Blog Review: Feb. 25

Parameterization problems; Volvo cars; Apple cars?; finding the right methodology; dark matter & black holes; military 3D printing; observe & orient; conference collection; ASIC-FPGA estimation; being an engineer; wearables community.


Synopsys’ Aron Pratt continues his series on SystemVerilog interfaces and strategies for dealing with parameterization. There are workarounds to the problems it introduces, but they come with a price.

Mentor’s John Day digs into Volvo’s plans for autonomous autos. There are a lot of speedbumps ahead, and while it’s easy to build a self-driving concept vehicle, actually getting on the road is much more complex.

The other big car talk is all about Apple. Cadence’s Axel Scherer is sure Apple has the engineering power, cash, and supply chain to take on the task. The question is, do they want to?

ARM’s Javier Orensanz examines several methodologies for performance analysis with a focus on embedded Linux and Android. It’s all about finding the right tool for the job.

Ansys’ Bill Vandermark has an Oscar-ready movie idea. Also appearing in his top five engineering articles: drawing with carbon nanotubes and a 3D printer that will make copies of your stuff.

The U.S. Department of Defense is also getting into 3D printing, according to Rambus’ Aharon Etengoff. The Navy’s already in the game. The biggest challenge? Making sure the filament they use is legit.

Speaking of the DoD, verification expert Gaurav Jalan is approaching DVCon with a strategy out of the military’s playbook. First, know what you have to be on the lookout for.

If you missed anything from the conferences so far this year, Cadence’s Brian Fuller has you covered with a collection of blogs from CES, DesignCon, and the Cadence Technology Summits. Plus, a look at what’s next.

Last week’s blog by Synopsys’ Michael Posner on ASIC-to-FPGA gate estimation stirred up the pot. Now, he goes back to the basics with some help from Xilinx.

What makes someone an engineer? Both Mentor’s Nazita Saye and Colin Walls look at what it means to them.

Interested in wearables? ARM just launched a community dedicated to them. As an introduction, David Maidment argues that personal identity matters just as much as function in what we choose to wear, smart or not.

Hillary Cain gives us the lowdown on U.S. Congressman Mike Honda’s visit to NXP. From the executive offices to the break room, the key issues were cybersecurity and consumer protection.

The running season is in full swing. If you can’t wait for an upcoming race, at least you can whet your appetite with photos snapped by a Lam Research staff writer at the Heart & Soles 5k earlier this month.

And in case you missed last week’s Manufacturing, Design & Test newsletter, here are some standout blogs:

Editor In Chief Ed Sperling observes that foundries have some tough choices ahead and not enough information to make them.

Executive Editor Mark LaPedus notes there are 17 rare earth elements, all worth a lot of money and mostly found in China.

Technical Editor Katherine Derbyshire finds there is nothing lean about 14nm designs.

Mentor Graphics’ David Abercrombie unfurls some best practices for dealing with density in a multi-patterned world.

Semico Research’s Tony Massimini discovers how a lunch hour can disrupt an entire fab’s workflow.

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