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Honey, I Shrunk the Switching Regulator (into a 2.2 x 1.6 mm footprint)

Shrink rays are a common trope with a long history in science fiction. The first time I saw one “in use” was in the 1966 film Fantastic Voyage and Isaac Asimov’s book based on the film’s screenplay. In Fantastic Voyage, movie and book, the shrink ray is used to miniaturize a submarine named Proteus so that it can be injected into a person to perform some delicate brain surgery using a very new-at-the-time laser – also miniaturized. (It was also the late Raquel Welch’s debut film for 20< … Read More → "Honey, I Shrunk the Switching Regulator (into a 2.2 x 1.6 mm footprint)"

Synopsys Takes on RISC-V Configurability with ARC-V Processor IP Family

Long, long ago, at the turn of the millennium, two champions of configurable processor IP – ARC and Tensilica – battled for dominance in that arena with unique processor ISAs and custom tools to aid in creating software-development tool chains for their configurable processors. Synopsys bought ARC in 2011, and Cadence bought Tensilica a couple of years later. Fast forward a decade and suddenly, RISC-V has somehow validated the concept of configurable processors. Consequently, many companies with proprietary processor ISAs have jumped on the RISC-V bandwagon as its ecosystem gathers momentum. For example, Intel announced the development of a third … Read More → "Synopsys Takes on RISC-V Configurability with ARC-V Processor IP Family"

9.6Gbps HBM3 Memory Controller IP Boosts SoC AI Performance

It’s not often you get to say things like “exponential increase in insatiable demand,” so I’m going to make the most of it by taking a deep breath, pausing for effect, and waiting for the audience’s antici…

…pation to mount. As I’ve mentioned in previous columns (although possibly using different words), we are currently seeing an exponential increase in insatiable demand for increased processing power.

I’m sure we’re all familiar with Read More → "9.6Gbps HBM3 Memory Controller IP Boosts SoC AI Performance"

New MCUs Provide 10^2 the Performance at 10^-2 the Power

As I’ve mentioned on occasion, I predate many of the technologies that now surround us. I remember the heady days of the first 8-bit microprocessor units (MPUs) and early single board computers (SBCs) that were based on these little rascals. Glancing at the bookshelves in my office, I see my trusty companions of yesteryear in the form of 6502, Z80, etc. data books.

One thing that reflects how far things have progressed from those days of yore circa the late 1970s is the fact that those microprocessor data books assumed minimal prior knowledge. … Read More → "New MCUs Provide 10^2 the Performance at 10^-2 the Power"

Arrow reveals first Dev Board for Intel Agilex 5 FPGAs, with two more boards planned

Arrow has just launched a development board for Intel’s soon-to-be-produced Agilex 5 SoC FPGAs, and two more such boards wait in the wings. The Arrow AXE5-Eagle board sports one Intel Agilex 5 E-series SoC FPGA. Initially, these development boards will incorporate an engineering sample of the SoC FPGA with 656K logic elements (LEs), while production boards, available by the end of the first half of 2024, will incorporate Agilex 5 devices with 334K LEs. The target price for the board is $995, which is subject to change, according to Arrow. Intel formally announced the Agilex 5 D- and E-series SoC FPGA … Read More → "Arrow reveals first Dev Board for Intel Agilex 5 FPGAs, with two more boards planned"

National Instruments to Apple Mac: Buh-Bye

National Instruments (NI) recently released a new version of its LabView test automation programming environment for the latest Apple Macintosh computers based on the Arm-based Apple M1 CPU/GPU SoC. At the same time, NI let its customers know that this release would be the last one for Apple Macintosh computers, sending a shock through some portion of the company’s customer base. Here’s the text of the email NI sent to its customers:

Dear NI Customer

According to our records, you … Read More → "National Instruments to Apple Mac: Buh-Bye"

Goodbye SnapEDA (Sad Face) | Hello SnapMagic (Happy Face)

I still find it hard to believe that the first time generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) in the form of ChatGPT by OpenAI impinged itself on the public consciousness—including what I laughingly think of as my own consciousness (but only when I consciously think about it)—was only a year ago (give or take a few days) as I pen these words.

Wow! What a year it’s been! Now GenAI is manifesting itself everywhere, with ChatGPT-based apps sprouting like metaphorical mushrooms (which are my second favorite type). I’m not sure of … Read More → "Goodbye SnapEDA (Sad Face) | Hello SnapMagic (Happy Face)"

Microchip, PolarFire, and the Imperative of the Intelligent Edge

My poor old noggin is currently spinning like a top. I was just chatting with Shakeel Peera, who is VP of Marketing, Strategy, and Business Operations for the FPGA business unit at Microchip Technology

The first piece of intelligence that blew my mind was the fact that the FPGA business unit is one of 23 business units inside Microchip. Give me strength. I remember when Microchip started as a relatively small spin-off … Read More → "Microchip, PolarFire, and the Imperative of the Intelligent Edge"

Prophesee’s 5th Generation Sensors Detect Motion Instead of Images for Industrial, Robotic, and Consumer Applications

British photographer Eadward Muybridge’s pioneering work on motion pictures in the 1870s and his invention of the zoopraxiscope to display moving images literally framed everything that followed for the next 150 years, first in movies, then in television, and finally in animated GIFs. Muybridge’s developments leveraged human persistence of vision to make the subjects in a sequence of still photos appear to be moving. Since then, all cinema and video recordings have been based on projecting still image frames in rapid succession. That mechanism is great for capturing motion-picture scenes to be reproduced for human visual … Read More → "Prophesee’s 5th Generation Sensors Detect Motion Instead of Images for Industrial, Robotic, and Consumer Applications"

Winbond’s CUBE Memory Is Anything but Square

Do you remember those dim and distant days when the term AI (artificial intelligence) wasn’t on everybody’s lips? I’m aware that researchers and academics have been beavering away on AI since the Dartmouth Workshop in the summer of 1956, but for decades their labors rarely impinged on the public’s collective consciousness.

Admittedly, the topic of Expert Systems did raise its ugly head circa the 1990s, but these little scamps rarely managed to live up to the marketing … Read More → "Winbond’s CUBE Memory Is Anything but Square"

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