feature article archive
Subscribe to EE Journal Daily Newsletter

Giving Consumers a Say

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a stunning advancement of technology. Like a lot of us, I follow it closely, and the details of how things are done have held me in their thrall. But there are times when I need to step back and look at the big picture – and this is one of those times. After all, when we’re building these systems, it helps to know who we’re building them for.

Let’s start with the notion of the market – a really amazing concept when it works. In theory, you have a bunch … Read More → "Giving Consumers a Say"

How the Mighty Have Grown

“We hope that, when the insects take over the world, they will remember with gratitude how we took them along on all our picnics.” – Bill Vaughan

All life on Earth is insects. Statistically speaking, there are so many different species of insects on this planet that all other forms of life – mammals, birds, viruses, plants, algae, you name it – are collectively all just a rounding error.

Similarly, all microprocessors are embedded. So few CPUs go into “computers” like PCs and servers that they might as well not exist (says the guy typing on … Read More → "How the Mighty Have Grown"

The Shifting Startup Scene

The seed of a technology startup has always been the same – expertise plus idea. Someone with a particular skill or expertise (and some entrepreneurial spirit) comes up with a novel idea and decides to “make a go of it” – creating a new company. The first part is easy, as most engineers are working completely in their comfort and competence zone. They get a couple of laptops, scopes, dev kits, or whatever. They find a garage or basement to work in. They burn a lot of midnight oil and a little more caffeine until they have a thing … Read More → "The Shifting Startup Scene"

Silicon Jersey Barriers

You’ve driven it for a decade or more. It’s taken you on-road and off-road. It’s brought you to the corner store and across the country. It’s got over 200,000 miles on it, and it’s still running fine. The thing is, you know you’re going to need to upgrade one of these days. Will the car die and force you into a decision? Or will you be able to plan ahead for a managed transition?

After all, you haven’t had a car payment in years, and new cars, well, they have all … Read More → "Silicon Jersey Barriers"

Update Time: What Happened Next?

I am revisiting the subject of a couple of articles. We publish stories about things that we feel are interesting and important, but, in most cases, they are only snapshots of an evolving process. So, today, I thought it was worth looking at two subjects where the evolution is particularly rapid.

I originally wrote about RISC-V last December. RISC-V is an open-instruction-set architecture (ISA), originally from Berkeley. Designed as an alternative to ARM and Intel architectures, it is gaining ground in a number of implementations, including in Microsemi’s FPGAs and some other single-core implementations. It has 16 … Read More → "Update Time: What Happened Next?"

Disruption Case Study #43K673S2

“Security is mostly a superstition… Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” – Helen Keller

It’s tough spying on yourself. Lots of homeowners have installed security cameras in and around their houses, hoping to catch burglars on video. And more are coming; home security is a booming business, with growth rates in the 20% range.

So, if the home-security business is booming, why are home-security companies declining?

Dedicated home-security firms like ADT are seeing a 4% CAGR decline in installations, according to … Read More → "Disruption Case Study #43K673S2"

Cloaks and Daggers and Logic Probes

He looked nervously around the bar as we chatted, probably hoping to see nobody he recognized. We weren’t exactly handing off nuclear codes or kompromat dossiers, but I could tell he didn’t want to be seen talking to me (the press) nonetheless. “We switched PCB layout tools two years ago,” he quietly explained – his eyes continuing to dart toward the door. “So far, it’s been working pretty well. Both tools are stable and the new company’s support seems a little friendlier.”

Right.

The “big secret” here was that a medium-sized systems … Read More → "Cloaks and Daggers and Logic Probes"

Intentional Attacks

Hey, everyone – have you heard? Security: it’s a thing. Of course, the internet is a thing, and, well, things are things, and the internet of things is a thing… but security on the internet of things (IoT)? Yeah, that’s still a work in progress, with dreams of becoming a full-fledged thing when it grows up.

I know, the interwebs have used untold amounts of digital ink in the service of security. Although, truth be told, most of that ink is used in pieces reminding us that security is important and that the lack thereof is … Read More → "Intentional Attacks"

Pyramid or House of Cards

Building a pyramid takes a very long time and a huge number of people. The first stones are the foundation, of course, and, as the layers slowly increase, those seminal pieces are often buried and forgotten – deep inside the ever-evolving structure. Ever so quietly, they continue their duties, even as they and those who placed them fade from memory.

Our technological pyramid isn’t quite so predictably behaved. We haven’t obscured the technique for creating a PN junction. MOSFET transistor design is not yet a lost art. Today’s engineers do not … Read More → "Pyramid or House of Cards"

Want to Buy a Processor Architecture?

“Zealots assume the last 5% of their plan will be taken care of by their own greatness or momentum or divinity.” – Keith Olbermann

What do the Golden State Warriors and Imagination Technologies have in common?

Momentum.

No, wait… that’s not right. The Warriors have momentum and Imagination… just doesn’t. While some b-ballers have the hot hands, Imagination can’t seem to catch a break. It’s a shame, really. They’re all-star material. A good team. Strong players. A good record. But they just somehow never caught fire and got … Read More → "Want to Buy a Processor Architecture?"

featured blogs
May 26, 2017
From 15-17 May CDNLive EMEA opened again its doors for around 700 attendees from all over Europe, who want to know more about the new products from Cadence. For the 10 th time Cadence Academic Network has organized an Academic Track , which definitely was a reason to celebrat...
May 26, 2017
In this week’s fish fry, we get down into the nitty gritty details of real time operating systems for wearable devices. Kim Rowe (founder and CEO of RoweBots) joins Fish Fry to discuss the future of machine-to-machine communication, the evolution of sensor tech...
May 26, 2017
Between overdue books, too many “Quiet Please” signs to count, and trying to navigate the Dewey Decimal System, going to the library is never much fun.  The same feeling is often true when searching for technical documentation before, during, or after the desig...