Apr 11, 2014

On the Scene: Element14 Tour of Boards

posted by Amelia Dalton

Three little letters that rule the world. They are but the sun and we are but the moon. Oh IoT, where would we be without you? 2012 perhaps? In this episode of “On The Scene” we examine a wide range of IoT small-form-factor boards with Cliff Ortmeyer of Element14. Join us while we tour Element14’s booth at this year’s EELive! expo, and get chatty with Cliff.

 

Tags :    0 comments  
Apr 11, 2014

Spintronics recognition

posted by Dick Selwood

One of the featured technologies in my DATE report was spintronics. This week the Technology Academy Finland, backed by the Finnish State awarded the 2014 Millennium technology prize of 1 million Euros about US$1.4 million to Prof. Stuart Parkin.  No, I didn’t know the name either, but as the film on the TAF web site explains, http://taf.fi/en/millennium-technology-prize/  he is the man who made it possible to exploit spintronics commercially. Parkin is British and when working as an IBM Fellow at the Almaden Research Centre he realised that sputtering could be used to create the three layer sandwich on which spintronics depends.

I should have known the name as he is an IBM Fellow, consulting professor at Stanford University, visiting professor at four other universities, Director of the Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics and Alexander von Humboldt Professor at Martin Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg. And he has received the 2008 IEEE Daniel E. Noble Award for his work on MRAM, the 2008 IEEE Distinguished Lecturer Award, the 2009 IUPAP Magnetism Prize and Neel Medal for outstanding contributions to the science of magnetism, the 2008 Guttenberg Research Award, the 2009 Dresden Barkhausen Award and the 2012 David Adler Lectureship Award from the APS.

The Press release quotes him as saying, “I am extremely happy and excited to have won the Millennium Technology Prize because of course it’s one of the most important prizes in the scientific community. It has been awarded to some really great scientists over the past decade. The previous winners have proven to be fantastic scientists whose research has had tremendous impact. I am very humbled and proud to have been awarded the prize…”

Previous winners are

2004, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web.

2006, Professor Shuji Nakamura, inventor of revolutionary new light sources - bright blue, green and white LEDs and a blue laser.

2008, Professor Robert Langer for innovative work in controlled drug release and for developing innovative biomaterials for use in tissue regeneration.

2010, Professor Michael Grätzel for innovative developments in dye-sensitised solar cells.

2012, Linus Torvalds creator of the Linux kernel and Dr. Shinya Yamanaka for a new method to produce induced pluripotent stem cells from ordinary cell tissue.

Tags :    0 comments  
Apr 10, 2014

IC Compiler Reinvented

posted by Bryon Moyer

What if you could just… toss it all and start over? (OK, maybe all except the router?)

If you’re Synopsys, you now know: you’d end up with IC Compiler II.

They’ve had a good ride with IC Compiler, and they continue to ride that. But things have changed a lot since it appeared on the scene. Requirements and expectations have mushroomed, and they’ve done a lot of new research and acquired a lot of technology (apparently their Magma acquisition fed into this). And so they’ve pretty much replaced everything in IC Compiler except the router.

The new approach pushes planning to a much earlier stage. Engines have been completely redone, with an emphasis on the ability to use multiple processors, which means that more options can be explored. They use that magic number “10x” for many of the speedups. Not only that, but their optimization engines are better at finding a global optimum in an analytical fashion rather than via the alternative: generating a bazillion options and picking the best one.

More specifically, they address the following areas:

  • Infrastructure
    • Hierarchy is handled natively.
    • They have a new timer and extractor that are used consistently throughout.
    • They can deal with incomplete data early in the design cycle.
    • They’ve implemented an integrated library and management approach.
  • Planning
    • They’ve implemented adaptive abstraction and modeling.
    • They support transparent multiple instances.
    • What-if analysis can be done in real time instead of having to compile.
    • A floorplan can be automatically synthesized.
  • Implementation
    • This is where they have the new multi-threaded optimization engine that analytically finds global optima.
    • They’ve redone their multi-corner, multi-mode, multi-voltage handling.
    • Placement and clock optimization now happen in a single step.
    • They’ve completely redone the clock tree synthesis engine.
    • They’ve put in place new ways to achieve closure after routing.

ICC_II_Graphic_Press2_red.jpg

At this point, the entire new system isn’t in place yet. They’ve got bits and pieces that they’ve been feeding to a few lead customers to refine things as they approach a mid-year full release.

They will continue to support the original IC Compiler well into the future. They see a gradual shift from one to the other; they’re not going to pull a Microsoft and force everyone over.

You can check out more in their announcement.

Tags :    0 comments  
Get this feed  

Login Required

In order to view this resource, you must log in to our site. Please sign in now.

If you don't already have an acount with us, registering is free and quick. Register now.

Sign In    Register