Blog Review: March 9

Solar island; EM & finFETs; automatic testbench assembly; instrument clusters; amateur radio history; side-channel attacks and IoT; the PCI Express story; a forgotten hack; backend at MWC; NFC packaging.

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The world’s largest floating solar farm will soon be complete – an array of 23,000 solar panels on a reservoir outside London. Also in this week’s top five picks by Ansys’ Justin Nescott, watching sharks from the sky is a drone’s latest task, plus making music with a marble machine.

Synopsys’ Graham Etchells continues his series with a look at electromigration and its impacts on the FinFET process.

Cadence’s Paul McLellan traces the growth of IP-based design and looks forward to automatic testbench assembly based on VIP building blocks.

Mentor’s Andrew Patterson takes a look at how to safely build an instrument cluster.

The power of amateur innovators takes the spotlight in the latest short video from Science Museum in London and ARM’s Neil Cooper.

In the absence of a giant Faraday cage to shield the IoT, Rambus’ Aharon Etengoff digs into some other methods to protect it from side-channel attacks.

In a new video, Cadence’s Moshik Rubin discusses the history of the PCI Express high-speed serial interface.

Do you remember last summer’s Jeep hack? If not, you’re not alone, says Synopsys’ Robert Vamosi: among the general public, only one in four does.

From MWC, ARM’s Eoin McCann pivots from the latest gadgets to the back-end of what makes the modern day mobile experience possible.

NXP’s Vanessa Lowe chats with Marcin Pilarz, CEO of OriginTag, on his company’s experience integrating NFC and product packaging.

And from last week’s IoT, Security & Automotive newsletter, check out these featured blogs:

Editor in Chief Ed Sperling contends that hardware engineers should take note of the skyrocketing number of cyberattacks.

Technology Editor Ernest Worthman questions Apple’s claims about protecting the privacy of iPhone customers in its battle with the FBI.

Executive Editor Ann Steffora Mutschler questions what will be lost in our quest for safer cars.

Kilopass’ Lee Sun digs into what comes after EEPROM and NOR flash and why it’s so critical.

Mentor Graphics’ Warren Kurisu observes that a much more comprehensive security strategy is required as more devices are connected.