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More Fusion Options

Everyone seems to be in on the sensor fusion game. After all, it’s only software; how hard could it be?

You’ve got the sensor makers with their lower-level fusion kits. Then you’ve got the sensor-agnostic folks like Movea, Hillcrest Labs, and Sensor Platforms. And now a microcontroller maker. (OK, they did provide one of the sensors… but I’m getting ahead of myself…)

But for an engineer just starting to use sensors, having ready-to-go software can make an enormous difference in the learning curve, wiping out … Read More → "More Fusion Options"

New Sensor Parameter Standard

Early this year we took a look at MEMS standards (or the need therefor), and one of the active efforts involved unifying sensor parameters and data sheets so that users could compare and combine different sensors from different companies – a challenging task at present.

Well, that effort has now yielded some results. The “Sensor Performance Parameter Definitions” document has been released under the auspices of the MEMS Industry Group (MIG). The effort itself was led by Intel and Qualcomm, with input … Read More → "New Sensor Parameter Standard"

Concurrent Sign-off Analysis

I’m getting a sense that we’re back into the small-company-friendly phase of the EDA company cycle. A number of newcomers (which means they’ve been around working quietly for several years and are now launching) are knocking on doors.

Invarian is one such company, and they’ve launched two analysis platforms: their “InVar Pioneer Power Platform”, with power, IR-drop/EM, and thermal analysis, and their “InVar 3D Frontier Platform” for thermal analysis of 3D ICs.

Their claim to fame is that they’re the … Read More → "Concurrent Sign-off Analysis"

Cadence gobbling up IP?

The announcement that Cadence is planning to buy Evatronix marks the company’s fourth acquisition in a matter of months. One slipped under the radar, what Martin Lund of Cadence referred to as “a small team in Canada working on high-speed SerDes.” The purchase of Cosmic Software is waiting for Indian regulatory approval, and the Tensilica acquisition was completed a few days ago.

A few years ago, Cadence buying companies was not news – it was business as normal. Today, is it a return to the old company working practices?  Well – no. The companies that … Read More → "Cadence gobbling up IP?"

Crappy + Crappy = Not So Bad

We’ve all seen some of the crappy pictures that cell phones have allowed us to take and distribute around the world at lightning speed. (Is there such a concept as “photo spam” – legions of crappy pictures that crowd out the few actual good ones?).

Now… let’s be clear: much of the crappiness comes courtesy of the camera operator (or the state of inebriation of the operator). But even attempts at good composition and topics of true interest can yield a photo that still feels crappy.

Part of … Read More → "Crappy + Crappy = Not So Bad"

Getting Beyond “It Depends” for Certification

More and more electronics are going into places where they could cause real damage if they don’t work right. Things like airplanes and weapons and, in particular, the systems that control them. That goes for hardware and software.

So there are elaborate standards controlling how things have to be done in order to pass muster for such systems. DO-178, DO-278, and DO-254 are only the most visible of these. The problem is that the standards don’t actually tell you what has to be done. They outline a broad process for certification, but exactly … Read More → "Getting Beyond “It Depends” for Certification"

Correlating Power with Code

The smarter systems get, the more they are run by some kind of processor running code. So system functions that might have been controlled by circuitry and logic in the past are now turned on and off based on instructions in the system control code. So the power consumption of your system can depend highly on the code that’s running.

This is true even for the processor itself, whose power can depend on how your code runs. IAR has already had a solution for that, called I-scope, that you could use with their I-jet debugging … Read More → "Correlating Power with Code"

Adios Multimedia Frustration

Phones have a ton of work to do – mostly things unrelated to being a phone. And we notice when things bog down and work too slowly, and we don’t say nice things about such phones.

So phone manufacturers put accelerators in the phones to do select compute-intensive things more quickly. In fact, it’s a double-bonus: the chore gets done faster and the main processor can do something else at the same time.

The only trick is to get the system to use such offloads when appropriate. And, at … Read More → "Adios Multimedia Frustration"

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