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Intel’s “World’s Largest” FPGA

All this has happened before, and all this will happen again
— J.M. Barrie – Peter Pan
— Battlestar Galactica

First, let’s get the headline out there. Intel now boasts the world’s largest FPGA – the Stratix 10 GX 10M. As one might guess from the title, this new FPGA packs a whopping 10.2 million logic elements. This is fantastic news for those who want the most possible programmable logic in one package. Those doing FPGA-based prototyping … Read More → "Intel’s “World’s Largest” FPGA"

Synthetic Images for AI Training

The upshot: Mindtech provides a capability for creating fully annotated synthetic training images to complement real images for improved AI training.

We’ve spent a lot of time looking at AI training and AI inference and the architectures and processes used for each of those. Where the AI task involves images, we’ve blithely referred to the need for training sets; that’s easy, right?

After all, if you’re trying to train your algorithm to recognize a dog, then just give … Read More → "Synthetic Images for AI Training"

How to Start a Startup (Part 1)

I’ve attended a lot of engineering conferences in my time. One of the topics a lot of younger engineers like to chat about is the idea of starting their own company. Now, although I’m not an expert in this area, I have been involved in starting a couple of companies, and not knowing much about something has certainly never stopped me from talking about it. (Much like my dear old mom, the real trick is to get me to stop talking.)

< … Read More → "How to Start a Startup (Part 1)"

WebAssembly: JavaScript Done Right

“The most dangerous tool in the world is a dull knife.” — unknown

Google Earth is pretty cool, right? You can zoom in on any arbitrary point on the planet or watch the scenery zip by as you skim the surface at 1000 feet and 1000 MPH. Check out your neighbor’s backyard pool or circle the Eiffel Tower. It’s all right there in your browser. 

Ever wonder how that works? Streaming an entire globe’s worth of high-resolution photos, elevation data, GIS info, … Read More → "WebAssembly: JavaScript Done Right"

Full-Chip ILT in a Day

The upshot: With a custom computing box that emulates a giant CPU/GPU pair, D2S says that they can perform full-chip ILT in a day.

Ever since the sizes of features to be printed on silicon dropped well below the wavelength of the light used to do the printing, we’ve had to monkey with the shapes on the mask. We’ve had to print not simply what we want, but some morphed form of that, replete with “assist features” that make the mask Read More → "Full-Chip ILT in a Day"

Half-Life 2: Killing Products

“Veni, Vidi, Velcro: I came, I saw, I stuck around.” – unknown

How long should you keep your products in production? 

If you’re making steam locomotives, the answer is: about a hundred years. If it’s iPhones, the production life shrinks to just a handful of months. Harlequin romance novels? About a week. 

But what if you’re making software? Is there a reasonable time limit for availability, or should code live on forever? At what … Read More → "Half-Life 2: Killing Products"

Is Crowd Computing the Next Big Thing?

The upshot: Neocortix can muster smartphones to act as cloud computing resources.

From where we all sit, we see lots of cloud computing – either being developed or fully rolled out. The general public is also heavily involved with the cloud, although they may not be as aware of it. To much of the public, the cloud might feel like an amorphous notion of giant banks of computers – perhaps dominated by the Big Tech Overlords – that are out of their control. In other words, they’re not personally involved … Read More → "Is Crowd Computing the Next Big Thing?"

What the FAQ are ASICs, ASSPs, SoCs, SOMs, etc.?

In my previous column — What the FAQ are CPUs, MPUs, MCUs, and GPUs? — we discussed the fact that the electronics industry is replete with acronyms, especially the three-letter variety. We also noted that we tend to learn a lot of things by osmosis, gradually (often unconsciously) assimilating nuggets of knowledge into a conceptual framework that appears to make sense… until it doesn’t.

Art Markman summed things up … Read More → "What the FAQ are ASICs, ASSPs, SoCs, SOMs, etc.?"

Bipolar Bear: Surface Pro X Tries Again, Fails Again

“Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.” – Robert A. Heinlein 

Microsoft is still a software company, right? Aren’t they the guys who made Windows, Office, Internet Explorer, and Flight Simulator? So then why do most of these not work on Microsoft’s own Surface Pro X computer?

This … Read More → "Bipolar Bear: Surface Pro X Tries Again, Fails Again"

In-Memory Computing

The upshot: Memories can be arranged such that an “access” becomes a multiply-accumulate function. Storing weights in the memory and using activations as inputs saves data movement and power. And there are multiple ways to do this using RRAM, flash, and SRAM – and then there’s an approach involving DRAM, but it’s completely different.

In the scramble to win the artificial-intelligence (AI) lottery, numerous companies are trying to create the best machine-learning (ML) engines. That means the fastest inference with the lowest power, and the lowest-power thing … Read More → "In-Memory Computing"

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