Custom Silicon for Makers

SiFive Leverages Open-Source RISC-V for Customizable Compute Platforms

by Bryon Moyer

Makers are the epitome of what big chip vendors used to consider a waste of time for their valuable salesfolk. “Fred in the shed,” as they said. No volume, no ROI. “Stick with Tier 1s.”

But you Makers are now in demand, given that you’re particularly good at things required for Internet of Things (IoT) types of systems, taking readily-available platforms and making them do cool things – things that larger companies are now more interested in; things that could potentially sell in high volumes. I don’t know whether chip guys are now selling to Makers, but Makers have definitely been courted with more platforms (hardware and software) and tools for getting, at the very least, proofs of concept out the door quickly.

 

Dichotomy and Contradiction

Don’t Ever Tell Your Customers What Your Product Can Actually Do

by Jim Turley

“Now all restaurants are Taco Bell.” – Lt. Lenina Huxley, “Demolition Man”

Who remembers the one-word tag line, “Beatrice,” at the end of TV commercials?

That single word – was it a name? – a hidden command to action? – tacked onto the ends of seemingly unrelated TV commercials airing in the 1980s neatly summed up a different word: hubris.

 

A New Era for EDA?

What’s Next After Moore’s Law

by Kevin Morris

The EDA industry has always been a bit of an enigma. On one hand, EDA has provided the essential technology that has enabled Moore’s Law to proceed for half a century. Without the incredible accomplishments of EDA’s engineers, today’s multi-billion transistor marvels would never have had the chance to exist, and their world-changing capabilities would never have seen the light of day.

Yep, that’s right. I’m saying that without EDA we would not have Pokemon Go.

 

A Four-Way Vehicular Radio Module

Redpine Bets on 802.11p Over LTE-V

by Bryon Moyer

Redpine Signals is placing a bet. It might have been less of a bet a year or two ago, but things change, and the future isn’t as obvious as it once might have seemed.

See, they’re betting that IEEE 802.11p will rule the roadways in the coming time when our cars will carry on intense conversations with each other and with the things around them. Folks have been working on that standard for a while, and it appeared to be the default nominee for the job. Then along came a less-expected candidate, and the odds have changed.

 

The Next Wave of Computerization

IoT, FinFETs, and the Tools We Need

by Amelia Dalton

The air is a perfect 72 degrees. The water is calm for now, but breakers dot the horizon. The time for the next mondo wave isn't here now, but it will be soon. In this week's fish fry, we're surfing our way to the next big computational wave with a little help from David Dutton (CEO - Silvaco) and Lisa Minwell from eSilicon. David and I discuss why we will see a lot more design requirements coming out of middle nodes, why on-board power will be more important than ever before, and a little bit about why our design tools will be the key to our future success in IoT. In the second half of our episode, Lisa Minwell and I chat about the components of a successful IP company and where 2.5D (and 2.1D) designs will find their foothold in the future.

 

ARM: We’re Turning Japanese

SoftBank Acquisition of ARM Could be a Big Deal – Or Not

by Jim Turley

“Everyone avoids me like a cyclone ranger.” – The Vapors

You can stop reading now.

Really, there’s nothing to see here, folks. Go on about your business. Just another humdrum $32 billion acquisition of one of the industry’s most important players. Heck, that’s less than NFL players get paid right out of college, amiright?


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