Blog Review: June 17

Big data for big crops; a look at UNICEF’s hub; FPGA prototyping bottlenecks; achieving a Unified Hierarchy environment in UVM; DIY AC; smart ovens; color temperature’s influence; Google’s RTOS; and plenty of DAC coverage.

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Can big data help farmers produce bigger crops? From Iowa to Indonesia, Rambus’ Aharon Etengoff looks at programs combining sensors, drones, and analytics where narrowing the odds of the next catastrophic crop failure is just the beginning.

Forget any preconceptions you might have about the non-profit sector, says ARM’s Dominic Vergine. UNICEF’s global procurement hub looks and runs like an Amazon distribution warehouse, and his recent visit brings us a peek at its operation.

Synopsys’ Michael Posner addresses resolving performance bottlenecks in FPGA-based prototypes through minimizing the pin-multiplexing ratio. Plus, a look at what he’s been up to in his spare time.

Cadence’s Efrat Shneydor provides a tutorial on how to achieve a Unified Hierarchy environment, with SystemVerilog component instantiating e units, and/or an e unit containing SystemVerilog components, using UVM-ML.

In the growing heat of summer, Mentor’s Nazita Saye finds that sometimes it’s the simplest design that will do the job with a DIY air conditioner.

A smart oven that helps cook your food, helping Parkinson’s patients with Google Glass, and an autonomous camera that selects when to take photos are among this week’s top tech picks by Ansys’ Justin Nescott.

There’s more to consider than personal preference when picking the color temperature of your next LED bulbs, says NXP’s Roman Budek, and it’s worthwhile to be mindful of how the human body reacts to color.

Following Google’s announcement of its Brillo RTOS, Mentor’s Colin Walls takes a brief look at the history of real time operating systems.

From the necessity of standards, to an interview with Lip-Bu Tan, to building a virtual Silicon Valley, to vision processing and power, to Google’s smart contact lens: Cadence’s Richard Goering and Brian Fuller present a roundup of some of the panels and presentations at DAC.

Looking for more news from the event, or some pictures from the show floor? ARM’s Eoin McCann chronicles the second and third days of his DAC experience.

And from keynotes to sessions to parties, our own Brian Bailey presents DAC day-by-day: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

For more good reading, check out the blogs in the latest Low Power-High Performance newsletter:

Editor in Chief Ed Sperling digs into whether M&A activity is good for semiconductor design.

Executive Editor Ann Steffora Mutschler questions whether it’s possible to make it easier and less risky to integrate IP licensed from an outside group or company.

Rambus’ Loren Shalinsky observes that video and images are going to dramatically increase the amount of Internet traffic and looks at where it will all go.

Synopsys’ Srikanth Jadcherla finds that in the IoT world, verification tools will be needed to ensure that many devices are correct by construction—and more secure.

Mentor’s Lauro Rizzati looks at what’s needed for power analysis in million-gate SoCs.

Ansys’ Meni Jayaswal zeroes in on how to use a streaming interface with emulators.

ARM’s Chris Shore notes that being able to map workloads to the right core sizes makes a big difference in power consumption and performance.