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Aggressive with Passives

Most of us think about capacitors the way a chef thinks about salt – knowing that it’s never the star of the show, having a keen awareness that you need just the right amount, being vaguely conscious of the fact that there are multiple, subtly different types… When we’re debugging our board, there are often times when something mysteriously isn’t working right. When all … Read More → "Aggressive with Passives"

Tools for Advanced Packages

We’ve blissfully led separate, siloed lives for years. IC designer? Someone’s having trouble routing from your pads? “Not my problem.” Package designer? Electricals on a particular signal are sketchy? “Not my problem.” PCB designer? Someone doesn’t like that the drive on an output isn’t high enough to drive your signal? “Not my problem.” It’s so much easier when you have a restricted scope, and … Read More → "Tools for Advanced Packages"

Add Glamour to Your Product

“Most people think glamour is happiness.” – Peter Falk

They say sex sells, maybe even in the MCU business. Once found only in dull products like coffee makers, washing machines, and industrial tools, microcontrollers (MCUs) are now in flashy and exciting products like… coffee makers and washing machines. What’s different now is that those embedded systems are a lot more glamorous, sexy-looking, and consumer-oriented than … Read More → "Add Glamour to Your Product"

Boards to Systems

There’s no question that the IC side of the EDA world gets most of the attention. After all, quad-patterning, EUV-having, boundary-pushing, 5-nm lithography issues are certainly bright shiny objects to grab the attention of tech-nerds. But the vast majority of us are doing more pedestrian stuff – designing board-based systems for a wide variety of applications across a huge number of end markets. What about our tools? … Read More → "Boards to Systems"

Cracking a WALNUT

It’s almost obvious that this would be a problem. Well… part of it is obvious; part not so much.

What do accelerometers do? They measure acceleration – including periodic acceleration, more commonly known as vibration. Any vibration within the designed frequency range is subject to detection.

And what is the most prevalent kind of vibration? Sound. And what’s one really popular way to enjoy … Read More → "Cracking a WALNUT"

A Mentor Announcement Duo

Over the last couple of months, there have been two interesting news items emanating from Mentor Graphics (now officially part of Siemens). They’re largely unrelated to each other, one dealing with system design and the other with IC emulation. We’ll take them in order of announcement.

A System Vision
The first story comes from their SystemVision side of things (one aspect of … Read More → "A Mentor Announcement Duo"

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featured blogs
Jul 24, 2017
(Please visit the site to view this video) Coming from hyperspace (camera Sean) Monday: Moving Logic into the 3rd Dimension Tuesday: An Academic View on How Tesla Will Not Win Wednesday: Samsung SDI on Batteries Thursday: O Lord Won't You Buy Me a Mercedes Benz...Truck F...
Jul 24, 2017
System designers and engineers constantly face design challenges to achieve higher data-rates in highly dense applications.  A popular system-level design approach in many high-speed applications marries the configurability and high-speed performance of FPGAs with the a...
Jun 20, 2017
For data-center architects it seems like a no-brainer. For a wide variety of applications, from the databases behind e-commerce platforms to the big-data tools in search engines to suddenly-fashionable data analytics to scientific codes, the dominant limitation on application...
chalk talks
Tanner Designer: Analog VerificationMost design teams struggle with verification on the analog portion of their designs. While huge strides have been made in digital design over the past decade, analog design remains  more of a mystery for many engineers. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Mass Sivilotti from Mentor about Tanner Designer – a … Read More → "Tanner Designer: Analog Verification"
Diodes or Multilayer Varistors?Choosing the right circuit protection is a crucial design decision. Both diodes and multilayer varistors have advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the right one for your application can be tricky. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Dean Beckley from AVX about choosing the best protection option for your next design. Click … Read More → "Diodes or Multilayer Varistors?"
Flyover: Not Just for Superheroes — Samtec Twinax FlyOver SolutionsSome signals just weren’t meant to go through your PCB. They need to jump on the freeway and get where they’re going with no funny business. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Matthew Burns of Samtec about bringing the power of flyovers to your board-based system. Click here to download the Flyover … Read More → "Flyover: Not Just for Superheroes — Samtec Twinax FlyOver Solutions"
ANSI/VITA 57.4-2016 FMC+ — The New Frontier of FPGA Expansion CardsFPGA Mezzanine Cards (FMC and FMC+) allow easy connection of a wide variety of peripherals to FPGA development boards. But, FMC – and particularly FMC+ put big demands on connector technology. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Matthew Burns of Samtec about FMC and FMC+ standards, and the connectors that make … Read More → "ANSI/VITA 57.4-2016 FMC+ — The New Frontier of FPGA Expansion Cards"
IoT and The Power of PSpiceToday's IoT designs demand some complex mixed-mode, mixed-signal simulation to be sure that they'll work correctly across wide ranges of component variation, temperature, and other real-world conditions. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with John Carney of Cadence Design Systems about PSpice mixed-signal simulation for IoT.
Expanding the Backplane EcosystemDon’t you wish you’d chosen a more flexible and future-proof backplane technology? In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton talks to Matthew Burns from Samtec about backplane systems that bring the performance and flexibility you need to keep your system running for a long, long time.