Intel’s First FPGAs

Altera Turns a Page

by Kevin Morris

They call themselves Intel now.

Sure, they still live in the Altera building and the technology is still unmistakably Altera’s, but the company has now turned the page, and the word “Intel” proudly silkscreened on the top deck of the company’s flagship Stratix 10 devices is a message to the world that things have now changed forever. For the past year or so, the sixteen billion dollar high-profile acquisition of Altera by Intel has been stewing in the pot - adding and removing ingredients, taste testing, and settling into the flavor profile that the newly re-formed organization wants to present to us.


Beacons As IoT Channels

Enmo Builds on BlueTooth Advertising

by Bryon Moyer

At any given moment, it’s hard to tell whether the Internet of Things (IoT) is a technology or a mish-mash of technologies. It tends to feels like more of the latter, with its massive pile of protocols and approaches.

Well, this week we look at yet another angle – one I hadn’t seen to date. To set this up, there are a couple of notions we should focus on. One is the idea of mobility. The company we’re going to discuss points out that fixed IoT edge nodes often connect directly to the cloud. A phone might be in the picture, but the phone very often contacts the cloud, which contacts the edge node. Even in an app where the phone is more or less a remote control for a sensor, it’s going through the cloud to get to it. What they refer to as a mobile edge note, by contrast, communicates directly with the phone, since at any point in time, it may or may not have access to a cloud connection.


The Sky is the Limit

Drones, Formal Verification, and A Move Toward System C

by Amelia Dalton

In this week’s Fish Fry, we look to the skies for the next big thing in verification technology - formal verification. Dave Kelf from OneSpin joins us to discuss the past, present, and future of formal verification, what formal does that simulation does not, and details of OneSpin’s “Game of Drones” contest. Then, in keeping with our airborne theme, we take a closer look at a new drone called “Deep Purple” developed by the US Army's Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center - designed specifically to sniff out biological and chemical agents in the air.


It May Be Big and Bulky, But It’s Slow!

Man Creates Massive 70s-era Computer… For Fun

by Jim Turley

When you think of a “megaprocessor,” what do you imagine? An ultra-high-performance machine, one step up from a supercomputer? The ultimate computing architecture, powerful enough to simulate all the world’s weather? A parallel processing machine? Maybe a massive neural network?

It’s bound to be big, right? Like, room-sized big. And really, really fast. Like, 20-KHz fast.

Wait, what?


The Quiet FPGAs

Microsemi Soldiers On Silently

by Kevin Morris

We don’t hear much about Microsemi in the FPGA world these days. In fact, it would be pretty easy to forget that the company - primarily known for it’s high-reliability mil-aero offerings - is in the programmable logic business at all. With the loud footsteps of Xilinx and Intel/Altera resonating in the hallways, the steadfast persistence of Achronix gnawing at some of their most important markets, and Lattice’s transition to a consumer electronics focus, it’s easy to let the memory of the interesting and capable FPGA families formerly associated with the Actel brand fade into the tapestry.

But Microsemi is still very much in the FPGA/SoC game, and their offerings have some compelling differentiators that make them worthy of consideration - perhaps the best choice - for many application sockets.


Matching Patterns

Mentor Discusses DRC’s Newer Cousin

by Bryon Moyer

When you look at someone’s face, what do you see?

I suppose that depends on who you are. Many people are good at picking up the details. Eye color is a big one that can sometimes get you in trouble if you don’t catch it. Other people aren’t so big on the details, but they can generate overall impressions based on a “look.” Your intrepid reporter would place himself in the latter category – seeing similarities in looks between people that others don’t see at all while missing the eye color.

At the risk of a neck-jarring change of direction here, let’s take this into EDA – and, in particular, the art and science of proving that a particular layout will work and yield. This is the realm of design-rule checks (DRC). But DRC is somewhat like noticing eye color: it’s focused on very specific detailed dimensions (or small collections of dimensions).

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