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Equipment Recommendations for a Home Electronics Lab

A working engineer posted this question, which appeared in my LinkedIn status stream earlier this year:

“I want to set up a home electronics test bench for maker projects. I would like a scope (perhaps with logic analyzer), waveform gen, power supply, volt/amp meter. My interests are high fidelity audio, and Arduino/RPi type projects. I am seeking recommendations on setups that won’t break the bank. This is for my own personal use, not work work.”

Now I style myself as someone … Read More → "Equipment Recommendations for a Home Electronics Lab"

Meet Mythic AI’s Soon-to-be-Legendary Analog AI

A couple of weeks ago, I was waffling on (as is my wont) about something or other, and I mentioned that my chum Jay Dowling had introduced me to an interesting analog computer called The Analog Thing (THAT). As I said at that time, it took me ages to realize that “THAT” was an abbreviation of “The Analog Thing” and not some esoteric part of its name.

As part of this, Jay … Read More → "Meet Mythic AI’s Soon-to-be-Legendary Analog AI"

Is Ambiq’s Apollo4 Plus the World’s Most Energy Efficient MCU?

The market for low-power microcontrollers (MCUs) used in IoT endpoint devices is fiercely competitive and not for the weak of heart. If you are a purveyor of such a low-power MCU, you have to have something really special to differentiate yourself and stand proud in the crowd. All of which leads us to…

…those clever chaps and chapesses at Ambiq. If you are already familiar with Ambiq, you’ll be interested to … Read More → "Is Ambiq’s Apollo4 Plus the World’s Most Energy Efficient MCU?"

I’m Pickin’ Up Bad Vibrations: How to Predict Motor Failure Before it Happens

I’m pickin’ up good vibrations
She’s giving me the excitations – Good Vibrations, The Beach Boys

I live in a condo. When I drive into my condo, I pass through two gates to get to my parking spaces. Each gate employs a motor to open and close it. When we installed these gates several years ago, they worked great. However, as the years have progressed, the gate mechanisms have started to break down. Sometimes a mechanical linkage fails. Sometimes a … Read More → "I’m Pickin’ Up Bad Vibrations: How to Predict Motor Failure Before it Happens"

New Semiconductor Technologies Are Rarely What They Seem at First Glance

I watched the first season of “Ted Lasso” with my family over the Thanksgiving holiday in late November. If you’re one of the few people, like me, who aren’t familiar with the series, it’s based on a 2013 concept ad series by NBC Sports touting the channel’s coverage of the UK’s top-level Premier League football (“soccer” in the US) matches. Jason Sudeikis starred in the ads and later developed the ads’ concept of an American football coach transplanted to the UK to coach a UK football team into a television series that … Read More → "New Semiconductor Technologies Are Rarely What They Seem at First Glance"

PCI-SIG’s PCIe 6.0 Spec Continues the Long, Happy Evolution of PCI Express

Well, PCI-SIG has done it once again. They’ve doubled the peak maximum bandwidth of the PCI Express (PCIe) bus by releasing the PCIe 6.0 specifications on January 11.  A 16-lane PCIe 6.0 connection has a peak bidirectional bandwidth of 256 Gbytes/sec. That’s pretty darn fast. How’d they do it? The simple answer is that they ripped a page from the high-speed Ethernet spec and adopted PAM4 modulation. PAM4 modulation encodes two bits with each signal excursion by using 4-level voltage signaling instead of the familiar, digital, 2-level signaling. Presto! You’ve doubled the bandwidth. PAM4 Serdes … Read More → "PCI-SIG’s PCIe 6.0 Spec Continues the Long, Happy Evolution of PCI Express"

Want to Make Your Data Impossibly Secure?

I’m currently ensconced in the command chair in the Pleasure Dome (my office) drooling with desire, as opposed to my usual modus operandi which involves me simply sitting here drooling. I now know that I want an SSD drive that is “impossibly secure” — so secure, in fact, that it renders my precious data invisible on the basis that attackers cannot compromise what they cannot see.

The reason for my newfound desire for this incredible level of security — the term “Impossibly Secure” has been trademarked by the bodaciously brainy boffins … Read More → "Want to Make Your Data Impossibly Secure?"

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