Blog Review: Feb. 5

Colonizing Mars; starting different; speed; money; lessons; bugs; data leaks; tractors; absurdity; democratization.

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Mentor’s J. VanDomelen notes that the Mars colonization selection process has begun, with the actual colonization scheduled to begin in 2025. Remember to bring your own air, water, food, a sewing kit, and lots of reading material. You also may need leg weights for bone density maintenance.

What happens if you build a processor using memory as the starting point? Cadence’s Richard Goering looks at three revolutions in memory technology, courtesy of Micron chief technologist Thomas Pawlowski.

How fast will your DDR run? According to Synopsys’ Graham Allan, the answer depends on a whole bunch of factors.

ARM’s Diya Soubra points to another dimension in the sensor world—the complex algorithms needed to calibrate and interpret various inputs. This is where the money is behind all those inexpensive sensors on the IoT.

Mentor’s Colin Walls examines why there is such a focus on standards in the automotive market—a complex supply chain. The SoC sector could learn a few lessons here.

Cadence’s Arthur Marris documents the progress in Ethernet standards. Of particular note are the proposed PHY speeds.

Synopsys’ Yvette Huygen interviews Dell’s Eric Nystrom about social media and why it’s important for everything from connecting to customers to M&A. The underlying framework is worth noting, particularly the part about playing nice and preventing data leakage.

ARM’s Brad Nemire has a workaround for a Chrome 32 bug. You can’t actually fix it, but you can at least avoid it.

Who needs cables? Now you can just drop your phone into a compartment and it will charge. Mentor’s John Day looks at the Qi charging standard.

What do engineers do in their spare time? Synopsys’ Mick Posner built a mini bulldozer. This may just be a prototype, though. Be careful of what you say to your neighbors.

And in case you missed last week’s System-Level Design newsletter, here are some standout blogs:

Arteris’ Kurt Shuler contends that a lot of what’s proposed for the IoT isn’t new, and some of it is just plain ridiculous.

eSilicon’s Mike Gianfagna argues that the history of the semiconductor industry doesn’t support consolidation of business into the hands of a few companies…or at least not for very long.


Mentor Graphics’ Jon McDonald examines why schools are now pushing the basics of embedded systems.


Cadence’s Frank Schirrmeister argues we need to mix tools for better planning and management of verification to ensure that end users can meet their schedules.

Real Intent’s Graham Bell points to a recommended signoff activity list for fewer re-spins and a design that is as correct as possible, as soon as possible.

Synopsys’ Tom De Schutter observes that the promise of a connected world is enormous, but getting it all to work correctly will require lots of software.