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App Store for Acceleration

Cloud-based acceleration as a service is officially a thing, for real. You can go online right now, sign up for an AccelStore account, and within minutes (four of them, according to Accelize) you can hop on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and OVH platforms and be happily gZIpping at 25x the speed of a CPU, find/replacing 6,000x the speed of sed, real-time transcoding HD BMP video to JPG, and generating random numbers – all at incredible speed. You even get a $50 credit to start.

Hey, I think I’ll go generate myself some random numbers right now.

< … Read More → "App Store for Acceleration"

The Annual Lithography Issue

It’s that time of year again. The SPIE Advanced Lithography conference has come and gone, and the time has come for our annual update on EUV technology, along with directed self-assembly (DSA). Gone are the days of big news for either of those categories. Which means there’s lots of little news of the update variety.

Let’s start with basic stats for EUV. They represent a litany of the things that need improvement as we move towards full production in high volume. Much of this comes from a conversation I had with ASML. If you’ … Read More → "The Annual Lithography Issue"

Silicon Saxony

Even if you are Dresden for a high-tech trade show, like the DATE conference, you cannot avoid the layers of history. For a long time, it was the capital of different incarnations of an independent State of Saxony, in later times sharing a King with Poland. It became part of the German Empire when it united multiple German speaking states in 1871. By the turn of the twentieth century, it had strong centres of industry, including the historic porcelain manufactory at Meissen and textiles at Chemnitz, and the area produced the beer mat, the coffee filter, and the bra.

< … Read More → "Silicon Saxony"

The End of Software

Tell a crowd of nerds that software is coming to an end, and you’ll get laughed out of the bar. The very notion that the amount of software and software development in the world will do anything besides continue on an exponential growth curve is unthinkable in most circles. Examine any industry data and you’ll see the same thing – software content is up and to the right. For decades, the trend in system design has been toward increasing the proportion of functionality implemented in software versus hardware, and the makeup of engineering … Read More → "The End of Software"

Please Don’t Hit Me!

“One person’s car is another person’s scenery.” — Jonathan Ive

Cars are ridiculously dangerous. They’re easily the greatest threat to the average person’s life, assuming you’re not a soldier in an active warzone (even then…) or a commercial crab fisherman. For teenagers, that’s especially true. Until they’re about 20 years old, an American teen is more likely to be killed by her own car than by gun violence, drugs, or disease – put together. There’s a Star Trek scene in which the Enterprise crew marvels at 20th-Century citizens’ … Read More → "Please Don’t Hit Me!"

New In the Cloud

7 years ago! Almost to the day! Astounding!

We think of cloud computing as a relatively recent phenomenon, but it’s been seven years since we covered the first EDA forays into cloud computing. To state the obvious, in our world, seven years ago does not qualify as recent.

This was the time when both Synopsys and Cadence were debuting different ways of handling cloud computing. It sounded good in principle, but the perennial bugaboo questions – largely about security – persisted, and … Read More → "New In the Cloud"

Accelerating Mainstream Servers with FPGAs

For a number of years, the world’s largest semiconductor company’s primary marketing slogan was designed simply to remind us they existed. The “Intel Inside” slogan and sticker told us, “Hey, by the way, that snazzy new Dell, HP, Toshiba, or even (ulp) Apple device you just bought gets its oomph from our chips. We just thought you’d like to know.”

It’s a novel situation when most of the customers who are dishing out triple-digit and better cash for your product don’t … Read More → "Accelerating Mainstream Servers with FPGAs"

Intel Jettisons Wind River

“It takes two sides to make a deal, two sides to negotiate, and two sides to make it go bad.” – Gary Bettman

Sometimes I can’t decide whether Intel wants to be in the embedded business or not. Turns out, I’m not alone. Intel itself can’t decide whether it’s in the embedded business or not.

Last week, Intel announced that it’s selling off its Wind River software subsidiary, seven years after it acquired the firm for $884 million. The financial terms weren’t disclosed, so we don’t know the … Read More → "Intel Jettisons Wind River"

Analog Functions Made from Digital Circuits

“The hot side stays hot and the cool side stays cool” – McDonald’s pitch for the short-lived McDLT

Ah, the quaint old days, back when you assembled the analog and digital parts of a system out of separate components. The analog side got the analog parts that were made on analog processes, and the digital side got the digital parts made on digital processes. And you somehow hooked them together.

Yeah, that doesn’t … Read More → "Analog Functions Made from Digital Circuits"

Maybe You Can’t Drive My Car. (Yet)

“When a dog bites a man, that is not news, because it happens so often. But if a man bites a dog, that is news.” – attributed to at least three journalists and publishers including UK publisher Alfred Harmsworth, John B. Bogart (editor, New York Sun), and Charles Anderson Dana.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data shows that 37,461 people were killed in 34,436 motor vehicle crashes in the US in 2016. That’s an average of 102 deaths attributable to car crashes every 24 hours or about four per hour, every hour of every week of every month. Despite … Read More → "Maybe You Can’t Drive My Car. (Yet)"

featured blogs
Apr 25, 2018
In this week'€™s Whiteboard Wednesdays video, the second in a three-part series, Robert Schweiger does a deep dive on the technical aspects of the different sensors on a car: camera, radar, and lidar. For all three sensors the trend is the same: Increased resolution, higher...
Apr 24, 2018
Counterfeit parts and the issues posed by them are a growing concern throughout the electronic industry.  However, counterfeit products are nothing new when it comes to consumer goods, and for many years, in any large city, traveling merchants have sold everything from purse...