EDA Past, Present, and Future with Lucio Lanza
He's toiled at this project for years - dreamt about it, laid awake at night thinking about it, and even built a lab in his basement to test it. Eventually he brought in friends (from work mostly) to fill in the missing pieces, and before he knew it they really had something. We all know this story. It has played out time and time again. It's the story of the startup, and today's Fish Fry celebrates the men and women who work every day with innovation in their hearts and minds. My distinguished guest is Lucio Lanza, an EDA mentor, venture capitalist, and believer in startup innovation. Lucio is here to explain why funding startups is so crucial in today's EE ecosystem and where he thinks EDA is headed in the future. Also this week, we check out a brand new way to get that semiconductor quote you've been looking for without giving you a headache or breaking your fax machine.
Fifty Years of Electronics in Munich
Electronica, the enormous "trade fair for electronic components, systems, applications and services", to quote the organisers, was nearly a month ago. So why have I waited this long to report on it? Mainly because I needed the time to recover and to try to get a perspective on what I saw and heard during three days packed with meetings interspersed with long walks.
Looking back to the year electronica first took place, 1964 was the year that I Want to Hold Your Hand triggered Beatle-mania (and the Rolling Stones released their first album), US President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, and the US began ramping up the forces in Viet-Nam. In Russia, Khrushchev was deposed as Soviet leader, and, in Britain, Harold Wilson became Prime Minister. China, France and America conducted atom bomb tests, and the second Vatican Council replaced Latin with local languages for Roman Catholic church services. Moog launched his music synthesiser. General Douglas McArthur and Cole Porter both died and Michelle Obama and Sarah Palin were both born. If most of this (except the births) means nothing or little to you, you are probably too young to understand.
Elliptic Technologies Delivers Hardware Root of Trust
Sometimes even the circuit designer doesn’t know how the chip works. And that can be a good thing.
If you’re designing a chip or a system that includes security features, anti-tampering mechanisms, DRM protection, or defenses against DPA attacks, it’s probably better if you don’t know how it all works. That kind of stuff is mysterious. Secret. Black magic. And there are practitioners of these dark arts who are far more skilled than mortals like you or me. For they dwell in the deep places, apart from the rest, shunning the daylight and the company of men. And we call them Elliptic Technologies.
Construction at the End of the Road
Those who build roads are fundamentally different from those who use roads.
Those who build roads immerse themselves in every detail of the route. They know the distances, the hills and valleys, the rivers and forests, the grades and angles, the weather, and the wildlife. They have considered every aspect of the particular journey and imagined and re-imagined the trips of the travelers to come. They have contemplated every contingency, every possibility, in an attempt to craft a safe, smooth and seamless experience.
Those who use the roads are insulated from those myriad details. They ride along with the cruise control set at speed limit plus four, GPS ticking off the miles until the exit, wondering quietly whether their podcast episode will finish before or after this stretch of highway terminates. If the road engineers did their jobs well, the driver’s day will be completely unremarkable, the requirements on their skills and awareness minimal, their safety and security all but assured.
Different Approaches to Assessing the Environment
A couple of months ago, we took a look at one way of using MEMS cantilevers to detect gases. Our focus was on the optics used to read the status of the cantilevers, but, however detected, the use of cantilevers to measure concentrations of substances is common – at least in research papers.
Since then, this topic of detecting… something (officially called an “analyte”) has come up several times, each with a different twist or approach. So this week we follow up with variations and alternatives to the cantilever theme. They’re all different: one of the take-aways is that this cat can be skinned lots of different ways.
Connected Cars and Saving the World Through IoT
Hold on tight ladies and gents! This week I'm flying down the IoT Highway, and I’m taking you with me. Our first stop is a little Consumer Electronics Show preview with Rob Valiton from Atmel. Rob and I discuss why low power MCUs will hold the key to the future of automotive innovation and how we can keep those pesky hackers out of our connected cars. Also this week, we look at how IoT Kickstarter campaign Khushi Baby hopes to make the world a much healthier place -- bridging the gap between healthcare workers and the communities they serve, one NFC-equipped necklace at a time.