Blog Review: Dec. 9

Modular planes; Calma history; cell-aware test; Xilinx switch-up; Grant Sinclair interview; cars and cards; personal info control; UVM naming conventions; agile methods; EDA art.


From spring-loaded knees to modular planes to a two-seater drone, there’s a new world of transportation in this week’s top engineering and technology picks from Ansys’ Justin Nescott. As for disappearing worlds, check out the sun-like star getting eaten by a black hole.

Cadence’s Paul McLellan takes a look back at archaic terminology and even older standards, with a brief history of Calma to boot.

Curious about the inside story on cell-aware test? Mentor’s Ron Press chatted with inventor Friedrich Hapke and winner of this year’s Bob Madge Innovation Award for his view on the technology.

Synopsys’ Michael Posner digs into why Xilinx changed the way it counts the capacity of its FPGAs, the switch from Logic Cells to System Logic Cells, and if the data backs up the new calculation.

ARM’s Nathan Clough sits down with Grant Sinclair, nephew of the inventor behind the UK’s first affordable mass-market home computer, for some family history and to hear of his new creation.

In an interview with Aharon Etengoff, Rambus’ Joe Gullo compares security in the automotive market to the early days of debit and credit cards before the financial industry reached a consensus on security, and the biggest hurdle is a lack of clear standards.

There ought to be no need to live in fear of corporate surveillance, says NXP’s John C. Havens who urges a shift in how companies collect personal data towards giving users control over what they share.

Verification blogger Tudor Timi makes a case for changing some of the long-standing naming conventions within UVM and finds a few issues while testing it out.

From Cadence’s Mixed-Signal Technology Summit, Christine Young presents a talk by UC Berkeley Professor Borivoje Nikolic who sees agile software methodologies as an answer to infusing the chip design process with greater efficiency.

Can semiconductor engineering count as fine art? Mentor’s Nazita Saye proposes that it can, and wants you (and DAC’s new exhibit) to demonstrate where science crosses over into art.

In 1939, an exhibit at the New York World’s Fair captured America’s imagination by predicting a future of self-driving cars. Today, the White House’s Jeffrey Zients and John P. Holdren explore the Department of Transportation’s latest public challenge promoting autonomous vehicles.

Plus, check out the blogs highlighted in last week’s IoT & Security newsletter:

Editor In Chief Ed Sperling contends that technology is changing far too fast for the legal and social infrastructure to be effective.

Technology Editor Ernest Worthman zeroes in on a real-life example of what happens when you hide keys in software.

Executive Editor Ann Steffora Mutschler looks at why the auto industry doesn’t use the same approaches as the chip industry and what the effects are.

Kilopass’ Charlie Cheng points to where the challenges will be for the next wave of innovation and what’s needed to solve them.

Mentor Graphics’ Brian Derrick observes that it’s not clear who the winner will be in the realm of gateways and embedded software.

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