Blog Review: Jan. 29

Playing games; turning up the heat; bugs; death; deep cycles; road surfing; time travel; triple patterning; selective etching.

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ARM’s Ellie Stone returns from the Mobile Games Forum in London with some insights about where the future competition will come from. No. 4 on her list is the big surprise.

Cadence’s Brian Fuller has unearthed an old black & white AT&T video that makes you wonder how they created wire. So that’s what happens when you heat a semiconductor with a Bunsen burner.

What’s the real value of your FPGA prototyping board? Synopsys’ Mick Posner conducted a survey to find out. Top on the list: time and bugs.

ARM’s Andy Frame has found another interesting video from NXP and EBV about the future of the 8-bit MCU. No one seems to be mourning, though.

VC Jim Hogan sounds off on his own predictions for 2014 design trends. Sensors in football helmets? Thank Ed Lee for finding that one.

Mentor’s Ricardo Anguiano walks through software debugging and performance tuning of a client/server network application. Data collection overhead was reduced to about 1%.

Cadence’s Richard Goering looks at dynamic power analysis and low-power verification and the need for “deep cycles.” That’s a new term for emulation.

Synopsys’ Navraj Nandra drills down into PCI express and how to use it between boxes as an interconnect for high-end networking. This will get shockingly fast once PCIe 4.0 shows up.

Mentor’s John Day zeroes in on one of the more lucrative components of the Internet of Things—connected cars. This may be the first merger of surfing and driving. This time it’s lawyers who are watching.

ARM’s Diya Soubra lists the requirements for making the Internet of Things usable—low power and smarter end points. Advanced process geometries aren’t on the list.

Synopsys’ Hezi Saar looks at M-PHY and time travel, which so far aren’t connected. But imagine what you could do with a sell order on Oct. 28, 1929—in pencil, of course.

Cadence’s Corrie Callenbach points to a new video with Scott Jacobsen on how to close the memory wall gap in Whiteboard Wednesday.

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


Mark LaPedus sees executives questioning whether the fab tool industry has drifted away from innovation because it’s too worried about cost.

Mentor’s David Abercrombie digs into triple patterning and explains what you can do if a mask composition can’t be legally decomposed into three colors.


Katherine Derbyshire examines selective etching and why it can create high-quality germanium pillars for FinFETs.

Semico Research’s Joanne Itow takes a step back from the sensory overload of CES to assess what’s real, what’s flash, and how that will play out in the future.


Patterning expert Michael Watts checks out the new applications showing promise at a recent show—and who was a no-show on the guest list.