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Simpler MEMS Models for ASIC Designers

Some time back, we took a look at the library of mechanical elements in Coventor’s MEMS+ tool for building MEMS device models. In the “be careful what you wish for” category, making it easier to connect elements into models meant that engineers started connecting more elements into models, and the models got bigger.

Big models can stress a tool out, resulting in slow results and resource starvation.

Well, they’ve just released version 4 of MEMS+, which … Read More → "Simpler MEMS Models for ASIC Designers"

Qualcomm Plugs In @ Home

It almost sounds too good to be true. You plug in your new connectable gadget, and not only do you get power, but you’re also connected to high-speed data with no further wires.

People have talked about using home electrical wiring for communicating for a long time, but it doesn’t seem to have gotten much traction – at least not in the US. (Ok, not that I’ve noticed, anyway.) Given the big clunky unshielded wiring, I’ve more or less assumed (without really thinking about it) that they weren’ … Read More → "Qualcomm Plugs In @ Home"

CEVA Goes for Base Stations

Mobile communications have been one of CEVA’s focus areas (others being audio and images). If you’re new to CEVA, they do DSP cores for SoCs, focusing on low power as a critical feature. (They have lots of hardware features, but at the end of the day, whether it’s a hardware accelerator or an optimized instruction set, it all leads to lower power and longer battery life.)

< … Read More → "CEVA Goes for Base Stations"

Programmable SoCs?

The scene: a top-secret conference room in the West of England.

Present: a group of high-powered technical guys.

Topic: The next stage in project X

 

We are now shipping quantities of project X. The press are going to start asking where we go next

We will soon be able to announce that Sony is using an 8 core device in their new headphone amplifier.

That’s good

And we are going to give away 2500 startKits and then sell more for only $14.99.Read More → "Programmable SoCs?"

LinkedIn’s Man in the Middle?

LinkedIn has just introduced a new phone app called Intro that helps provide information to you about LinkedIn members when they send you email. That info is added to the email itself. Or something like that.

Now… before I go much further, I have to admit (to anyone that hasn’t already seen this obvious point in some of my earlier stuff) that I still hold to quaint notions about privacy and keeping control over my own things and any statements or messages ascribed to me. When I tried to install the Facebook app on … Read More → "LinkedIn’s Man in the Middle?"

Breker Supplements Simulation

We’ve talked about Breker’s C-level test generation tools a couple of times in the past. But the context for that discussion was simulation – the tests were run in the virtual domain.

But not all validation happens there. There are several scenarios where hardware platforms contribute to the verification plan. Emulators are one good example, where programmable hardware elements implement newly-designed logic so that extensive testing that might be too slow for simulation – in particular, running software – can … Read More → "Breker Supplements Simulation"

Germanium-Tin Channel

Imec recently issued a press release that, early on, mentioned a “junctionless transistor.” Now… as far as I can remember back, transistors always had junctions. So I completely locked up on the question of what a junctionless transistor even means.

I got a chance to ask them when visiting their site last week. Not only is it simple, but it’s beside the point of the release. What they’re calling a junctionless transistor might simply have been called a JFET back when I was in school. Just made differently. They laid … Read More → "Germanium-Tin Channel"

SPICE-ing It Up

SPICE is pretty fundamental to circuit design. That’s obvious for cell and custom designers; for you digital folks, you get exempted only because a cell designer already did the work for you. And, as with everything EDA, things are getting harder to compute with each process node.

Part of it is incremental. New nodes come with increasingly important parasitic modeling. That’s always been the case from generation to generation, not because of new parasitics, but because of old ones that used to be ignored that now mattered. But with FinFETs, you have those < … Read More → "SPICE-ing It Up"

Coding standards-you wait years for a new one and then two come along at once

Earlier this year MISRA announced a new version of the C coding guidelines, the first for nearly nine years. Now PRQA | Programming Research has produced a major revision of its High Integrity C++ Coding Standard (HIC++)  The company is celebrating the tenth birthday of its standard by covering C++11 and revising parts of the standard to reflect user experience and make the standard even more compatible with automatic code analysis tools. And, unlike MISRA, HIC++ is free.

PRQA lists the changes as

Overall consolidation of rules to a more manageable size & … Read More → "Coding standards-you wait years for a new one and then two come along at once"

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