Blog Review: Aug. 6

Bad behavior; need-to-know basis; birdhouse designs; who’s funding innovation; 64 bits; keeping count; hybrids; garbage trucks; debugging.

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Mentor’s Colin Walls takes a look at bad behavior—the undefined kind that you get from doing C programming wrong and adding too much complexity up front.

Cadence’s Brian Fuller interviews his colleague about what engineers need to know in regards to finFETs, advanced nodes and parasitic extraction. Short answer: Plenty.

Synopsys’ Mick Posner is building FPGA prototype boards and birdhouses. Verification is much easier with birdhouse designs.

Applied Materials’ Eileen Tanghal says innovation is alive and well in the semiconductor industry, as the industry rushes to deal with what she terms “some of the biggest technology inflections” in its history. She note that corporate VC investment—not financial VC investment—is picking up as these shifts occur.

Ansys’ Justin Nescott is back with five more technology articles that are worth reading. Check out the smart shoes for the blind, which is a fascinating idea. And make sure you watch the Polaris Slingshot video, a device likely to land you in hot water with your family, your job and the police.

ARM’s Varun Sarwal takes a dive into the company’s 64-bit development platform, including what tools and software is available to make it work.

Mentor’s Michael Ford observes that silos that continue to persist, despite a succession of marketing hype that is now being labeled Industry 4.0. Well, at least they’re keeping count.

Cadence’s Richard Goering reports on a speech by CSR engineer Moshe Berkovich about using emulation and virtual prototyping in combination to speed software development. There are advantages to each, including cost.

Mentor’s John Day has discovered a plan for replacing the powertrain on garbage trucks in California to allow them to surpass emissions standards and save money. That’s an interesting way to increase profits for hauling trash.

ARM’s Lori Kate Smith looks at the Arduino board with a built-in debugger. If this stuff was around when most of today’s engineers went to college, just imagine what they could have built.