Blog Review: Jan. 28

Auto Valley; data vs. economic growth; Coke’s vault; China’s chain gun; LPDDR4 smartphones; speeding up verification; better screens; graphene’s future.

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Mentor Graphics’ John Day points to the growing presence of automakers in Silicon Valley. The latest émigré is Ford, which is setting up a research and innovation center in Palo Alto, but the company is hardly alone. Electronics could well become the real differentiators in vehicles.

ARM’s Andrew Sloss points to an intriguing relationship between data and economic growth—not to mention many billions of semiconductors. There is an acceleration in data consumption, and it will happen more intelligently and efficiently over time.

Cadence’s Arthur Marris attended the IEEE 802.3 meeting in Atlanta and did some sightseeing along the way. Check out the vault that contains the recipe for Coca Cola.

Synopsys’ Mick Posner brought his camera along, as well, when he traveled to Japan to discuss multi-FPGA prototyping. Scroll down for the travel photos.

Ansys’ Bill Vandermark flags the top engineering articles for the week. Check out the Chinese chain gun, which can destroy missiles—some of them, anyway.

Rambus’ Aharon Etengoff takes a look inside Xiomi’s new phone and finds 4GB of LPDDR4 memory—likely the new standard for high-end smartphones this year. That should help extend time between charges.

Verification blogger Gaurav Jalan adds another “C” to his previously published trio of constraints, checkers and coverage. This one can really speed up results.

Mentor’s Harry Foster takes the covers off his next epic study, this one involving functional verification trends in FPGAs. As FPGAs become more complex, the same techniques used on the ASIC/SoC side are now required in the programmable world.

ARM’s Dennis Laudick points out that the screen we interact with is still evolving. In fact, after six decades, it’s one of the hotbeds of innovation.

Synopsys’ Aron Pratt digs into parameterized interfaces and reusable verification IP in part one of a three-part series on SystemVerilog interfaces and how to deal with parameters. More coffee anyone?

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

Executive Editor Mark LaPedus contends the business model is broken in the fab tool and materials industry.

Mentor Graphics’ Saunder Peng looks at how to speed up the conversion from ASCII to GDS/OASIS, along with merging it all with the original GDS.

Semico Research’s Joanne Itow finds graphene has done exceptionally well in the public relations department, but not so well from a commercialization standpoint.

SEMI’s Yoichiro Ando digs into the semiconductor industry’s growth and outlook, including the impact of the Internet of Things.