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Intel Drives FPGA Expansion

The winds of change are blowing strongly in the FPGA market these days. As programmable logic has matured, a number of lucrative market opportunities have opened up, driven by the rapid deployment of 5G, the revolution in application of AI technology across numerous design types, the transformation of the data center into a complex heterogeneous computing cluster, the overhaul of automotive and transportation technology, and the explosion of new IoT applications. All of these trends are contributing to an unprecedented growth in the amount of data being generated, transported, stored, processed, and used. 

< … Read More → "Intel Drives FPGA Expansion"

Microchip TrustAnchor Holds the Keys

“One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory.” – Rita Mae Brown

You’ve got a problem. You designed a nice microcontroller-based system a few years ago and it’s selling well, with thousands of units out in the field. That’s not the problem. The problem is, now your boss wants you to add security features to it. You know – just slap them on. No big deal, right? 

But to add secure boot, and crypto acceleration, and secure key storage … Read More → "Microchip TrustAnchor Holds the Keys"

How to Rob a Bank

“Because that’s where the money is.” – Willie Sutton, when asked why he robs banks

When you think of secure, reliable, mission-critical computers, you naturally think of Windows, right? It’s obvious. It’s so bulletproof, especially Windows XP. 

That’s evidently the thinking behind many, and perhaps most, of the world’s automated teller machines (ATMs), which are little more than PC motherboards connected to a cash drawer. Everything you know and love about Windows is on display (sometimes literally), including … Read More → "How to Rob a Bank"

Create Your Own RTOS in 1 Hour (Part 4)

“It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.” – William James

Time to write some code. The good news is, you won’t need much, and that’s largely the point. We’re going to let the hardware built into every x86 processor since the Reagan administration do the work for us. All we have to do is nudge it in the right direction and let nature take its course. 

< … Read More → "Create Your Own RTOS in 1 Hour (Part 4)"

Eos Embedded Perception Software Sees All

Sit down, take a deep breath, and try to relax. In a few moments, I’m going to show you a video of people (well, dummies that look like people) walking in front of vehicles equipped with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking systems. The results will make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. I’m still shaking my head in disbelief at what I just observed, but first…

Earlier this year, I posted a column describing what happens Read More → "Eos Embedded Perception Software Sees All"

Mentor’s Major DFT Upgrade

It isn’t often that we see an  innovation that is really a game-changer. Most of the announcements we get from technology companies, particularly in areas like design-for-test (DFT), have been relatively stable for decades. Normally, we get incremental, evolutionary improvements in technology that yield modest gains in productivity, efficiency, or some other metric. Over time, these improvements add up, and we are able to continue happily along the path of Moore’s Law’s exponential curve.

This is not one of those times.

Read More → "Mentor’s Major DFT Upgrade"

Create Your Own RTOS in 1 Hour (Part 3)

“The fault… is not in our stars, but in ourselves…” Julius Caesar, I.III

Very little code is required to make an x86 processor handle task switching for you, but there is a certain amount of pregame setup you’ll have to do. This is mostly a matter of plugging values into memory so that everything is just right before you throw the big switch and start the machine running. 

Sadly, there … Read More → "Create Your Own RTOS in 1 Hour (Part 3)"

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