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The Sun Also Sets

I’m old enough to remember when Sun Microsystems was one of the cool up-and-coming companies in Silicon Valley. It had the best engineers, created the most innovations, and had the most constant “buzz” of any company around. Pizza boxes – both literal and figurative – were a badge of honor on your workbench. PCs were just for managers and their secretaries – real engineers had a workstation. And Sun’s pizza box–shaped workstations were the currency of the nerd economy.  

Sun workstations were known for their extensive use of existing standards – … Read More → "The Sun Also Sets"

Yet More Sensors

Yes, more sensors. We covered new sensor developments earlier this year, based on papers from the ISSCC conference. But you know what? People didn’t stop developing sensors after that. I know –  amazing, right? And, yes, as we’ve noted before, many announcements now aren’t about revolutionary new approaches, but rather about faster speed, lower power, and/or a smaller footprint.

Not to say that such … Read More → "Yet More Sensors"

Where Does an Engineer’s Responsibility End?

EEJournal, as its name implies, concentrates on the bits and bytes or the chips and boards of the electronics industry. But there are times when it seems like a good idea to look at wider issues. And this may be one of them. What has triggered this is a series of news stories that have demonstrated technology failings that have led to broader consequences.

Botnets and passwords

An engineer created a cheap digital video reorder (DVR) designed to be connected to surveillance cameras, and so it was given an IP address. He was … Read More → "Where Does an Engineer’s Responsibility End?"

A Work in Progress

“Think of success as a game of chance in which you have control over the odds.” – Bo Bennett

 

They say confession is good for the soul. Maybe it’s good for product development, too.

A small 30-person team is taking on the seemingly impossible: they’re designing their first handheld game console. Think Nintendo 3DS but with Windows 10. And Android. And a titanium case. It runs any PC game you want and any … Read More → "A Work in Progress"

Game On for FPGAs in the Data Center

Intel has just announced a major counter-strike in the battle for the data center of the future. The company announced a new suite of software tools, which (according to a blog post by Barry Davis, General Manager, Accelerated Workloads Group, Intel® Data Center Group) “make FPGA programming accessible to mainstream developers, a major leap forward for customizable silicon solutions that complement the endlessly [SIC] diversity of customer-defined workloads, including 5G network processing, artificial intelligence, data and video analytics, machine learning and more.”

We love to say “Told ya so!”

Back in 2014, around a year before … Read More → "Game On for FPGAs in the Data Center"

Sonics Does DVFS

These days, it’s all about keeping power down by all means possible. Power domains are a thing. Clock gating and power gating are a thing. Even applications can change the power state of the system.

All good, but let’s explore that last one a bit. In order for software to change the power, it has to go through the operating system. Which might seem kinda like this:

You: Hey, ‘sup, I’d like to set us up in this low-power mode now, cool?

OS: Really … Read More → "Sonics Does DVFS"

Carbon Is Cool

“I am now standing in a mixture of cooling fluid, gasoline, and cola.” – Adam Savage

 

What do Lycra-wearing bicycle racers have in common with server farms? KULR Technology might have the answer.

Everything gets hot if you put energy into it. That’s just basic physics. Everything also conducts heat; that’s also basic physics. But just as some materials conduct electricity better than others, some make better heat-transference devices than others. There’s a reason we make heat sinks out of copper … Read More → "Carbon Is Cool"

Developing for Smart Speakers

Voice is a hot topic these days. It represents the layering of a lot of technologies, from identifying and separating sounds to identifying individual voices to identifying specific words. And, while voice recognition is a broad topic, specific applications are effectively being layered above it for so-called “smart speakers” – the Alexas and Dots of the world. And right away, I’m going to warn you that we’re likely to get confused since speakers (human) are talking to speakers (“smart”). Hang on tight.Read More → "Developing for Smart Speakers"

Help! My Product Is Suing Me!

“Only free men can negotiate. A prisoner cannot enter into contracts.” – Nelson Mandela

Sometimes you just have to call in the lawyers.

The law is rarely intuitive, and technology-related regulations are even more inscrutable. Oh, sure, we all think we know right from wrong. Family conversations and Facebook faceoffs are filled with people who just know that this company is corrupt, or … Read More → "Help! My Product Is Suing Me!"

Digital Design Reinvented

It’s time to come clean. Let’s face it, digital design dudes and dudettes, we’ve been phoning it in.

It’s true. Those of us doing digital design have spent the last several decades designing one thing: the computer. Sure, we can do 4-bit, 8-bit, 16-bit, 32-bit, 64-bit, big-endian, little endian, RISC, CISC, memory-managed, pipelined, single- or multi-core… The variations and subtleties go on and on. But, at the end of the day, one truth emerges: we long ago passed responsibility for the creation … Read More → "Digital Design Reinvented"

featured blogs
Sep 18, 2017
A friend of mine was saying the other day, “I want to be able to go to my car, type something like New York City , take a nap, and have the car wake me when I get there.” My friend lives in California; barring supersonic auto 2 [*] transportation, it would be a long...
Sep 15, 2017
Glass Weave Skew. For most people it probably sounds like a progressive rock band. But we’re talking about Glass Weave Skew and differential signals. Brandon Gore, Senior Staff Signal Integrity Engineer, and the Manager of Samtec’s Signal Integrity Group, R&D...
Sep 01, 2017
Achronix was delighted to attend the Hot Chips event in Cupertino once again this August. This year saw a bumper turnout, with some very fascinating speakers providing some great insights into the industry. The Achronix team had a chance to meet with many talented people in t...