A Hidden IoT Network

Cirrent Leverages Home Hotspots for Connecting Gadgetry

by Bryon Moyer

Alrighty then! You’ve got yourself a handy-dandy new Gadget McWidget! How awesome is that? And it says, “IoT” right here on the packaging! Even awesomer! What does it do, you ask? Well, smart things! Because… connected!

All you’ve gotta do is connect it. Just like… this. Ta-dahhh! No, wait… there! Oops, wait, what happened? Um… hang on, hang on, I got this… must be… this button here. Yeah! No… this button and then that button? No? [Small voice] Halp?


DAC to the Future

IoT, Debug, and Verification at DAC 2016

by Amelia Dalton

It's that time again! This week's Fish Fry is coming to y'all from the great state of Texas and the heart of the electronic design ecosystem: the Design Automation Conference in Austin. We're laying out a virtual chuckwagon of DAC bounty. For our first course, we'll fry up some IP with David Rose of UltraSoC. Next, dig in to delicious debug automation with Daniel Hansson of Verifyter. And finally, you can feast on aromatic ASIC/FPGA verification with Louie DeLuna and Krzysztof Szczur of Aldec. You'll also want to stick around for our take on the entertaining bits and bobs at this year's conference and a special News You May Have Missed.


Rethinking System Integration

From Syntax to Semantics – Creating the Language of Machines

by Chris Allport (Skayl), Gordon Hunt (Skayl), and Geoff Revill (Market Altitude)

For large-scale systems integration, our approach to building software needs a fundamental rethink. We are imposing on machines our human-scale communication methods instead of seeking to enable machines to freely converse. The intent is straightforward: to reduce integration costs by predefining interfaces, providing backward compatibility and forward-capable integration.

When building large-scale systems we focus on how to connect the systems together instead of how they communicate. We push the knowledge of what to communicate into the code blocks that engage with each other and we spend a lot of time ‘simplifying’ communication into a syntactic bit stream, defined in a human understandable interface communication document (ICD) that embodies the real knowledge of what the bit stream is all about.


Give Your Receptionist a Raise

Customer Service is Sometimes Your Only Real Product

by Jim Turley

“Now all that matters is if you can install your own Ethernet card without having to call tech support and confess your inadequacies to a stranger whose best career option is to work in tech support.” – Scott Adams

As engineers, we tend to think that we create our company’s products. Along with our friends over in Manufacturing, we make what we sell. Everybody else in the company is just ancillary; a kind of necessary evil.

Trouble is, nobody told the customers about that.


State of Emulation

How Do the Different Emulators Stack Up?

by Bryon Moyer

Late last year, Cadence released their new emulator edition, the Palladium Z1. Seems like that makes it time to take a look at the emulation environment to see where the different providers lie. We recently talked about Mentor’s application approach, but that was a higher-level discussion; we haven’t looked at the actual boxes for a long time.

Looking at the big picture, it would appear that all of the traditional major players are equipped to handle very large SoC designs, with each system having relative strengths and weaknesses. That said, this is a very tight, super-competitive space, with itchy fingers on triggers. So I’m hoping I don’t get anything factually wrong; I’ll be jumped all over. I may, however, still earn wrath since I’m not going to dub any system as the best at everything, which may run afoul of some marketing messaging.


EE Times "Divested"

A Sad Day in the Electronics Trade Press

by Kevin Morris

Animal shelters can be heartbreaking places. Not so much because of the over-enthusiastic questionable-breed puppies bounding energetically around their cages, oblivious to the game of Russian roulette that their caretakers are playing with their lives. No, it’s the ten-year-old one-eyed dog, brought in by the owner who “just doesn’t feel like having a dog anymore” sitting despondently at the back of his cage, the wisdom of experience heavy on his brow, solemnly awaiting his inevitable fate. That’s what makes visiting these places such a gut-wrenching experience.

Today, UBM announced that it was “divesting itself” of its electronic engineering publications, including US and Asian versions of EE Times, EDN, ESM, Embedded, EBM, TechOnline, and Datasheets.com. The publications are being acquired by a subsidiary of Arrow Electronics, Inc. - a worldwide distributor of electronic components.

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