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A Buttable X-Ray Detector

Most image sensors receive light that has passed through a lens of some sort. This means that a large area can be photographed, for example, and sensed on a chip that is extremely small by comparison with the scene itself.

Not so with medical X-ray imaging. The target sensor gets a full-sized image. Not so hard for dental work, but more challenging for mammography or other full- or partial-body scans.

It’s typically hard, therefore, to provide a solid-state target that can provide seamless coverage. No matter how large they’ve been, they& … Read More → "A Buttable X-Ray Detector"

Analog Standard Cells

The annual DAC CEDA luncheon this year featured Stanford EE Dept. chair Mark Horowitz in a discussion of analog abstraction. Which has always been a tough sell. Which they understand, which is why, at this point, there’s no selling.

Digital productivity has been supported by the existence of standard cells that can be bolted together into a circuit. No more transistor-level design. While that sounds nice for analog, it’s never passed muster because, well, analog is so complex. There are no standard parameters that cross all analog circuits, and nthRead More → "Analog Standard Cells"

Atrenta Goes Functional

Atrenta says that their customers consider their SpyGlass tool to be the definitive answer on whether their RTL code is up to snuff. But that’s largely been on the basis of whether the RTL looks good or follows well-behaved, well-understood styles. It also looks at whether clocks are likely to behave well as they jump domains, whether the power is optimized, whether the thing is testable, whether the timing constraints are right, and whether the routing is too congested.

But they haven’t been able to tell you whether the actual RTL behavior is … Read More → "Atrenta Goes Functional"

Lithium Ion Parity?

We recently looked at Infinite Power Solutions’ THINERGY batteries and, no sooner had it gone to “print” when IPS came out with another release that, on the surface, seemed to describe what I had written – if you didn’t pay attention to the details. Fearing that I had talked about stuff that hadn’t been released yet (yes, I glossed over the details), I checked in to figure out what was up.

The deal is that there are … Read More → "Lithium Ion Parity?"

Intentionally Fuzzy

All software has bugs; every system has some kind of vulnerability. And the canonical way of dealing with them is to fix the bugs or tighten the code to eliminate system weaknesses. And then we patch our systems, as anyone who has been late to the airport and has shut down their computer in a last-ditch effort to get out the door, only to have the computer say, “Updating 1 of 32… Please do not power down or unplug your computer,” can attest. (Because, when Windows decides it’s time to update, well, there’s not … Read More → "Intentionally Fuzzy"

Windows RT: Not So Hot for Tablets

By now you’re heard about Microsoft’s big splash into the tablet market with Surface. CEO Steve Ballmer showed off two versions: one with an x86 processor running Windows 8 and one with an ARM processor running Windows RT (the same OS ported to ARM).

The announcement did two things: it annoyed the heck out of Dell, HP, Lenovo and just about every other hardware vendor that was also planning to make tablets. And it confused potential customers, because Microsoft didn’t announce any prices, availability dates, retail channels, or applications for Surface. All we know is … Read More → "Windows RT: Not So Hot for Tablets"

Tying Up the Missing Link

Methodics’s ProjectIC platform is intended to help manage large design projects by keeping the numerous different files associated with the design (so-called “views” – the unbranded sort, whose branded counterpart we’ll discuss in a couple days) in sync with each other. These may include RTL source files, schematic views, analysis runs, layout, and other design artifacts. They’re tied to each other by dependencies that Methodics builds.

One thing they haven’t had completely covered is test. They’ve handled analog test, but not digital. This was the … Read More → "Tying Up the Missing Link"

featured blogs
Oct 13, 2019
In part 3 of this blog series we looked at what typically is the longest stage in designing a PCB Routing and net tuning.  In part 4 we will finish the design process by looking at planes, and some miscellaneous items that may be required in some designs. Planes Figure 8...
Oct 13, 2019
https://youtu.be/8BM28qwHyUk Made at Arm TechCon (camera Randy Smith) Monday: What Is Quantum Supremacy? Tuesday: It's Ada Lovelace Day Today Wednesday: The First Woman to Receive the Kaufman... [[ Click on the title to access the full blog on the Cadence Community site...
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The FPGA (or ACAP) universe gathered at the San Jose Fairmount last week during the Xilinx Developer Forum. Engineers, data scientists, analysts, distributors, alliance partners and more came to learn about the latest hardware, software and system level solutions from Xilinx....
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Oct 11, 2019
[From the last episode: We looked at subroutines in computer programs.] We saw a couple weeks ago that some memories are big, but slow (flash memory). Others are fast, but not so big '€“ and they'€™re power-hungry to boot (SRAM). This sets up an interesting problem. When ...