The Laws of Automotive Robotics

Synopsys Rolls Out ASIL-Certified IP for Automotive Systems

by Jim Turley

“What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” – Strother Martin, Cool Hand Luke

Congratulations! You have an electric car. No, I don’t mean that you’ve suddenly won a Tesla, Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, or the late-lamented Fisker Karma. Or the not-so-lamented GM EV1. (And no, Mister Pedantic, I didn’t forget any of the original electric cars from the early 1900s, either.) No, you’re the proud owner of a rolling data center.

We all had a hunch that our cars were full of electronics. But how full is that? Try over 100 microprocessors per vehicle. And over a mile of copper wiring – so much wire that most automakers are switching to fiber-optic cable just to save weight. Putting electronics in cars is good business because (a) it’s a high-value option that customers will pay good money for; (b) it goes obsolete quickly, thus fueling customers’ perceived needs to upgrade cars constantly; (c) it’s the easiest way to comply with new fuel-efficiency and safety standards; and (d) it’s a high-margin business. Adding satellite radio or collision-avoidance systems tacks on thousands of dollars to the sticker price. Think the components costs that much?

 

Golgi and the IoT

Or, Does the IoT Demand a Cloud Platform?

by Bryon Moyer

We hereby embark on a reverie that commenced before and continued during the writing of this article. And I’m not quite sure if it’s done yet. The evolution of thought practically happened in real time as I tried to explain… stuff. And to draw said stuff. In the end, perhaps this is an etude in defining the Internet of Things (IoT). As usual, it may raise more questions than it answers.

I can’t believe it’s been almost two years since I made a feeble attempt to put some structure behind this nebulous concept of the IoT. Much of my thinking (not to mention the industry) has progressed since then, but I had a discussion recently that forced me to go back to an image I had put together illustrating how I saw the various pieces of the IoT coming together. To a first order, it still feels more or less relevant (although clearer than ever that it wasn’t put together by a true graphic artist).

 

Rock 'n' Roll EDA

DAC Takes On the City by the Bay

by Amelia Dalton

This week we're rockin' and rollin' in the key of IP with an EDA backbeat at the hottest design automation party of the year - DAC 2015. First up on stage is Mike Gianfagna from eSilicon who sings us a sweet little ditty about big data and tools that love it. Next up, we get all folksy with EDA consortium president Bob Smith. Bob serenades us with a song of innovation and collaboration that can only come from a motley band of many players. Lastly, I explore the underlying themes that define the chorus of this year's Design Automation Conference.

 

Bossing Like a Boss

Adding to the Pile of Management-Consulting Advice

by Jim Turley

“Employers only handle the money – it is the customer who pays the wages.” – Henry Ford

So you’ve risen through the ranks of engineering, and you’re about to be promoted. Kicked upstairs. Climbing the corporate ladder. Moved to the corner office. One step closer to Mahogany Row. Leaving the gang behind. You’re no longer the Dilbert, you’re the pointy haired boss. Kudos.

Will you make a good boss? Of course you will! Your spouse was all supportive of your move, right? And your mother said she always knew you had it in you. She even sent you a nice little houseplant to put on your new desk. Your buddies all slapped you on the back and congratulated you. Well, the ones who weren’t passed over for the new job, anyway.

 

Altera Stratix 10

Let the Revolution Begin

by Kevin Morris

In a poker game, nobody wants to show his cards first. And with the ever-engaging Altera versus Xilinx high-stakes marketing match, it’s always riveting to see who will decide to be the first to disclose the details of their next-generation programmable logic family, and how and when the other will choose to respond.

The tensions have never been higher than in the current contest. Both companies are throwing incredible energy into the race to build the best-and-first programmable logic chips based on 14/16nm FinFET technology. This generation of devices promises to be the most exciting and challenging in history, with absolutely mind-blowing capabilities on the table, and with the two companies using different fabs and different technologies to achieve their goals.

Xilinx blinked first, in this case, giving up the goods on their upcoming Virtex and Zynq devices just a few weeks ago. Xilinx’s effort is impressive. Now, Altera has followed suit with an equally inspired rollout of their own: behold - Stratix 10!

 

Granular SoC Power Control

Sonics and Mentor Graphics Attack From Different Angles

by Bryon Moyer

PCs have a rudimentary form of power management. Under a limited set of circumstances, a PC can reduce its own power consumption without your manually having to put it to sleep. As far as my experience tells me, the events that can cause a power down are inactivity and lid closure. And the power savings can be obtained by turning off the display and entering a sleep or hibernate state. This is pretty much the extent of what’s possible using the top level of the Power Options utility.

But let’s say you want to be a good, safe computer user and back up your system. With many such systems, it’s easier to do this while you’re not using the computer. I’ve found one program, for instance, that can back up email files to the cloud. But each time you get an email, the email storage file changes, causing a backup restart that can block the backup of numerous other files.


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