Blog Review: Jan. 15

Sensors; the future; DDR4; prosumer tablets; cars; innovation; eye strain; mixed signals; nose warmers.

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Mentor’s Colin Walls digs into safety-critical sensors for cars, which are essential to the operation of a variety of systems in vehicles. The number of redundant sensors increases proportionate to the risk from failure, something that has been an accepted practice in mil/aero markets for years.

Cadence’s Brian Fuller gazes into a crystal ball and concludes that while the semiconductor industry is poised for growth, exactly how it will grow is a mystery. Powerball anyone?

Synopsys’ Graham Allan wishes a happy 10th birthday to DDR4, when the standard was first introduced. For a little perspective, Google stock was trading at $85 a share back then.

ARM’s Alan Chuang has committed himself to defining the best prosumer tablet—one running Windows RT 8.1. Considering the unpopularity of Windows 8 on PCs, this may warrant a test drive.

If you thought CES is turning into an automotive show, you’re not alone. Mentor’s John Day notes that high-speed connectivity is coming to automobiles, particularly 4G LTE. Now your car can text for you.

Semico Research’s Jim Feldhan picks five top technologies from CES that have nothing to do with cars — or at least not yet. Check out the stuff on aging in place.

Cadence’s Jack Erickson returns from Japan with some insights about what’s important for big chipmakers there, notably the need for a new circuit exploration methodology.

Synopsys’ Mick Posner looks back over a year of blogs, including how to make a pickup truck invisible and the joy of using a hammer to put in a screw. There’s some stuff about FPGA prototypes in there somewhere, as well.

ARM’s Phill Smith is getting ready for the Mobile Game Forum in London. This might be a good time to book an appointment with your ophthalmologist.

Applied Material’s Eric Witherspoon contends that Silicon Valley should be called Innovation Valley. The big question is whether and how it can keep that innovation going.

Mentor’s Patrick Carrier looks at how to connect a capacitor. It used to be simple enough. What a difference a decade makes.

Cadence’s Richard Goering drills down into the other side of Moore’s Law—verification—and how to improve utilization of existing resources. What does a 32-bit register look like to a verification engineer?

Synopsys’ Helene Thibieroz provides some mixed signal insights from a recent conference. Things are getting tough in the digital world, but it’s arguably even tougher at advanced nodes on the AMS side. If you see a fight in the hallway, you’ll know what prompted it.

Mentor’s Robin Bornoff returns with part five of his treatise on how to heat a home for eight pence a day. Make sure you check out the nose warmer ad.