation Modeling

As a newly-developed process is prepared for delivery into the production world, one of the last things that has to happen to effect a transition is the development of compact models for use in design simulation. And, of course, these days, such a model must account for process variations, which means covering the wide range of corners that a process can have to capture the statistics.

We’ve seen some of this before with Solido, but according to newcomer GSS, whom my … Read More → "Sophisticated Variation Modeling"

Quaternion and Kalman

If you’re new to the world of motion and navigation (as I feel I still am, even after a couple of years of digging in), there are a couple words that come up a lot. And they’re usually tossed about casually in that, “If you have to ask, you’re not cool enough for the answer” kinda way. (Mostly, when I sport that attitude, it’s because I don’t really know what I’m … Read More → "Quaternion and Kalman"

Challenging PrimeTime. Really.

No one ever got fired for using PrimeTime to sign off a chip. Actually, I don’t know if that’s true, but from an EDA buyer’s point of view, it might as well be. PrimeTime has been treated as the gold standard of accuracy. To the extent that, if you have a new tool that’s more accurate than PrimeTime, then it’s wrong. Why? Because PrimeTime says so.

And most everyone has backed down from that challenge. After all, if you’re going to displace the thing against … Read More → "Challenging PrimeTime. Really."

Synopsys’s Embedded Vision

In the shadow of the recent Embedded Vision Alliance summit, Synopsys tossed its hat into the vision ring with their new Embedded Vision Development System. While it doesn’t appear to break any new ground in terms of tools or things that didn’t exist before, it does assemble into one place a variety of components that an aspiring embedded vision architect/designer might need.

One of the underlying assumptions is that, in order to meet the performance and cost requirements of embedded vision, which holds promise for much consumer gadgetry, an application-specific instruction-set processor ( … Read More → "Synopsys’s Embedded Vision"

An Open Letter to EE Journal Readers

Dear EE Journal Readers,

I think the issues raised by Jim Turley in his EE Journal article “Consider the Source are incredibly important.  I also wrote an EE Journal article The Death of the Trade Press that discussed similar trends.

Today, some of the industry’s longest-running, most established publications are quietly changing their journalistic ethics behind the scenes.  In addition, a number of industry blogs have sprouted up … Read More → "An Open Letter to EE Journal Readers"

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