SPICE SPICE Baby!

Adventures in FAST Spice and Secret Message Jelly Fish

by Amelia Dalton

What do SPICE and a new material inspired by the skin of squid and jellyfish have in common? This week's episode of Fish Fry of course! First up, Zhihong Liu, Chairman and CEO of ProPlus Solutions joins us to discuss trends in the SPICE world, the challenges of displacing circuit-level FastSPICE simulators, and why he thinks table tennis is the best sport in the world. In the second half of our episode, we investigate a new type of material inspired by the reactionary skin of squid and jellyfish developed by a team of researchers at the University of Connecticut. This newly developed material may change how we interact with our cellphones, how we trade in our electronics, and how we send (secret) messages as well.

 

Something in the Air

Ultrasonics Brings Touch to the Human Machine Interface

by Dick Selwood

When you are next in a hospital, watch the medical staff as they get into a lift. The odds are they will call out the floor they want and someone non-medical will press the button. This is not because they are lazy but because studies have shown that hospital lift buttons have more bacteria on them than toilet seats. Clearly a sensor that recognises a wave of the hand or a pushing gesture as a signal to choose a floor would be a good replacement for a physical button, but how do you know whether your gesture has been recognised? Imagine instead, that - as you made a pushing gesture, your hand could feel a "button"?

 

News Flash: Hell Still Not Frozen Over

The Intel/ARM Agreement is a Smaller Deal Than It Sounds

by Jim Turley

You don’t often see the names “Intel” and “ARM” used together in a sentence without words like “rival” or “competitor” in between them. They’re like oil and water, cats and dogs, Dodgers and Giants.

But, just this week, we saw the lion lie down with the lamb. What’s this? Intel and ARM are working together? Intel will be making ARM processors? It’s the end of the world as we know it!

 

Flash for IoT, Automotive, and Mobile

Micron Launches New NAND Products

by Bryon Moyer

Memory is memory, right? OK, OK, yeah, there’s different types. DRAM, SRAM, non-volatile (typically NOR and NAND). But, within each family, memory is memory. Right?

Well, maybe not. Micron had a couple of NAND announcements, and the features they highlighted were definitely targeted at specific markets: consumer IoT (CIoT), industrial IoT (IIoT), automotive, and mobile. So – perhaps density aside – why would it matter where the memory is going? Let’s take a walk through the situation to see.

 

It’s All in the Sequence

How is Your Register Behaving?

by Amelia Dalton

Registers: It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it. In this week’s Fish Fry, we take a closer look at register behavior modification and sequence automation with Anupam Bakshi of Agnisys. Anupam and I also discuss design intent and the future of verification intent. Whether we like it or not, we all need a little help sometimes, right? In the second part of our EDA special, we welcome Bob Smith from the Electronic System Design Alliance. Bob and I discuss how the ESDA is helping facilitate IP fingerprinting and 3D system scaling, as well as bridging the gap between hardware and software in embedded system design.

 

Big Data Moves to “Electronics”

Optimal+ Covers Board, System Manufacturing

by Bryon Moyer

Last year, right around this time, we took a look at a company called Optimal+. They were harvesting reams of semiconductor test data so that analysts could rummage through, looking for clues to manufacturing tweaks that could improve yield or throughput without compromising quality. With latency of up to around 10 minutes, it provided something close to real-time feedback.

And any new learnings could be tested on mounds of historical data to see “what would have happened” had the new rule been in place. If good things would have happened, then they could immediately roll the new rule out.

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