Blog Review: Feb. 11

Cold fusion explosion; Stella; FPGA design changes; MIPI-DSI; icing models; how many verification engineers…; beaming up IP; etch progress; 50 shades of vehicle automation.


Ansys’ Bill Vandermark flags the top five engineering articles of the week. Check out the one about the latest attempt at cold fusion, which left researchers hiding behind a blast shield.

The solar-powered car named Stella drove away with the prestigious “Best Technology Achievement” award at the 8th annual Crunchies Awards this week. NXP’s Maurice Geraets sounds like a proud parent – with good reason, as NXP sponsored and provided V2X technology for the student-built car.

Mentor’s Harry Foster starts digging into his industry-wide study, beginning with trends in FPGA design. The big change? It looks as if FPGAs are increasingly being designed like SoCs.

Transmitting video frames in real time without storing the data in the device is not easy. But tricking timing is the key. Writing for the Synopsys blog, Broadcom’s Hari Balisetty explains the usage of the MIPI-DSI interface.

Two new levels of PCB layout checks are required for complex, signal-integrity prone boards—geometry-based electrical rule checking (ERC) and simulation rule checking (SRC), according to Cadence’s Joy Li when she presented her paper “Advanced PCB Layout Checks for Power-Aware Signal Integrity” to a standing crowd at DesignCon. Richard Goering gives us an overview.

Ever been stuck on the ground waiting for a plane to be de-iced? Imagine needing de-icing in mid-air. Ansys’ Robert Harwood explains how the imprecision of current icing models lead to Ansys’ latest acquisition, Newmerical Technologies International.

ARM’s Jem Davies points us toward several recent research papers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill which discuss ARM’s Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression (ASTC) technology.

Verification expert Gaurav Jalan considers how many pairs of eyes it should take to design and verify a design. In this hotly debated topic, he questions whether the answer is based on rational thinking or history.

Our Star Trek lives have been put on hold while we work out some of the user interface wrinkles. The answer, according to Cadence’s Seow Yin Lim, is more powerful IP with beaming-up power.

Rambus’ Aharon Etengoff takes a look at the Raspberry Pi as it gets closer to 3.14159 with its 2.0 release. Among the myriad improvements, the Pi 2 boasts Windows compatibility and an increase in memory to 1GB – perhaps the key it needs to go mainstream.

Going to the SPIE Advanced Lithography Symposium? Lam Research is, and they have a whole slate of presentations on etch technology, integration schemes, and nanopatterning lined up.

And in case you missed last week’s IoT & Security newsletter, here are some noteworthy blogs:

Editor In Chief Ed Sperling observes that autonomous vehicles face enormous hurdles, but there are many shades of automation before that.

Technology Editor Ernest Worthman questions exactly what the Internet of Things is good for and why.

And Executive Editor Ann Steffora Mutschler contends that you’re not being paranoid if you’re concerned about protecting personal data.

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