For the Love of Innovation

Crossbar’s RRAM and Raspberry Pi 2 Model B

by Amelia Dalton

In this week’s Fish Fry, we’re talking about our love of innovation big and small. From Crossbar’s recent breakthrough in non-volatile RRAM memory technology to the latest news from the land of Raspberry Pi. My first guest is Sagar Jethani from Element14. Sagar is here to give us the goods on the new Raspberry Pi 2 Model B. Wondering how this new Pi compares with the Pis of the past? Curious about its quad cores and how your model B+ accessories will work with this new model? Never fear, Sagar will answer all of these questions and more! My next guest is Sylvain Dubois from Crossbar. Sylvain gives us an update on the non-volatile memory landscape, and how Crossbar managed to get rid of two major obstacles plaguing alternative memory technology today. Also this week, we celebrate our love (or hate, as the case may be) of analog components, and we'll tell you how to make your next analog output design easier.

 

Programming Below Decks

REST and the Furtherance of the Two-Class System

by Jim Turley

Do you remember that scene in Titanic where the lower-class passengers are trapped behind locked gates and left to drown? (To be fair, it’s more than one scene; it’s about half of the movie.) Their cabins are small, the viewing portholes are nonexistent (they’re probably below the waterline anyway), and there are no linen tablecloths, or polished silverware, or string quartets to be seen. It’s an us-versus-them world of transatlantic travel.

The same thing is happening with programmers. We’ve got the dinner jacket programmers who deal with abstract, high-level concepts. And then we’ve got the programmers working below decks, toiling away in the boiler rooms of the world’s hardware companies that make the world go ‘round.

 

Engineering Childhood’s End

Radio Shack Goes From 50-in-1 to None

by Kevin Morris

My fingers trembled and my heart pounded. I carefully bent spring terminal #35 and inserted the tinned end of the final wire. I was confident that I had double-checked every connection, but I still felt unsure.

Nothing happened.

As I slowly turned the knob labeled “variable condenser,” I thought I heard a hiss or some static. Then, suddenly, Merle Haggard singing “Branded Man” boomed through my tiny earphone. I jumped! I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I hated country music, and it was the most beautiful sound my seven-year-old ears had ever heard.

 

More IoT Standards

Some Are New, Some Are Not

by Bryon Moyer

It started with mentions of two new (at least to me) standards in conference presentations: I3C and LoRa. I made a note to learn more about them.

But as I dug in, I kept finding other protocols – some open, some proprietary – being leveraged in an IoT way. Granted, some predate the IoT and were conceived simply as machine-to-machine (M2M) or smart-home protocols before the cloud and the IoT buzzwords were such a big deal. But they are part of the picture, so giving them some daylight seems useful. For the moment, then, I decided to focus on summarizing some of these standards here; I’ll come back with more detail on I3C and one or two others shortly.

 

One Drone to Rule Them All

The ZANO Drone Flying High with a Little Help from xPico WiFi

by Amelia Dalton

Buckle your seatbelt, make sure your tray table is stowed, and be sure you've read our helpful in-flight safety pamphlet - because we're taking flight! This week’s Fish Fry is about the tiniest drone this side of CES - the ZANO nano drone. My guest is Keith Chu (Lantronix) and we’re getting into the WiFi-enabled guts of this itty-bitty WiFi controlled nano drone. (Spoiler Alert: You fly it with your smart phone!) Also this week, we're checking out a new quadcopter that would make Han Solo proud, and looking into how you can leverage the power of Simulink and MATLAB in your next SoC/FPGA design.

 

A Look ‘Pack’ at CES 2015

Intel Goes for Notoriety, IoT Goes for a Catchy Tune

by Bruce Kleinman, FSVadvisors

I’ve had a month to mull over CES 2015 and read much of the breathless coverage. I’ll get my own ball rolling with Intel, the company that had a VERY large footprint at CES with one of the largest, flashiest and most expensive booths in the entire show. Before you jump to the “well OF COURSE a company of Intel’s size would have a gigantic booth” conclusion, do keep in mind that a modest little company called Microsoft has not had ANY booth at CES for the last few years. And last time I checked, Microsoft had a far larger consumer (that’s the ‘C’ in CES) business than Intel.

Intel had a cornucopia of announcements at CES, from real products to coming-soon products to WHAT THE?!?! concepts. Peruse Intel’s CES page for a high-level summary and, if you have the time, watch Brian Krzanich’s keynote: partially for the scope of the spectacle and mostly for the elements that Intel felt were important enough upon which to shine the spotlight.


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