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MEMS Lidar for Driverless Vehicles Takes Another Big Step

“We must understand what infrastructure is needed to support 1 billion parcels a day.” – Jack Ma, Alibaba Executive Chairman

Late in May, Alibaba Group’s Cainiao Network and RoboSense jointly announced G Plus, the world’s first unmanned logistics vehicle to incorporate solid-state Lidar. The announcement coincided with Alibaba’s Cainiao Network 2018 Global Smart Logistics Summit. According to the release:  “Alibaba’s Cainiao G Plus is equipped … Read More → "MEMS Lidar for Driverless Vehicles Takes Another Big Step"

Living on the EDGE

“You say you want a revolution? – John Lennon

There’s leading edge, there’s bleeding edge, there’s double-edged, and there’s over the edge. It’s hard to say which term applies to a new style of processor beginning to sneak out of the labs.

It’s called EDGE – for Explicit Data Graph Execution – and it’s… different. Microsoft itself has designed a custom EDGE processor and implemented it in hardware. Is the software giant really designing CPUs now?

Read More → "Living on the EDGE"

Is AI the Killer FPGA Application?

Ross Freeman, co-founder of Xilinx, invented the FPGA in 1984. In the 34 years that have passed, FPGAs have been wildly successful and are certainly among the most important electronic devices ever conceived. But during that entire history, tracing the evolution of FPGAs from dozens of LUTs to millions, the FPGA has been the optimal solution for … exactly zero applications.

Don’t get me wrong. FPGAs do one thing exceptionally well: Flexibility. FPGAs can often do what no other device can, bridging gaps between otherwise-incompatible protocols, reconfiguring themselves on the fly to adapt to changing requirements and circumstances, and … Read More → "Is AI the Killer FPGA Application?"

A New ASIC for AI

Anytime the new cool thing comes around, all the cool engineers have to figure out the best ways to make it work. And we embark on a natural progression – or perhaps succession is a better word – sort of the way a depression along a river changes from pond to wetland to meadow.

In this case, the succession all about the conflict between flexibility and cost. (And performance.) In general, you can get either performance or one or both of the other two. The thing is, though, that, if the best … Read More → "A New ASIC for AI"

Xilinx Hits the Road with Daimler

In what appears to be another win for Xilinx’s formidable Zynq SoC FPGA platform, Xilinx and Daimler announced a collaboration on “an in-car system using Xilinx technology for artificial intelligence (AI) processing in automotive applications.” We say this “appears” to be a win for Zynq because Zynq isn’t mentioned by name in the very-vague press release. It does say, however, that the solution is “powered by a Xilinx automotive platform consisting of system-on-a-chip (SoC) devices and AI acceleration software.” We believe the SoC devices will be some member(s) of the Zynq … Read More → "Xilinx Hits the Road with Daimler"

Maybe You Can’t Drive my Car (Yet) Part 3

“I’m not bad. I’m just drawn that way.” – Jessica Rabbit

In the last installment of this article series (see “Maybe You Can’t Drive My Car (Yet) Part 2”), the NTSB had just reported preliminary findings regarding the fatal crash of a Tesla Model S in Silicon Valley near the difficult intersection of US 101 and California State Highway (SH) 85. Briefly, the NTSB report said:

“ … Read More → "Maybe You Can’t Drive my Car (Yet) Part 3"

Intel’s x86 Turns 40: Full of Vigor or Doddering Retiree?

Forty years ago, the calendar on the kitchen wall said it was 1978. People were taping All in the Family on their Betamax VCRs, the Nobel Prize for Literature went to Isaac Bashevis Singer, Animal House and Jaws 2 were filling movie theaters, and the Western world was, to its everlasting shame, in the grip of disco music.

Meanwhile, in Santa Clara, … Read More → "Intel’s x86 Turns 40: Full of Vigor or Doddering Retiree?"

Goodbye to All This

This is a part of my goodbye to an active role in the world of electronics, a world I have been a part of, as a PR person and a journalist, for nearly 40 years and, if you add on previous use of computers, including using teletypes on ARPANET, for nearly 50. In a few days, I will close down my commercial activities, and, although I will be looking at writing a book on an aspect of electronics history, I will no longer be an active player.

I am going to use … Read More → "Goodbye to All This"

Microchip Makes Two Small Firsts

“Roses are red / Violets are blue / I’m schizophrenic / And so am I” – Oscar Levant

Two heads are better than one, and everyone’s stuck their head into the multicore business. Even little $1 microcontrollers have dual processor cores now, including those from MCU titan Microchip.
Just this week, Microchip announced two new (and unrelated) devices, both of which can claim a small first in the industry. One, the dsPIC33CH, is the company’s first dsPIC device to have two cores. Previously, all dsPIC chips were single-core only. Over on the other side of … Read More → "Microchip Makes Two Small Firsts"

featured blogs
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