Blog Review: April 29

Autonomous racing; Earth Day engineering; cybersecurity and the military; FPGA verification effectiveness; PCB design, the quiz show; all about Pulse Code Modulation; ARM’s early years; solid state microwaves.


Start your engines. At the Western US Freescale Cup, ARM’s Sadanand Gulwadi had a front-row seat to the ingenuity displayed in autonomous model car racing.

From turning an abandoned factory into the world’s largest indoor farm to the millions invested in mining passing asteroids, Ansys’ Bill Vandermark celebrates a week of Earth Day with his top five picks to read.

“There is no Department of Defense solution to our cyber-security dilemmas,” says U.S. CyberCom chief in an analysis by Rambus’ Aharon Etengoff of the new threats facing military institutions.

In the latest installment of his functional verification study, Mentor’s Harry Foster focuses on the effectiveness of verification in terms of FPGA project schedule and bug escapes.

Don’t change that dial. Up next, Cadence’s Brian Fuller hosts the third episode of EDA’s premiere game show, “So You Think You’re an Expert.”

Synopsys’ VIP Experts posted a blog that helps explain what Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) is all about and how to select the correct sampling rate and quantization bits for a given Signal to Noise ratio.

Interested in a bit of industry history? ARM’s Ben Walshe dives into the early years of Acorn and ARM. (For an idea of what might appear in his next installment, take a look at the acquisitions on ARM’s KC page.)

If you’re frustrated when a microwave doesn’t heat food properly, NXP’s Robin Wesson says forget the WWII-era magnetrons and go with solid-state RF for quick cooking needs.

For more good reads, check out the blogs featured in last week’s System-Level Design newsletter:

Editor in Chief Ed Sperling argues it’s time for the semiconductor industry to rethink what it’s trying to accomplish and for whom.

Technology Editor Brian Bailey contends that the sooner we recognize the free ride is over, the faster we will begin developing innovative chips.

Mentor Graphics’ Mathew Clark digs into the new LV324 standard, why it’s here and what it will do.

eSilicon’s Mike Gianfagna forecasts that more options and applications will provide a boost for the semiconductor industry.

Cadence’s Frank Schirrmeister observes the IoT needs to support a mix of sensors with secure, safe and dependable computing and communication, and all at the lowest possible power consumption.

Synopsys’ Tom De Schutter notes that device drivers for interface IP are non-trivial and they have to be ready early in the design cycle.

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