BREXIT, ARM and Uncertainty

It is Too Early to Tell

by Dick Selwood

In the last few days, I heard that Garrison Keeler will no longer be intoning, "It has been a quiet week in Lake Woebegone…" He is retiring. Yes, even in Europe we have heard the Prairie Home Companion, and here in Britain none of the last few weeks have been quiet weeks.

The story goes that Zhou Enlai, the Chinese Communist Leader, when asked about the impact of the French Revolution, said, "It is too early to say." The myth-busting wisdom is that he was talking not about the storming of the Bastille in 1789 and the subsequent events, but the student events of 1968. However, the statement does encompass a great deal of historical wisdom: in particular, we should not rush to predict the consequences of events. Yet there is no shortage of people prepared to rush to judgement on the web within seconds of an event, whether or not they are fully informed.

 

Treading on Thin Air

Engineering the Second Generation

by Kevin Morris

Somewhere, in a nondescript cubicle in building number umpteen of a multi-billion-dollar multinational multi-technology conglomerate, an engineer sits at a lab bench staring at an eye diagram on six-figure scope. It’s the same every day. Any time he is not in a meeting or writing a status report, he sits in this lab and eats and breathes signal integrity. He has almost no concept of the end product that will incorporate his work. His entire universe is jitter, pre-emphasis, equalization, noise, amplitudes, and bit-error rates. For him, time stands still - in the picoseconds.

 

Processing Parallel Worlds

MIT Swarm Processor Shows Spectacular Early Results

by Jim Turley

Programming with parallelism is sometimes illustrated with a kitchen example. One cook working by himself has to do everything in sequence: turn on the stove, mix the batter, pour the sauce, grill the meat, etc. That’s serial programming with no parallelism. That’s how all computers worked until fairly recently.

But two cooks can work faster than one. While one stirs the batter, the other can be checking on the meat or seasoning the broth. Ideally, the work gets done twice as fast. In practice, it’s not usually that perfectly efficient, but, even so, two heads are almost always better than one.

 

Keeping the FCC and Open Source Happy

Prpl: Routers Can Be Secure and Open

by Bryon Moyer

The FCC is worried. You and they spend all this time and energy getting your radio certified, and then some bozo hacks in, changes how the radio works, and puts you out of spec.

And so, back in early 2015, the FCC issued some guidelines or questions regarding WiFi devices – particularly home routers – in an effort to ensure that your radio isn’t hackable.

 

Stand (Tall) and Deliver

Verific Language Parsers and Your Startup Success

by Amelia Dalton

Filed under “Don’t Try This at Home” or “Not to be Taken Lightly”, most EDA engineering teams don’t even consider building their own language front end. Most of you will know the name Verific and some probably have used their language parsers a time or two (or twenty), but many of you may not know that Verific also has a robust and comprehensive startup program. In this week’s Fish Fry, Rick Carlson and I chat about how your startup can stand out from the crowd with a little help from Verific. Rick also shares with us some Verific-assisted startup success stories and explains why the giraffe is Verific’s signature giveaway.

 

A Light at the End of the Tunnel

Photonics May Be the Next Big Thing

by Jim Turley

“Begone, Prince of Insufficient Light!” -- Dogbert

Imagine describing electronics, and electrons, to an 8-year-old. “Electrons are really tiny little particles that move through the wires, see? And they can turn switches on and off, and do stuff, and… uh… perform magic tricks.”

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