Under One Roof

By Ed Sperling Microsoft’s decision to buy Nokia’s phone business, Apple’s move to build its own chips to more effectively run its software, and Google’s effort to develop its own hardware for next-generation platforms such as Google Glass mark an interesting reversal in the electronics industry. Disaggregation was the answer to slow-moving giants such as big-iron companies. Startin... » read more

Lessons From Past Architecture Wars

By Marc David Levenson There was an interesting IEEE panel discussion in Silicon Valley recently, reviewing the microprocessor architecture wars of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. How did the Intel x86 architecture become so dominant when there were other capable designs, including more efficient RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing) chips? How did the x86s overcome competition from Zilog, M... » read more

Who Owns What And Why

Who’s calling the shots these days—and how long they’ll continue calling the shots—is turning out to be as much conjecture as playing the futures exchange. There are so many changes underway that even engineers are crossing boundaries no one ever expected and ending up in companies outside of IC design or moving from seemingly far afield into the design world. Still, there are some c... » read more

The Other Side Of Consolidation

Consolidation has begun again in the electronics industry, but so far the majority of it is happening at the customer level.   While this is a sign that the economy has bottomed out and credit is beginning to flow—as unevenly as it always does when a downturn bottoms out—it’s creating a rather disturbing trend. Fewer customers mean fewer designs, even though the complexity of the des... » read more