MEMS Microphones: A Bright Spot Among Commoditized Consumer Sensors


MEMS microphones have emerged as a bright spot among consumer sensors, which in general are going through a rapid commoditization and profit-squeezing trend. To understand what’s driving the MEMS microphone market, consider that the Apple iPhone 7 and 7S each have 4 MEMS microphones. As reported by System Plus Consulting, the latest iPhones have “a front-facing top microphone, presumably f... » read more

Antenna Design Grows Up


Apple’s iPhone 4 antenna issue represents a classic example of what can go wrong in modern antenna design. Put one in the wrong place, and a seemingly insignificant part can turn a cool new product into a public relations nightmare. Ever since antennas dropped out of sight, most consumers don't give them a second thought. In the 1960s, almost every home had a rooftop antenna. Fast forward ... » read more

Hybrid Simulation Picks Up Steam


As electronic products shift from hardware-centric to software-directed, design teams are relying increasingly on a simulation approach that includes multiple engines—and different ways to use those engines—to encompass as much of the system as possible. How engineers go about using these approaches, and even how they define them, varies greatly from one company to the next. Sometimes it... » read more

An Easier Path To Faster C With FPGAs


For most scientists, what is inside a high-performance computing platform is a mystery. All they usually want to know is that a platform will run an advanced algorithm thrown at it. What happens when a subject matter expert creates a powerful model for an algorithm that in turn automatically generates C code that runs too slowly? FPGA experts have created an answer. More and more, the genera... » read more

The Week In Review: IoT


Deals The $47 billion merger of Qualcomm and NXP Semiconductors will not only affect the automotive chip market; it should also have a significant impact in the Internet of Things business. The companies note they are together strong in microcontrollers, secure identification, mobile transactions, payment cards, transit, application processors, and connectivity systems. Meanwhile, NXP reported... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


M&A Lattice Semiconductor is set for a buyout by private equity fund Canyon Bridge at a price of $1.3 billion, or $8.30 per share. Lattice will operate as a standalone subsidiary and does not expect any changes in operations or management. The deal is expected to close in early 2017. Earlier this week, Lattice announced a low power, small form factor FPGA for 5G SERDES applications. The ... » read more

Electrical-Mechanical Tool Flow Revisited


For many years, the design tool industry has entertained the idea of combining both electrical and mechanical design into a single user experience, with a single database as a foundation. Major tool vendors, at least on the electrical side, have taken the matter seriously and confirm that activities towards a single flow have been considered, particularly as the [getkc id="7" kc_name="EDA"] ... » read more

The Week In Review: Design/IoT


Numbers EDA sales dropped 1.9% in Q4 of 2015, following a spectacular run of 23 consecutive quarters of solid growth, according to EDAC. For the year, the EDA and IP industry posted 5% growth. At the same time, IP revenue grew 9.2% to $702.2 million, making it the first time ever that IP surpassed CAE revenue. Services revenue also grew 5.4% year over year to 107.1 million. A new report f... » read more

The Challenge Of Fitting In


Connections between players in the semiconductor industry are becoming critical for survival. Whether the focus is a connected car, home automation, health care or the energy grid, each company in each of those markets relies on others to build useful products. There are several forces at work here. One is an emphasis on connecting everything, regardless of whether it is inside a single vert... » read more

The Week In Review: Design/IoT


M&A ARM acquired Carbon Design Systems and its staff for an undisclosed sum, adding virtual prototyping capabilities for ARM cores. In 2008, ARM sold Carbon the tools it acquired in the 2004 purchase of virtual prototype development company AXYS Design Automation. Tools Mentor Graphics updated its PADS software, adding 3D tool capabilities to provide visualization, placement, and d... » read more

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