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DSP Group Dives into the Hearables Market

The term hearables (some call them smart headphones) refers to technically advanced electronic in-ear-devices. Most people think in terms of wireless earbuds or hearing aids that fit in the ear canal and use a processor to implement digital signal processing (DSP) techniques to enhance the wearer’s listening experience.

In fact, hearables may feature additional capabilities. If “the eyes are the window to the soul,” as the old saying goes, then the ears can provide a window to all sorts of other things, including temperature, skin resistance, heart rate monitoring, … Read More → "DSP Group Dives into the Hearables Market"

Qeexo Takes Misery Out of EdgeML

“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” — John Wooden

Invention, meet your mother, Necessity. It’s an oft-told tale. A programmer hacks together a tool to solve a particular problem, then realizes the tool has broader applicability than he thought. He refines it a bit so it can be used over and over. Sometimes, the tool is even more valuable than the work product. And sometimes, that insight leads to a whole new company. 

Just like it … Read More → "Qeexo Takes Misery Out of EdgeML"

TNG of DFT

Most people are familiar with the TNG concept, which sprang from the original Star Trek TV series being rebranded as “Star Trek: The Original Series” when its shiny successor “Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG)” appeared on the scene (no pun intended). Well, I’ve just been introduced to the next generation (TNG) of design for test (DFT).

In my previous column, Distributed On-Chip Temperature Sensors Improve Performance and … Read More → "TNG of DFT"

Didja Hear the One About the 3¢ MCU?

“In my day we only had 1’s and 0’s. And sometimes we ran out of 0’s!” – old programmer

Cognitive dissonance means entertaining two conflicting ideas at the same time. Your head hurts. It doesn’t make sense. Some things just should not be. 

Take the PMS150C, a microcontroller chip from Padauk, which operates around the … Read More → "Didja Hear the One About the 3¢ MCU?"

Accelerating Video for the Masses

It’s not news that streaming video is taking over the world. And, in the process, it has become by far the leading consumer of internet bandwidth. With the COVID-19 crisis, it’s a good bet that around 100% of the people reading this article have used video conferencing services within the last few weeks, and more likely within the last few days or even hours. In fact, you may be reading this article while pretending to pay attention in a Zoom meeting. It’s OK. We won’t tell. Carry on, and just be sure to … Read More → "Accelerating Video for the Masses"

A Google for Components

“The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness.” — Eric Hoffer

It’s not often that you get to solve two problems at once. Or that one product serves two markets simultaneously. But that’s the clever business strategy behind a new search engine that helps PCB designers find component footprints while also giving component makers new insight into design wins. 

Meet SnapEDA</ … Read More → "A Google for Components"

Distributed On-Chip Temperature Sensors Improve Performance and Reliability

I’m starting to fear the world is passing me by. When I designed my first ASIC in 1980, it was a Toshiba gate array device implemented at the 5 µm technology node, which was pretty much state-of-the-art for general-purpose digital ASIC designs at the time.

As I recall, this device contained around 2,000 equivalent gates (2-input NAND gates). My design was captured at the gate and register level using pencil and paper (many, many sheets thereof). Once the design had passed functional verification and timing verification, it was sent to the drawing … Read More → "Distributed On-Chip Temperature Sensors Improve Performance and Reliability"

WattIQ Uses Its Power for Good

“You can observe a lot just by watching.” – Yogi Berra

Think of a big pharmaceutical laboratory. People in white lab coats. Big shiny pieces of equipment humming. Lots of high-tech centrifuges, spectrometers, and analyzers. Everything’s clean. Even the refrigerators look special. 

You know what you don’t see? A network. 

Turns out, all those advanced pieces of equipment don’t talk to each other, nor do they connect to any central laboratory-wide network. Each one … Read More → "WattIQ Uses Its Power for Good"

Apollo 11 vs. the USB Charger

“That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” – Neil Armstrong

We all know that computers get faster over time, but it’s sobering to realize just how much faster they’ve gotten. 

Next month will mark the 51st anniversary of the first crewed landing on the moon, thanks to the Apollo 11 astronauts and all the engineers and scientists who put them there. By now most of us have heard … Read More → "Apollo 11 vs. the USB Charger"

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