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Acceleration as a Service

Let’s say you have a huge batch of data that needs to be crunched. Maybe it needs the special help of some new neural network algorithm running on a massive server cluster, accelerated with a pool of FPGA accelerators. We’ll call you “Lisa.” But, Lisa, you don’t have a giant server farm with FPGA-based accelerators. You also don’t have the specialized software required to crunch your data, let alone the super-specialized version that can take advantage of FPGA-based acceleration. You’re just a team of specialized experts and several million … Read More → "Acceleration as a Service"

Unlikely Pairings

Companies come; companies go. I don’t focus a lot on who buys whom – there are plenty of folks breathlessly watching that stuff, so I mostly leave the drama to them. After all, it’s an age of consolidation and accumulation of immense corporate power. So your typical low- to mid-level merger may not be particularly noteworthy.

But lately, there have been a couple of mergers/acquisitions that have had some unusual features to them. Add to that the fact that they’re companies we’ve looked at before, and … Read More → "Unlikely Pairings"

Lattice Lives on the Edge

A year ago, Lattice Semiconductor was all set to be acquired by Canyon Bridge Partners, a “global private equity buyout fund headquartered in Palo Alto, California” for $1.3B. The industry lamented the loss of another independent FPGA company, with Xilinx and Achronix remaining the only two independent FPGA vendors, after Actel, SiliconBlue, and Altera had all been gobbled up by larger suitors.

The Lattice deal had some unusual properties, however. Unlike the other FPGA acquisitions, Canyon Bridge Partners was not a technology company expanding its portfolio. It turns out that some special parsing was required on Canyon … Read More → "Lattice Lives on the Edge"

How to Write a Manual

“Save the Manuals!” – Car and Driver

I’ve got one word for you: #NaNoWriMo.

That’s the hashtag for National Novel-Writing Month, a lighthearted and voluntary effort to get budding writers to buckle down and start on that book. Your novel must be at least 50,000 words long (about 200 pages) and you’ve got to finish it by the end of November. Consider it a nudge to encourage your … Read More → "How to Write a Manual"

Red Asphalt, Blue Screen of Death

“You’re safer in the race car than you are driving to and from the track.” – Mario Andretti

I’ll make you a bet.

Let’s flip a coin, and if it comes up heads, I’ll pay you $100. But if it comes up tails, you owe me $100. Sound fair?

Most people won’t take that bet. Even though it’s obviously fair and unbiased, with an exactly equal chance to win or lose, and has no hidden risks or … Read More → "Red Asphalt, Blue Screen of Death"

The Biggest SoC/FPGAs

In the decades-long battle between Altera (now part of Intel) and Xilinx, no title has been more hotly contested than “Ours is Biggest.” Way back in the days when real LUTs had 4 inputs, FPGA companies resorted to measuring their density with “system gates” in order to obscure the pathetically small (at the time) amount of logic that could actually be implemented in the programmable fabric of their chips. We got press releases like “Our Devices Pack Up To 4.5 Million System Gates of Logic” (meaning that you could probably build at least one highly inefficient 16×16 … Read More → "The Biggest SoC/FPGAs"

GlobalFoundries Puts Their Cards on the Table

Just over a month ago, GlobalFoundries (GF among friends) had their technology conference, and it would appear that they stored up all kinds of news to release at the same time. Some announcements were more significant than others; we’ll review what’s new here, with a focus on the bigger issues and a passing nod to the others.

I Could Use a Shrink

Some of you out there may remember a quaint notion from the ancient semiconductor past: the shrink. In fact, you may have … Read More → "GlobalFoundries Puts Their Cards on the Table"

NXP’s New i.MX RT1050 Gets Edgy

“Nothing is a mistake. There is no win and no fail. There is only make.” – Immaculate Heart Art College, rule #6

In business, there’s the concept of creative destruction. Prof. Clayton Christensen argues about “the innovator’s dilemma” and disruption from below. In more prosaic terms, product companies must “watch their rearview mirrors” or else a competitor might come “roaring up their tailpipe.”

Getting your lunch eaten by a small and harmless-looking competitor is a time-honored tradition in this industry. We likeRead More → "NXP’s New i.MX RT1050 Gets Edgy"

EE Journal’s Live Coverage of the MEMS and Sensors Executive Congress

Our EE Journal Team went to the 2017 MEMS and Sensors Executive Congress in San Jose. We listened as MEMS and sensor industry experts broke down the challenges and opportunities of the industry. Presentations focused on system level solutions incorporating MEMS and sensor devices and components, unique applications and innovative technological and market solutions. And we live tweeted the whole thing! All those tweets are collected here so you can catch up and find out what happened at MEMS Congress this year.

featured blogs
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Given that the industry is beginning to reach the limits of what can physically and economically be achieved through further shrinkage of process geometries, reducing feature size and increasing transistor counts is no longer achieving the same result it once did. Instead the...