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Wallowing in 68K Nostalgia

“I don’t like nostalgia unless it’s mine.” – Lou Reed

If the phrase “DTACK grounded” means anything to you, welcome, friend. You are officially a member of the retro-techno computer engineers’ club. Hail fellow well met. 

You’re probably already busy enough with your real job, but if you want a fun diversion, try your hand at building a real, live Motorola 68000-based computer. You build it. You program it. You figure out what to do with it afterwards. 

< … Read More → "Wallowing in 68K Nostalgia"

I Just Created my First AI/ML App! (Part 1)

I’m currently scampering around my office with a great big beaming smile plastered all over my face because I just created my very first artificial intelligence (AI) / machine learning (ML) application… and it works!

When people hear the terms AI and ML, very often their knee-jerk reaction is to think about machine vision and things like object detection and recognition. While machine vision is incredibly cool and amazing, it’s really only the tip of the iceberg with regard to AI/ML applications.

Read More → "I Just Created my First AI/ML App! (Part 1)"

Interview: RISC-V CTO Mark Himelstein

“One man’s constant is another man’s variable.” – programmers’ wisdom

Most engineering firms have a CTO. The Chief Technical Officer sets the technical direction, guides the research, gives the engineers their marching orders, and in between lectures strokes his beard and thinks deeply technical thoughts. 

But what does the CTO of an open-source consortium do? How do you manage a staff or set technical direction when there’s no staff to manage, no product deadlines, and no quarterly profit goals? </ … Read More → "Interview: RISC-V CTO Mark Himelstein"

SSDs Aren’t Just Faster Hard Disks

“But it’s all right. I’m Jumpin’ Jack Flash. It’s a gas, gas, gas.” – Keith Richards/Mick Jagger

A new hard disk controller. Ho-hum, yawn. But this one says it improves performance tenfold. Huh? How is that possible? And that it increases price/performance by 90%. This also seemed implausible. Time to dig into these nonsense claims.  

Turns out, they’re correct. A new storage controller from a startup company called Pliops</ … Read More → "SSDs Aren’t Just Faster Hard Disks"

Protecting Your Software from Cyberslime

Are you a company that creates cunning software products? If so, how can you tell if someone counterfeits your software, perhaps inserting malware, and then distributes it as though it were a legitimate copy? Well, this is your lucky day, because the folks at Cylynt have you covered.

I was just chatting with Ted Miracco, who is the co-founder and CEO of Cylynt, home of the Read More → "Protecting Your Software from Cyberslime"

Intel – Flourish or Flounder?

“If the end of Moore’s Law is a wall, the first one to slam into it will be whoever was ahead.” — Me, today

Days after we published our “No More Nanometers” article discussing the perils and pitfalls of our arcane node-naming conventions, Intel made their quarterly earnings release for Q2, 2020. Here at EE Journal, we pride ourselves in being a technology publication serving professional electronics engineers, and as such seldom delve into “business news,” but here we have … Read More → "Intel – Flourish or Flounder?"

Sequitur Security Is a Package Deal

“My greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live.” – Kanye West

When everyone else took Spanish classes in high school, I took Latin. That prepared me for a life of translating classic literature (nope), correcting Catholic priests (not ever), deciphering legal phrases (more often than I’d like), and acing entire Jeopardy! categories (all the time).

It also taught me just enough to know … Read More → "Sequitur Security Is a Package Deal"

ARM Saturation, Price Hikes, and Possible Spinoff

“We acquire the strength we have overcome.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s no secret that ARM is the 500-lb. gorilla in the IP-licensing business, but there are new signs that the company may be reaching its peak. Licensing revenue is down slightly, the company is reportedly raising prices to compensate, a Chinese joint venture has gone badly, and its corporate owner, SoftBank, may be preparing to sell off the entire company. 

Meanwhile, things aren’t all bleak. Apple recently announced that it … Read More → "ARM Saturation, Price Hikes, and Possible Spinoff"

No More Nanometers

“I learned how to measure before I knew what was size.” – Sofi Tukker, “House Arrest”

Let’s start by speaking some truth. Nothing about the “5 nanometer” CMOS process has any real relationship to five actual nanometers and transistor size. That train jumped off the rails years ago, and the semiconductor industry has inflicted tremendous self-harm by perpetuating the nanometer myth. 

I hear you. “The world has a billion problems, and nanometer nodes ain’t one!” But, hear me out. In the early, … Read More → "No More Nanometers"

Introducing the World’s First Monolithic MEMS Speaker

I have seen the future of hearables. And it is MEMS. And it is good.

I’m being exposed to all sorts of cool technologies these days. Unfortunately, one of my problems – in addition to (a) being hounded by hordes of groupies at engineering conferences and (b) the fact that my groupies are all curmudgeonly old male engineers – is that I’m easily distrac… SQUIRREL!

I’m sorry. Where were we? Oh yes, you wanted to know about my Aunt Joan. She wasn’t a real aunt, if the truth be told, but she was … Read More → "Introducing the World’s First Monolithic MEMS Speaker"

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