Silent Switching 101

Smarter Power Part Three

by Amelia Dalton

The average person owns thousands of them but many of us don’t know exactly what they do. We’re talking about the unsung heroes of DC/DC regulators, the silent switchers that quietly power our world. In this week’s Fish Fry, we’re swimming in the power end of the pool with Leonard Stargat. Leonard is here to unveil the mysteries of silent switching. Don’t know what a silent switcher is or why you need it? Never fear, Fish Fry is here to help! In the third part of our smarter power series, we take a closer look at how switching regulators can replace linear regulators in the power ecosystem.

 

Report on the Cisco 2015 Annual Security Report

A Reasonably Comprehensive Overview, with a Minimum of Self-Serving Corporate Promotion

by Bruce Kleinman

Large companies have large pools of resources. Occasionally, those resources document their work in a relatively coherent manner. And sometimes, these documents make for worthwhile reading. Such is the case now under discussion here:

The Cisco 2015 Annual Security Report “which presents the research, insights, and perspectives provided by Cisco Security Research and other security experts within Cisco”

and weighs in at a tidy 50-plus pages; this blog post is considerably shorter. If this article piques your curiosity, I encourage you to read the full report yourself; it is well-written and only mildly self-serving.

 

Astronauts, Architects, and Memory Chips

Nantero’s Carbon-Nanotube Memory Challenges Flash

by Jim Turley

“That’s one small step for [a] man; one giant leap for mankind.” – Neil Armstrong, Tranquility Base, July 21, 1969

So this happened. A new type of memory chip went up in the space shuttle Atlantis as part of an experiment. The astronauts opened the giant doors and exposed the cargo bay to the expanse of space. Gamma radiation, cosmic rays, extreme cold followed by intense heat as the shuttle does a “rotisserie roll,” and any number of random magnetic fields all failed to affect the little memory chip. It came back with its contents intact, because it’s a nonvolatile device. With a difference.

 

Selling the Soul of Innovation

Greed Trumps Vision in Technology Mergers

by Kevin Morris

A technology company has a kind of soul - a manifestation of a tribal culture that has evolved and matured from the earliest days of its founding. Building a bright-eyed startup into a large, successful enterprise requires a unique cocktail of vision, boundless energy, and commonality of purpose that instills upon the team a distinct personality that is evidenced in everything it does.

In countries with, perhaps, a bit more rigor in their application of the English language than the United States, companies are referenced with the plural verb: “Google ARE launching a new product.” This is a subtle but constant reminder that a company is not a singularity, but a collective - a group of people who have come together in a unique way with a shared mission and a particular way of doing things. These people often spend more time with each other than they do with their own families, and their goals, behaviors, and ways of working and interacting are molded by membership in that group. In every sense of the word, a technology company is a tribe.

 

Redefining How Software Is Created

Cubicon Sees the IoT as an Opportunity for a Restart

by Bryon Moyer

The world they were planning to leave was a technology mess. They had watched how, in their short lifetimes, software had evolved from an obscure, tedious ritual practiced in large basements where the soundtrack mixed the hum of a room-sized mainframe computer with the whirr of Hollerith card readers, punctuated by the clatter of card punches, all the way to a commodity skill whose practitioners far outnumbered the dwindling numbers of hardware designers. Grade-school kids could now write software – either to run on their own computers or on some machine purportedly located in some cloud somewhere. And through this process, new languages picked up from old languages. New paradigms replaced old ones. Single-thread architectures and assumptions gave way to parallel processors. Native compilation ceded to virtual machines, multiples of which could coexist within a single hardware machine.

 

The Future of Human-Machine Interfaces

Intuition and HMI with eyeSight Technologies

by Amelia Dalton

Evolution is the name of the game in this week’s Fish Fry. The way we interact with our machines has changed dramatically in the past decade and will continue to evolve - from buttons and toggles to new, more hands-free forms of human-machine interface (HMI). I chat with Tal Krzypow from eyeSight Technologies about the future of HMI. We look at the growing trend toward hands-free interfaces, the important role intuition plays in the design of HMI, and where HMI is headed in the years to come. Also this week, we check out Element14’s new “DreamBoard vs Battle of the Boards” contest.


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