New MSP432 Family is ARM-Based… Of Course
Spring is sprung. The grass is riz. I wonder where the chips they is. – Justifiably Anonymous
Springtime means growth. Growth means change. Change means adjusting to new things.
For TI’s perennial MSP430 family of MCUs, today marks the start of a new season. A new branch on the family tree, if you will. For today, the MSP430 grows up – to 32 bits. It has reached that awkward adolescent stage where it has outgrown its toy box but isn’t quite ready for a desk job. It was time for a big change, a growth spurt, and that transition always comes at a price.
Cadence Stratus Ushers In a New Era
It’s been more than twenty years since I started working on high-level synthesis (HLS). You might say I’ve studied the topic a lot. For most of those two-plus decades, HLS has been widely considered the “design methodology of the future.” And there are those who have held onto the belief that it always will be.
For those of you not in tune with the terms, high-level synthesis is the automatic creation of hardware architectures from behavioral descriptions. At first, HLS was known as “behavioral synthesis.” But, after some early bad experiences, the EDA industry quietly shifted the name over to HLS - hoping that nobody would notice or have episodes of PTSD when confronted with the idea.
We (or, at least, most of us) don’t have fancy navigational gadgets in our cars. (Your phone doesn’t count.) We expect the planes we fly on or the ships we sail on to have gyroscopes, but we don’t expect that, in our car, buried deep under the hood somewhere, lurks a classic gimbally sort of contraption madly spinning away and keeping us on the straight and narrow.
But… as you drove in to work today, you may well have been accompanied by a crude gyroscopoid thingy. (No, I’m still not talking about your phone.) In fact, the same item likely served as an accelerometer. In fact, it’s more evident as an accelerometer. If you had to decelerate rapidly, what might detect this? Could it be the coffee that has now been deposited as a thin film all over your windshield and dashboard?
Altium Brings the Goods to Makers, Startups, and Engineers Alike
Buying PCB software can be a lot like purchasing a new car. Once you've got the full set of amenities that you've always wanted (don't forget the TruCoat!), you're about ready to take out a second mortgage on your house. PCB design software does not have to break the bank or cause ruffled feathers during your next budget review. In this week's Fish Fry, we examine the multiple flavors of Altium's PCB tool suites packages -- all the bells and whistles, price points, and more with Sam Sattel, PCB rockstar from Altium. Also this week, we check out iSkin - the newest research in wearable technology coming out of the Embodied Interaction Group in Germany. You won't want to miss it!
Intel’s MMU is a Handy Tool to Prevent Hacking
One of the many charms of the x86 processor architecture is its fantastically complex memory-management unit. First-time programmers fall to their knees, quailing in fear, at the thought of programming a Core i7 chip’s MMU. Grown men cry. Horses weep. Concrete structures crumble.
But like any tool, the MMU can be used for good or for evil. In this case, it’s both at the same time. Security researcher Jacob Torrey, building on the work of many x86 programmers before him, has worked out a way to make x86 code highly hack-resistant by using the on-chip MMU in a fiendishly clever way.
Xilinx Announces SDSoC
The world of system design used to be a simple place. Hardware engineers designed hardware, and software engineers wrote software. The hardware folks sat in labs, hooked things up with wires and connectors and soldering irons, and worried about current and voltage. The software engineers sat in front of computers, used editors and debuggers, and wrote, worried about, and debugged code. They played on different company softball teams, ate in different parts of the company cafeteria, and wore different styles of clothing.
Then, one day, hardware started to become a little more like software. Hardware engineers found themselves sitting in front of computers a lot of the day - writing and debugging HDL code - and then running into their labs to resume their work with scopes and soldering irons. If they were designing with FPGAs, they became even more like software engineers. It didn’t seem like a huge change, but it was the first step toward where we are today.