The Internet of Seeing Things

Is Embedded Vision the Ultimate Killer App?

by Kevin Morris

There is no question that the Internet of Things (IoT) is exploding. There are estimates that, in the near future, trillions of devices will be connected by the IoT. This could equate to hundreds or even thousands of connected devices for every single human being on Earth, all talking to each other over the largest communications infrastructure ever imagined.

But, what makes a good “thing?”

In order for a “thing” to be a useful contributing member of that internet of theirs, it needs to bring something to the party. Nobody cares about a “thing” that just sits around consuming data and doesn’t have anything to contribute. Like us humans, in order for a “thing” to be interesting, it needs perception -- a way to sense what’s going on around it. Only then is it qualified to be an interesting participant in the greater conversation.

 

Who Owns the IoT Gateway?

The Ups and Downs of Sharing

by Bryon Moyer

We spend a lot of effort talking about Internet of Things (IoT) edge nodes. Not only do they do the real work of the IoT, they must do so within tight power and cost constraints. But Mentor Graphics recently moved the spotlight a bit to shine it on the gateway. You might think of a gateway as just another piece of hardware that does aggregation and routing, but there are some high-level policy questions that warrant consideration.

The gateway is the local box that stands between the edge nodes and the Cloud. By acting as a hub, it can manage multiple data streams from its edge nodes, perhaps performing some intelligent filtering on that data and sending some subset up to the Cloud. In the reverse direction, it receives instructions from the Cloud and implements them locally.

 

Follow the R&D Road

Rogue Valley Micro Makes Your Design Dreams Come True

by Amelia Dalton

Nestled in the rain shadow (and yes, that really is a thing) between the Cascade Range and Siskiyou Mountains, sits a very unique foundry. A foundry that specializes in semiconductor, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and MEMS services for companies large, small, and everywhere in between. In this week’s Fish Fry, we take a closer look at Medford, Oregon-based Rogue Valley Microelectronics. Jessica Gomez (CEO - Rogue Valley Microelectronics) joins Fish Fry to discuss the many flavors of foundry services offered at Rogue Valley Micro, how their specialized R&D helps design dreams come true, and why they chose Medford for their foundry's home base. Also this week, we check out a new technology developed at the Tyndall National Institute that will revolutionize how we monitor radiation exposure in space.

 

What Would Spock Do?

Do the Needs of the Many Outweigh the Needs of the One?

by Jim Turley

You invent stuff. Your colleagues over there in the [fill in the blank] department invent stuff, too. Together, everyone in your company collaborates to invent stuff, which you then sell for money. Outside people seem willing to trade their money for your stuff. Everybody wins.

That’s the third-grade-level, Little Golden Book version of market dynamics and capitalism. Most of us grok the concept pretty easily. But of course, the reality is never that simple.

What if you didn’t actually invent the stuff you’re selling? What if, say, you just dug it up out of the ground (i.e., you’re a miner)? Or found it lying on the street (a recycler)? Or stole it from somebody else (a thief or a fence)? Or, more germane to our industry, what if you saw an interesting new machine, liked how it worked, and then created your own version of it?

 

YoT - the Year of Things

2016 is Here!

by Kevin Morris

The song has been sung, the corks popped, the celebrations made, and the consequences endured. 2015 has ended, and we have plunged headlong into 2016. Moore’s Law may have ended, but the technology landscape is no less dynamic than it has ever been. We look forward to an exciting year of innovation and celebration, controversy and confusion as the fruits of five decades of exponential progress fall from the trees into our waiting arms.

When we founded this publication back in 2003 under the “FPGA Journal” masthead, we knew that the world was in the midst of dramatic and discontinuous change driven by technological progress. At the core of that progress was the engine of Moore’s Law, which had the net effect of a rocket-ride increase in computing power versus every other important metric: cost, power consumption, and form factor.

 

A 1T (or 2T) SRAM Bit Cell

Significant Change to SRAM Economics?

by Bryon Moyer

There are few semiconductor circuits as constant as the SRAM cell. Until now.

SRAM is important because it’s our fastest-performance memory tier – and it can take up a goodly chunk of your SoC area. But it’s an expensive beast (or else we’d use even more). For as long as I can recall, the basic reference circuit of the SRAM bit has stayed the same. It costs six transistors, arranged as a couple of back-to-back inverters with cross-coupling feedback to hold the state.


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