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R U Going to Attend the Second Annual Chiplet Summit?

As I pen these words, only a few days remain until the start of the biggest, bestest, and most bodacious second annual Chiplet Summit, which is to be held 6-8 February 2024 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.

As an aside (yes, I know we just started and it’s a little early in the day for asides, but I’m just that sort of fellow), as you may … Read More → "R U Going to Attend the Second Annual Chiplet Summit?"

Niklaus Wirth: Computer Language Pioneer and Educator, 1934-2024

Niklaus Wirth, a potent force in the development of programming languages since the 1960s, passed away on January 1. The programming languages that Wirth either developed or influenced include Euler (the language he developed for his PhD thesis), Algol, Pascal, Modula, and Oberon. He became a professor, helped to develop and then headed the computer science department, and taught computer science at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich from 1968 through his retirement in 1999. Along the way, Wirth also led teams that developed hardware, including the Lilith and Ceres graphical workstations, and created one of the … Read More → "Niklaus Wirth: Computer Language Pioneer and Educator, 1934-2024"

Designing MPU/MCU/SoC/AI Hardware? Are You Sure Your Security Features Are Secure?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll doubtless say it again (actually, now I come to think about it, I’ve said “I’ve said it before, and I’ll doubtless say it again” before, and I’ll doubtless say it again; whatever you do, don’t get me rambling about recursion), I cannot help but don my frowny face when I think about those nefarious cyber-scoundrels who make the world a worse place for everyone. I have naught but loathing for the creators of malware, ransomware, and any other “ware” of this ilk.

Read More → "Designing MPU/MCU/SoC/AI Hardware? Are You Sure Your Security Features Are Secure?"

Generative AI Is Coming to the Edge!

Over the past few months, I’ve waffled on (as is my wont) about various flavors (ooh, tasty) of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI). On the menu were items like GitHub Copilot, which generates code (throwing in errors and security vulnerabilities for free), and Metabob from Metabob (can you spell “Zen”), which looks at the code generated by GitHub Copilot and takes the bugs and security vulnerabilities out again (to understand recursion, you must first understand recursion).

We’ve also discussed other GenAI-based Copilots, like Read More → "Generative AI Is Coming to the Edge!"

Would you buy a $20 GateMate FPGA from Germany’s Cologne Chip?

My good friend Adam Taylor recently published a couple of blogs about a new-to-me FPGA vendor named Cologne Chip, a 25-year veteran semiconductor vendor. The company was founded in 1994 as Cologne Chip Designs, and back then, it focused on developing ASICs for the nascent ISDN market. ISDN, or the Integrated Services Digital Network, was the telecom industry’s early effort to develop a digital standard interconnect for telephone systems. Within two years, Cologne Chip Designs had introduced its first ISDN chip. (ISDN standardization took so long that the four-letter abbreviation came to be reinterpreted as “I still … Read More → "Would you buy a $20 GateMate FPGA from Germany’s Cologne Chip?"

We Already Have Cars That Can See, How About Cars That Can Hear?

As I’ve mentioned before (and as I will doubtless remark on again), if we were to inquire as to how many senses humans have, most people’s knee-jerk reaction would be to say “Five” and to recite those senses we were all taught at school: Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste, and Touch. In reality, as I wrote in a blog about the possibilities of alien life, we all have as many as 20 senses, or more. … Read More → "We Already Have Cars That Can See, How About Cars That Can Hear?"

Adventures with SiTime’s MEMS-based Super-TXCOs – Super Accurate Clocks for the Future – Part 1

Clocks are integral to most electronic systems. Timing and communications systems need extremely accurate clocks. When I started working with electronics, in the heyday of Citizen’s Band (CB) radio, quartz crystals were on sale everywhere, even at Radio Shack. The CB crystals congregated around 27 and 28 MHz, but many more frequencies were on offer. As I started designing circuits as an engineer, I used many specific crystal frequencies: 32.768 kHz for real-time clock circuits, 3.57954 MHz for the TV color burst, 1.8432 MHz for the Motorola MC14411 bit-rate generator, 4.9152 MHz for the bit-rate generator in the Signetics 2661 enhanced communications chip, … Read More → "Adventures with SiTime’s MEMS-based Super-TXCOs – Super Accurate Clocks for the Future – Part 1"

Addressing The Memory Guy’s CXL Conundrums

My friend Jim Handy (The Memory Guy) recently published a blog about Compute Express Link (CXL) and two conundrums he perceives about the technology. CXL is a relatively new cache-coherent memory protocol based on open standards that’s designed to make large memory pools available to multiple processors in large computer systems and data centers. CXL’s central objective, in my opinion, is to help data center architects avoid overprovisioning every CPU in a multiprocessor … Read More → "Addressing The Memory Guy’s CXL Conundrums"

Is MIPS Poised to Take the RISC-V World by Storm?

Sometimes the world can be a funny old place. Take computer companies, for example. Some (like IBM) seem to have been around forever and they also seem destined to stay around forever. Others flicker in and out of existence so quickly that most folks are never even aware they existed in the first place. Still others pop up and down as if they were engaged in a deranged game of corporate Whac-A-Mole. … Read More → "Is MIPS Poised to Take the RISC-V World by Storm?"

Within Five Years, All New Cars Will Be Able to See at Night!

A few evenings ago as I pen these words, my wife (Gina the Gorgeous), your humble narrator (I pride myself on my humility), and a number of other people were visiting at a friend’s house. There were about 20 of us. Only non-alcoholic drinks were consumed. It was dark when we all decided to head for home. Some were walking. I was driving. At least one of the people on foot almost failed to complete their journey.

Some of the folks set off perambulating down the road while the rest of us milled … Read More → "Within Five Years, All New Cars Will Be Able to See at Night!"

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