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Longer Wavelengths for Safer Ranging

The upshot: new NIL/SWIL sensing technology from Artilux uses longer-wavelength light, making ToF measurements safer and more accurate.

Cameras flatten us all. We can see what we’re looking at, but there are two limitations: everything is squished into 2D, so that our noses are in the same plane as the front of our ears; and we can’t tell how far away – or how big – something is without other contextual clues (like using a penny for reference). We can solve this using 3D imaging. Lidar is … Read More → "Longer Wavelengths for Safer Ranging"

To the Stars with Microchip’s New RT PolarFire FPGAs

The hot news on the street — if you live on a street where people build satellites and space probes for a hobby — is that those little scamps at Microchip Technology have just announced their new radiation-tolerant (RT) PolarFire FPGA, which they proudly proclaim, “…is optimized to meet the most demanding requirements in spacecraft payload systems’ high-speed data paths with the lowest possible power consumption and heat generation.”

These little rascals (the FPGAs, not the guys and gals at Microchip) … Read More → "To the Stars with Microchip’s New RT PolarFire FPGAs"

Wind River Modernizes VxWorks

“This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! …Bereft of life, he rests in peace!” – Mr. Praline

Years ago, a General Motors executive from Detroit told a roomful of press and analysts that “the median age of a Cadillac buyer increases by one year every year.” In other words, their customer base was dying. Only septuagenarians bought Cadillacs, and younger buyers weren’t stepping up to replace them. Unless the company did something drastic, the brand, like its customers, would eventually check out, buy the farm, … Read More → "Wind River Modernizes VxWorks"

SoCs for ML Training

Most of what I’ve covered in the past has been about machine-learning inference. For anyone newly wading into this space, machine learning has two phases. In the first phase, a model is trained; in the second phase, that model is deployed for its intended application – inferring something about real-world input in accordance with the training. It can also be helpful to split training into two: generic training and then model implementation on a specific inference platform. … Read More → "SoCs for ML Training"

5G Meets 50,000 Fans at Super Bowl 2025

Recently, I was basking in my comfy command chair relishing the adverts on television. They’re really the only thing worth watching since the Gilmore Girls ended (my wife, Gina the Gorgeous, and I just finished watching the re-runs… again) and while one is waiting for the next season of Doctor Who starring Jodie Whittaker to launch in 2020.

One of these adverts showed a bunch of people streaming video at some weird game that seemed to keep on stopping and starting. Oh yes, I think it was called American football, where the “American” qualifier is used to … Read More → "5G Meets 50,000 Fans at Super Bowl 2025"

ARM Dips Toe Into Configurability Pool

“My ghast was flabbered.” – Anthony Grayling

User-configurable microprocessors are a subject near and dear to me, so I was excited to hear that ARM, a company renowned for its iron-fisted control over its CPU architecture, was loosening its grip and allowing users to create their own custom instructions. Could it be? Had the company really joined the ranks of the user-configurable army pioneered by Tensilica, ARC, RISC-V, and others? 

Well… no, not really. 

While ARM will, for the first time, </ … Read More → "ARM Dips Toe Into Configurability Pool"

Who – or What – is Trustworthy?

Today, it’s all about trust. Whom do you trust? And what is it about them that makes you think that they’re trustworthy? With people, it’s about knowing them and their intentions – more on that in a minute, but it’s a bit different with machines. 

The IIC’s Take

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) put out a document that takes … Read More → "Who – or What – is Trustworthy?"

What the FAQ is an Embedded System?

One of the perennial questions I keep getting asked is, “What is an embedded system?” Strange as it may seem, the problem isn’t that we lack a definition, but rather that we have too many – many of which subtly or overtly contradict each other. For example, some people would state that an embedded system is one that doesn’t have a user interface, while others would declare that a smartphone — which boasts an extremely sophisticated user interface — is the epitome of an embedded system.

As far back as 2012, here … Read More → "What the FAQ is an Embedded System?"

MRAM Testing and Solderability

This week we take on a couple of developments in the MRAM world. While much of our more recent MRAM coverage has focused on the newer (and not yet ready for production) SOT (spin-orbit torque) approach, today’s stories are rooted in the more common (and now in production) STT (spin-transfer torque) technology.

Testing the Magnetics

It would probably come as no big surprise that the operation of magnetic RAMs would involve magnetic fields. The nice thing is, however, that, for STT MRAM, all the magnetics … Read More → "MRAM Testing and Solderability"

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