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Reimagining How Humans Engage with Machines and Data

I was just chatting with the folks at Synaptics about their recently launched FlexSense family of teeny-tiny multi-modal smart sensor processors. Actually, I was thinking about using “Teeny-Tiny Multi-Modal Smart Sensor Processors” as the title for this column, but I saw “Reimagining How Humans Engage with Machines and Data” on some of their materials and I … Read More → "Reimagining How Humans Engage with Machines and Data"

Can HLS Partitioning Speed Up Placement and Routing of FPGA Designs? Yes, Oh Yes!

FPGA place-and-route software goes too fast, said no one ever. In fact, FPGA vendors have spent considerable effort in making their design software run faster on multicore processors. A paper recently presented at the ACM’s FPGA 2022 conference titled “RapidStream: Parallel Physical Implementation of FPGA HLS Designs,” describes a very interesting approach to pushing HLS designs through FPGA design software running on multicore processors faster. The paper – authored by a large team of researchers at UCLA, AMD-Xilinx, Ghent University, and Cornell University – describes RapidStream, which is an automated partitioning algorithm that slices up a dataflow design … Read More → "Can HLS Partitioning Speed Up Placement and Routing of FPGA Designs? Yes, Oh Yes!"

Autonomous John Deere Tractor Farms All Alone

When people talk of classic science fiction, there are several names that spring to mind, one being the English writer, artist, and anthology editor, Brian W. Aldiss, who is best known for his science fiction novels and short stories.

I was just skimming through his bibliography, and so many titles triggered memories from when I gorged myself on these tales when I was a young lad, many of which are with me on my office shelves as I pen these words, for example, Read More → "Autonomous John Deere Tractor Farms All Alone"

How the Intel 8088 Got Its Bus

The IBM PC (aka the IBM 5150) had such a massive impact on computing history that origin stories about the machine are legion. Many books have been written to tell the stories of a rag-tag group of isolated engineers in IBM’s Entry Systems Business, down in Boca Raton, Florida. William C. Lowe initially led the group. He got the job after he told IBM’s Corporate Management Committee that IBM could not create a microcomputer from scratch inside the company due to fossilized thinking and corporate culture. IBM’s only hope, said Lowe, was to acquire … Read More → "How the Intel 8088 Got Its Bus"

Is It a Bird? Is It a Plane? No, It’s Superflash memBrain!

Have you ever heard people talking about a new star of comedy, music, stage, or screen, describing them as “an overnight success”? If you investigate, you often discover that this “overnight success” followed a decade or more of hard work in the metaphorical trenches.

This reminds me of a cartoon I saw once talking about “the ‘peasant look’ that only the aristocracy can afford,” but I’m going to try to not wander off into the weeds…

Having said that, one more thing I … Read More → "Is It a Bird? Is It a Plane? No, It’s Superflash memBrain!"

An FPGA Flies on Mars

Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids.
In fact it’s cold as hell – Elton John, Rocketman 

Mars is hard. Only 26 of 56 missions sent to Mars have been successful. Landing on Mars is especially hard. Even though Mars’s gravity is only a third of Earth’s, the planetary atmosphere is 100 times thinner, which makes a soft landing by parachute impossible for mission … Read More → "An FPGA Flies on Mars"

Kura’s AR Glasses are Meta-Droolworthy!

I was recently introduced to what may be the future (or one future in this slice of the multiverse) of mixed-reality headsets. As a result, I’m currently squirming in my seat squealing in excitement. Now that I come to think about it, this is my usual modus operandi, so I just dispatched the butler to retrieve an appropriate pair of trousers.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times (but I don’t mind saying it again): I think that the combination of augmented … Read More → "Kura’s AR Glasses are Meta-Droolworthy!"

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?"

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