Marketing Math 201

Up to 5x More Compelling

by Kevin Morris

Hello students, please take a seat. I’d like to welcome you to Marketing Mathematics 201. That’s right, compared with other “intro” classes, we have almost 2X the oomph, giving you an estimated 120% more learning with 3/7ths less homework energy expenditure.

If you’ll please look at your syllabus (which, by the way, is 28% shorter than last year’s, while packing in up to 500% more aggregated knowledge) you’ll see that we will have only four effective exams in the course this term (distributed across five discrete tests), reducing exam stress by an estimated 72 thermal units, while simultaneously increasing the accuracy of accomplishment measurement by a staggering 12 effective resolution bits.

Now, just a note before we begin. If any of you are on the “future FPGA marketing” career path, you’re in the wrong room. You’ll need to attend “Advanced Xtreme Marketing Mathematics 767+” on the top floor of the tower in the administrative building.


Synopsys Hacked

No Apparent Loss, But What Does It Mean?

by Bryon Moyer

Synopsys has joined an illustrious list of high-value names that are members of a growing club: companies that have been hacked.

This week they announced an unauthorized breach in their “EDA, IP and optical products and product license files through its customer-facing license and product delivery system.” They were careful to note that “no customer project or design data in this system was accessed, and there is no indication that this incident affected any other Synopsys systems.” And, critically, “The license and product delivery system does not store personally identifiable information (PII) or payment card information (PCI).” And that they’ve closed the means of access that was used.

I was able to chat with Synopsys’s Dave DeMaria to get a better understanding of what happened. So let’s start by laying out the situation.


Beyond Debug

FPGAs for Fun and Prototyping

by Amelia Dalton

In this week’s episode of Fish Fry we’re letting loose some LUTs, bringing up the bitstream, and cramming in some configuration with Mick Posner from Synopsys. Mick joins Fish Fry to discuss the many uses of FPGA prototyping, the growing importance of embedded software in SoC design, and the evolution of prototyping strategies. Keeping with our FPGA theme, we also take a closer look at ARTY - Xilinx’s new $99 FPGA development Kit.


Cortex-A35 Is More, Better, Faster

ARM’s Newest CPU Core Is Just Like Its Predecessors, But More So

by Jim Turley

“Mom, they did it again!”

How do they do it? The engineers at ARM, I mean. They just keep cranking out new microprocessors, month after month, year after year. And they all look… so much the same.

It’s like Taco Bell: they have just three ingredients but they’re brilliant at mixing them around in different ways to look like new products. It’s impressive, really. And evidently quite profitable.


Monstrous Memory

Altera SiP Brings the Bandwidth

by Kevin Morris

Altera quietly announced their new “Stratix 10 DRAM SiP” recently, and the headline almost slipped in below our radar. After all, we’ve been hearing about “Stratix 10” for a while now. We have written about the impressive capabilities it will bring to the table, thanks to substantial architectural advances by Altera and the promise of Intel’s 14nm Tri-Gate (Intel’s term for FinFET) technology. And, “DRAM” is about as exciting as reruns of old Super Bowls.

So, the only thing to catch much attention was the little “SiP” part tacked onto the end of the title, and even that is a concept we’ve covered in quite a bit of detail.


Keeping Your IoT Secrets Secret

Ways to Protect Your Keys

by Bryon Moyer

[Editor’s note: this is the sixth in a series on Internet-of-Things security. You can find the introductory piece here and the prior piece here.]

We’ve looked at how Internet of Things (IoT) machines can greet each other and exchange secret passwords to prove that they’re legit. We’ve looked at how to scramble data so that it becomes nothing more than so much gibberish unless you’re entitled to read it. And we’ve looked at the, well, key piece of data that enables all of this: the key.

We’ve seen different ways to generate a key; we’ve seen different ways to use keys. But there’s one thing we haven’t looked at: how to protect the key. After all, if someone can find the key, then suddenly all the secrets aren’t so secret anymore.

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