Buggy Bingo

Undo Software’s Live Recorder Makes Production Bugs A Thing of the Past

by Amelia Dalton

Needle in the haystack got you down? Got them buggy software blues slowin' your stride? Never fear, Fish Fry is here with a podcastin' elixir to blow those blues (and bugs) away. In this week's episode, we tackle production software bugs with Undo Software CEO Greg Law. Greg is here to unveil the new bug-busting capabilities of Undo Software's production bug insecticide: Live Recorder. Also this week, we check out why the Palo Alto Starbucks may not be the best spot for a super-secret meeting about your new IOT prototype. Finally, we see how The MathWorks is taking the maker movement to a whole new level - with math.

 

Get to Market Faster with Modular Circuit Design

by Craig Armenti, Zuken USA, Inc.

The concept of designing, validating and then reusing functional blocks in integrated circuits (ICs) has been entrenched in the electronics industry for decades. Software development has a similar model utilizing libraries of common function calls or objects. However, the concept of reusing printed circuit board (PCB) modules is much less common. Reusing PCB modules for common or commodity functions offers considerable advantages, for example avoiding potential signal integrity or thermal problems, by utilizing circuit data whose performance has been proven in previous generations of products. The key to successful modular circuit design is a data management system that can store and control access to modular reusable blocks, manage information that is critical to design reuse, such as the layer structure of a routed block, and interface easily with the circuit design software. The end result is a reduction in time during schematic capture and PCB design, along with fewer design errors, making it possible to bring quality products to market faster.

 

Ambiq Apollo MCU Gets Funky With Voltage

Leveraging Physics for the Betterment of Humankind

by Jim Turley

“Reality is that which, if you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” – Philip K. Dick

We all work with the same laws of physics. That’s why they’re laws, not guidelines. We deal with Ohm’s Law, Shannon’s Law, Cole’s Law (thinly sliced cabbage), and others. And one of the immutable laws of electronics is that power consumption is proportional to voltage. Raise the voltage, and you raise the power consumption, all other things being equal. And of course, that works the other way, too. Lower voltages reduce power. Very tidy.

So why, oh why, do chipmakers have such a hard time reducing the power consumption of their microprocessors, microcontrollers, DRAMs, and other devices? Just lower the voltage! Did you not attend Electronics 101? How hard can that be?

 

Verifying Your Awesomeness

The Mire of Modern System Verification

by Kevin Morris

If a clock tree fails in a forest, and there are no vectors to catch it…

Verification has always been the black sheep of the engineering family, and for understandable reasons. Design teams are made up of intelligent, capable, and - dare we say occasionally arrogant - types who don’t take kindly to the notion that their work contains errors. Yet, we have verification teams who make their entire career finding the bugs in the work of designers.

Does this sound like a recipe for peace and harmony?

As system complexity has exploded, design productivity has largely kept pace. There is, of course, the ubiquitous EDA marketing slide - a graph over time showing an expanding “gap” between the number of gates we can design and the number of gates Moore’s Law will allow us to put on a chip.

 

EDA for SETs

A Flavor of Single-Electron Transistor Algorithms

by Bryon Moyer

A few weeks back, we tackled the concept of a single-electron transistor (SET). And we saw how they could be arranged in a hexagonal form for use as a non-volatile programmable fabric. The whole topic originated for me in an ICCAD paper that discussed EDA algorithms for implementing logic in such a device. Well, before discussing that, we needed to introduce SETs. So, having done that, we now return to the originating topic: how do you take random logic and implement it in a SET fabric?

 

Silicon Fingerprints and Smartphone Modules

Adventures in Unclonable Function Technology and Project Ara Development

by Amelia Dalton

Ready. Set. Authenticate. This week’s Fish Fry investigates how Microsemi FPGAs are changing the cyber-security landscape one PUF (Physically Unclonable Function) at a time. My guest is Tim Morin from Microsemi. Tim joins Fish Fry for the first time - discussing the zeros and ones of PUF technology, explaining why it's so important to today’s IoT products, and revealing what it's really like to own fourteen (whoa) horses. Also this week, I unveil some seriously cool news from the most recent Google Project Ara Developer’s Conference.

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