Sensors In Motion Collapses the Umbrella
OK, so, those of you who have notions about consumer-grade inertial measurement units (IMUs)? Listen, I need you to do something for me now. Actually, not for me, but for your own good. I need you to sidle over to the nearest chair and ease into a comfortable seated position. Believe me, you’ll thank me in a minute
Because today we’re going to look at a corner of the market we haven’t explored before. We’ve spent untold hours on the challenges of pedestrian navigation, but what about navigation for items that are, shall we say, less pedestrian? Like airplanes. Or cars. Or tractors.
An In-Depth Interview with Kevin Morris
Time to break out the sparklers, the bailing wire, and your best O-scope. We’re having an EE party In honor of the 50th Anniversary of Moore’s Law. In this week’s Fish Fry, we investigate how Gordon Moore's legendary 1965 article in Electronics Magazine set the stage for a remarkable half-century of innovation in our industry. We also look at how (and why) Moore's Law may not mean as much going forward as it has in the past. My guest is Kevin Morris, editor-in-chief of EE Journal. Kevin is here to chat with me about how the 50th anniversary of Moore’s Law plays into the future of electronic design, his FORTRAN days, the learning curve of FPGA design, and even a little bit about his favorite project of all time.
Remarkable Depth and Breadth in Cloud Computing, and an Intriguing New Service
At face value, it is a bit of a brain twister: Amazon’s goal of being the “everything store” on the one hand, that is, and its massive cloud services business on the other. At first glance, not exactly peanut butter and chocolate. Walmart and Costco are not actively hawking their data processing capabilities—which one imagines as quite formidable—on the open market.
Turn the clock back a few years and it makes sense. Amazon developed their massive datacenters in-house because their requirements could not be readily met with existing solutions. As time passed, they developed more and more value-added differentiation. And, at some point, someone thinking well outside the box suggests “let’s monetize our unique datacenter capabilities by selling them in the emerging cloud computing market.” At least that is how I envision it going down; I am sure reality was more nuanced and more interesting.
Hazy Predictions for the Coming Year in Technology
With a quick polish of the crystal ball (okay, it’s a snow globe) and a tip of the hat to Scott Hilburn, I do hereby make my official and semi-seriously considered prognostications for The Year in Technology, 2015 Edition.
- Tesla Motors will reject separate takeover offers from Daimler Benz, BMW, and Nissan/Renault. The battery-car manufacturer has been flying high lately, even becoming the #1 selling car – of any kind – in the country of Norway. That success has attracted interested suitors eager to learn about Tesla’s battery technology and/or to co-opt the brand’s shine. Tesla is nevertheless likely to spurn all outside offers, remaining steadfastly independent. You will be able to buy Tesla batteries for other devices/appliances before long, however.
Will Altera FPGAs Drive Your Future Audi?
Letting go of the steering wheel for the first time will be a terrifying milestone for most drivers. As engineers, we have all known for years that self-driving and assisted-driving cars were coming, and as a group we have a unique appreciation for the myriad challenges - both technical and social - that lie between us and safer roads.
On the technical side, it is clear that a robust, safe self-driving system requires the aggregation of massive amounts of data from a diverse array of sensors, and the software that processes those inputs will be complex, performance-demanding, and in a high state of flux for many years. That means we need an unfortunate combination of massive sensor aggregation bandwidth, raw data processing, and algorithmic compute performance that can not easily be solved by any current combination of conventional processors and ASSPs.
You May Be Surprised at What Crooks Will Try
There’s the textbook version of the tech business, where hard-working innovators push the edges of technology, bringing ever-more-efficient products into a free market where consumers reward those who best meet consumer needs.
And then there’s the real world, where “innovation” can sometimes mean finding the cleverest ways to cheat.
I mean, yeah, I know that bad guys are out there trying to steal our identities and more. And that shortcuts will always be taken by some. But I have to admit that, as I sat through an ICCAD session on hardware security, the scale of things surprised me.