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Realistic Edge-Device Testing

We have so many electronic devices in our lives these days. OK, file that under “D” for “Duh!!!,” but how many different kinds do we have? Well… phones, of course. Tablets? Check… Computers? You bet.

After those, things are less obvious. A smart watch? OK… mostly that’s a phone that looks like a watch (and maybe without the phone capabilities, but… who uses a phone as a phone anymore anyway??). But OK… next? (I’m talking regular folks, not buy-all-the-techy-things folks from inside the Silicon Valley bubble…)

Read More → "Realistic Edge-Device Testing"

Where’s the CNN Synthesis?

The electronic design automation (EDA’s) mission has always been primarily to facilitate the design and verification of electronic circuits. EDA began, of course, with companies like Mentor, Daisy, and Valid providing specialized software for capturing and editing schematic drawings. These tools took the native human-readable language of the designer: schematics, and created the fundamental machine-readable structure of EDA: the netlist.

In the four decades since, EDA has not strayed far from that path, conceptually. The job just got tougher. Moore’s Law took complexity through the roof, for logic … Read More → "Where’s the CNN Synthesis?"

The New, New Intel Unleashes a Technology Barrage

“3D XPoint is nothing short of a miracle.” – Alber Ilkbahar

Intel just celebrated the start of its 50th year. For those who were not following closely in 1968, Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore founded Intel Corporation on July 18 of that year. That’s a year after the Summer of Love and three years and change before the introduction of the first commercially successful microprocessor, Intel’s 4004. So the company was not founded to make microprocessors (and certainly not love). The invention, … Read More → "The New, New Intel Unleashes a Technology Barrage"

BARR-C Aims to Make Us Better Programmers

“I’d spell ‘creat’ with an e.” – Ken Thompson, when asked what he’d change about Unix.

Look up “panacea” and you’ll find a bunch of C programming tools. Everyone and his dog has ideas about how to create better, more reliable C code. Use an ISO-certified compiler. Follow MISRA C guidelines. Write the comments first. Agile Programming. Energy crystals. The late-night remedies never end.

Or, you could learn from the master. Michael Barr does embedded programming. He’s got a Masters in electrical engineering; … Read More → "BARR-C Aims to Make Us Better Programmers"

A More Reliable MRAM Mechanism

The search continues for the perfect memory cell that will replace SRAM, DRAM, and flash memory cells with better performance, power, and reliability characteristics than any of those three. While we’ve seen a number of contenders, there isn’t really any cell that is optimal for all three. Typically, cells will target either SRAM (and maybe DRAM) for in-operation memory, or flash for long-term storage.

We’ve looked at three contenders before – ReRAMRead More → "A More Reliable MRAM Mechanism"

Re-interpreting Moore’s Law

For two or three decades, there has been raging debate about the longevity and relevance of Moore’s Law. Is it dead? Has it changed? Is it slowly fizzling out? Was it a law or just a projection? Is it really about transistor density only, or something more conceptual? Did Moore really say “doubles every two years” or was it more like 18 months? Was Moore’s Law really invented by Moore, or by Carver Mead?

Moore’s article, “Cramming more components onto integrated circuits” – published in the April 19, 1965 issue of … Read More → "Re-interpreting Moore’s Law"

Maybe You Can’t Drive My Car (Yet) Part 4

The autonomous driving news is really stacking up. Uber and Tesla have both been very active on the self-driving scene recently. There’s so much news that it’s time for a summary of four recent, major events:

 1. Uber lays off 100 backup drivers from its self-driving unit

Uber laid off 100 backup drivers from its self-driving unit. The drivers were based mostly in Pittsburgh with a few in San Francisco. You may recall that it was a backup driver behind the wheel of the Uber autonomous test … Read More → "Maybe You Can’t Drive My Car (Yet) Part 4"

VirtualLink Removes Tangles from VR Goggles

“Ever since I became a parent… I feel like I’m wearing giant kaleidoscope-goggles.” – Nia Vardalos

How fat does your pipe have to be before you start seeing things that aren’t there?

Or, to ask it another way, what’s the best interface for VR headsets? That’s the question that the VirtualLink Consortium has asked – and answered – by creating what it hopes will be the < … Read More → "VirtualLink Removes Tangles from VR Goggles"

Secure Software

We’ve invested a lot of ink in these pages on security. But security can mean a lot of different things. Usually it refers to the protection of networks and data, but it can also deal with the protection of intellectual property, whether simply to hide family design jewels or as yet another aspect of protecting networks and data. However, in the latter case, most of our focus has been on making hardware harder to hack and reverse engineer. What about software?

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Deepfake Video is Here. Reality is Fleeting.

“The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” – Groucho Marx

Deepfake video is here, now. With it comes the relatively easy ability to make anyone say anything you like on video. Post that video on the Internet and you have a very powerful way to disseminate credible disinformation to the world. The technology uses facial mapping and artificial intelligence to create realistic videos—so real that it’s virtually impossible to spot the fakes.

The … Read More → "Deepfake Video is Here. Reality is Fleeting."

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