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Fear and Trepidation at Intel

iStock_000066481123_Small.jpgYou may be aware that Intel went through a layoff recently. Whatever you think of the merits of the layoff itself, it would be hard to argue that it was executed smoothly. But, to hear some tell it, the result has left something of a crater in the morale and confidence of at least some of the surviving workforce. And this is a group that has seen many layoffs in the past. So what was different here? … Read More → "Fear and Trepidation at Intel"

WiFi Three Ways from CEVA

WiFi, Bluetooth, and Zigbee are vying for primacy, and none of them is likely to disappear anytime soon (if ever). WiFi is the granddaddy, and arguably the most familiar. So, of course, WiFi is going onto all kinds of stuff. We see plenty of WiFi modules and chips, but CEVA suggests that you can save space if you integrate the WiFi directly into your SoC. (Assuming you’re doing an SoC…)

Sounds straightforward, but if you dig in just a little, an obvious question comes up: which WiFi? If you’re going the route … Read More → "WiFi Three Ways from CEVA"

Why Nigerian Bank Scams Are So Obvious

The old “Nigerian bank scam” is so laughably obvious that nobody could possibly fall for it anymore, right? Not so, and some new research suggests that its cheesiness is actually deliberate.

The plaintive appeal to wire money to a certain displaced Nigerian prince is one of the oldest tricks in the book. It’s so obviously bogus that it’s become the archetype of low-end spam. Everybody’s seen it a hundred times, and even the dumbest spam filter can spot it a mile off. The very presence of the word “Nigeria” sets off alarms. Can’t … Read More → "Why Nigerian Bank Scams Are So Obvious"

mCube’s New Low-Power Accel: What It Is and Isn’t

mCube made more noise recently with their announcement of a very small, low-power accelerometer. There were a number of aspects to the release; some intriguing, some… less so.

Let’s start with intrigue. The whole focus here is on a small device that can be used in space-constrained, power-stingy applications – like wearables. Obviously space is critical in any such device, but they point out that flexible circuit boards can enable more… well… flexible shape designs. And, while the accelerometer isn’t itself flexible, the closer you can come to an infinitesimal … Read More → "mCube’s New Low-Power Accel: What It Is and Isn’t"

Two Kinds of IoT Fog

We’ve heard about the role of the Cloud in the Internet of Things (IoT). It’s analytics and other decision-making that happens in some remote server farm somewhere to serve some “edge-node” device connected over the internet. And you’ve probably heard of the variant on that called the “fog,” where some of that computing is done on a machine local to the edge node, reducing communication traffic and latency.

But… did you know that there are two flavors of fog? And that this actually has an analog … Read More → "Two Kinds of IoT Fog"

Free RF Connectivity Tool

While at the recent Sensors Expo, I had a conversation with Anaren that drove home a point: with all of the focus on all of the fancy things that are theoretically possible with the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT), back in the lab, folks are spending a lot of energy just to get devices connected. And many of the tasks – such as getting the radios up – require expertise that not everyone has.

Their focus is on the RF aspects of the design, with a couple radio modules leveraging Broadcom’s WICED (pron. “wicked,& … Read More → "Free RF Connectivity Tool"

Fairchild Debuts MEMS

A new inertial measurement unit (IMU), the FIS1100, was announced by Fairchild, and it gives us a couple things to talk about.

First, well… Fairchild. I remember when I started in the industry [kids roll their eyes, “Oh, there goes grampa on one of his stories again”], you’d have these genealogy charts showed how various companies evolved from prior companies. And one of the very few root companies was Fairchild. Anyone who had any time in the industry had, at one point or another, worked at Fairchild.

And then, well, … Read More → "Fairchild Debuts MEMS"

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
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Nov 16, 2017
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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...