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Microsoft’s Take on Quantum Computing

This year’s ICCAD conference featured a keynote from Microsoft’s Dr. Krysta Svore on quantum computing. We’ve looked at the topic before (with me making limited sense of some of the more out-there notions), but Microsoft’s approach appears to be different. So it feels like it’s worth a walk-through.

I must confess, however, that in the time since that prior article, neither the notions of quantum computing nor my brain have evolved to make some of the odder concepts more … Read More → "Microsoft’s Take on Quantum Computing"

Visualizing Real-Time Issues

I had planned this piece some months ago, but suddenly it has become tied into a major breaking news story.

In the last ten or so years, the RTOS (Real-Time Operating System) has moved from being a relatively rare beast to becoming almost commonplace, as applications, particularly those built as embedded systems, have demanded communication and, particularly in the Internet of Things (IoT), have added sensing. To manage the complexities of such a system, the developer divides all the software running on the system into tasks: small blocks of code that include functions like managing the human … Read More → "Visualizing Real-Time Issues"

Another RISC-V Religious Conversion

“It will require a great deal more than a letter of appeal to achieve conversion.” — Fredrik Bajer (1837–1922)

You could see them coming a mile off. Two nice young men, riding bicycles. They wore pressed white shirts and black ties when they came to my door and asked if I’d heard The Good News. If not, they’d be happy to sit with me and explain the error of my ways.

I was skeptical at first, but their words touched me. Now I’m a convert. I may not be a zealous evangelist – … Read More → "Another RISC-V Religious Conversion"

Taming Technology’s Social Impact

Engineering education is all about problem solving. Of course, we learn the basics of some technology – electronics, software, mechanical systems – whatever. But the truth is, the technology almost doesn’t matter because most of the technology-specific things we learn will be obsolete long before we get a chance to practice them in our careers. Instead, what endures are the skills and strategies for solving problems. That discipline serves us for our entire careers as engineers, and it is often the way we self-identify. I am a problem solver.

But problem solving seldom happens without collateral damage.

< … Read More → "Taming Technology’s Social Impact"

Trust and the IoT

Not too long ago, the IoT Security Summit happened – a day spent with all things security as they relate to the IoT. So today we’re going to go over a few interesting points that were made in the course of the event, while acknowledging that much more happened than what we’ll cover.

With all the hoopla over the IoT – and the attendant concerns about security, there’s certainly a lot of energy going into the topic of security by developers. How much of that rolls into actual product has yet to be proven, given that … Read More → "Trust and the IoT"

Playing the Game; Gaming the Play

“It’s a whole new world every time you start.” – Jennifer Hale

It will come as no surprise to anyone who’s visited Disneyland (excuse me, the “Disneyland Resort Theme Park”) that having fun is big business. The price of admission starts at $97.00 for the “value” ticket (midweek, rainy season), and climbs rapidly from there.

It’s just as expensive to sit at home. Video and computer games generate more money than the movie and music industries combined. Gamers handed over $25 billion last year just in the U.S. Globally, computer and video … Read More → "Playing the Game; Gaming the Play"

Like Fiber in the Sky

When you’re building out network infrastructure, it’s often that last hundred meters or so that causes the most headache. Sure, there are challenges getting all the huge pipes and big switches to handle the massive bandwidth reliably, but things sometimes get the trickiest when we make that final run to the subscriber. Ethernet cables, fiber, and other wired solutions are expensive, difficult to install, high maintenance, and finicky. What we’d really like is a high-bandwidth wireless solution that would be cheap, easy to install, and reliable.

Lattice Semiconductor’s SiBeam subsidiary just announced a … Read More → "Like Fiber in the Sky"

A Wooden Stake?

A couple of years ago, we covered a company that was working to make power supplies more efficient. Today we update that story. But… if you take the company name today and try to find the old article, you’ll have a hard time: they’ve changed their name from Semitrex to Helix.

With that detail out of the way, here’s a quick reminder that the topic of discussion at the time dealt with eliminating the opto-isolators needed to communicate from the secondary side to the … Read More → "A Wooden Stake?"

A Decade of Partnership

Technology companies work with academic institutions for a range of reasons. The HR department wants to attract the brightest and best from the university students (and perhaps also from the academic staff). The Research and Development team wants to benefit from the advanced research. The product teams want to learn from the experience of the research people in using the product. The sales people want to get students hooked on their product so that, when they enter industry, they will champion its use. And the PR/Corporate communications people like the way it makes the company look good!

< … Read More → "A Decade of Partnership"

The Quicker Fisker 2.0

“Not many people have been able to start a car company a second time.” – Henrik Fisker

Let’s just come right out and say it: Henrik Fisker is like Elon Musk, minus the hype.

It’s hard to avoid comparing the two industrialists, given that the latter’s Tesla Motors and the former’s Fisker, Inc. are both designing and building sexy, fast, and expensive all-electric cars, and that both gentlemen hope to change the overall landscape of the vehicle marketplace.

But don’t jump to the conclusion that Fisker is … Read More → "The Quicker Fisker 2.0"

featured blogs
Jan 16, 2018
The Sunday of IEDM is always two full-day short courses. One is on the future of memory technology, one is on the future of logic technology. This year the logic one was titled Boosting Performance, Ensuring Reliability, Managing Variation in Sub-5nm CMOS . I have to admit I ...
Jan 16, 2018
Samtec will be introducing several new products at DesignCon 2018. All of these products are designed to increase data rates, increase system density, and shrink product footprints, so designers can meet their system signal integrity needs. NovaRay™ High Bandwidth, High ...
Jan 5, 2018
When visitors to CES 2018 want to travel to the Las Vegas Convention Center across town, it will likely be in a fully autonomous vehicle from Lyft getting them there. While this futurist trip will certainly be a first for many riders, this type of point-to-point travel will s...
Jan 10, 2018
Recently, Electronics Products Magazine announced their 42nd Annual Product of the Year award winners, with Cadence Design Systems winning for their Virtuoso® System Design Platform. According to the article, the editors “have chosen [products] they......
Jan 15, 2018
This is the seventh in a series of blog posts showcasing the winning designs from the 27th Annual PCB Technology Leadership Awards. The 1st place winner in the Telecom, Network Controllers & Line Cards  category is Altice Labs, Portugal. This Switching Matrix card is a...