Blog Review: June 25

Application-specific phones; interconnect woes; connected cars; Zorro; plastic bottle cleanup; who’s got the magic; eternal code.

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Is the Amazon Fire smart phone a paradigm shift? Cadence’s Brian Fuller looks at the first application-specific smart phone and why it’s noteworthy—regardless of how well it fares against phones made by Apple and Samsung.

Rambus’ Deepak Chandra Sekar digs deep into interconnect technology and where the prevailing winds are blowing—copper barrier/cap/liner optimization, a slowdown in dielectric improvements, TSVs, BEOL memory and what comes after copper. Interconnects are a looming challenge.

Mentor’s John Day looks at connected cars and the move by Continental to license Airbiquity’s connected car platform. Cars could well be the poster IoT devices.

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but what if it’s the wrong picture? Synopsys’ Mick Posner proves that the sword is mightier than the pen, and the hybrid prototype is…well…the other Zoro.

What do you do with all those plastic bottles floating around in the ocean? Can you collect a return deposit? Ansys’ Bill Vandermark zeroes in on this week’s amazing adventures in engineering.

ARM’s Lori Kate Smith adds some momentum to a discussion started by Freescale’s Steve Nelson about whether the hardware or software is the magic. Don’t bring this up in a programmers’ bar. ‘You do what for a living?’

Cadence’s Richard Goering reports on a panel discussion about high-level synthesis from DAC. HLS took about 15 years to get moving, but it seems to be hitting its stride right now.

Carbon Design’s Jason Andrews digs deep into the embedded programming world and reminds engineers that one of the key principles is old code lives forever. That should keep you awake at night.

Independent blogger Gaurav Jalan drills down into sequences in UVM 1.2, comparing the default sequences with the previous version, along with how all of this affects current code.

Imagine what you can do with a model-based system at the enterprise level. Ansys’ Todd McDevitt says model-based systems engineering can be deployed across a whole bunch of different applications. All you need is a good plan.

And in case you missed the most recent Manufacturing, Design & Test newsletter, here are some noteworthy blogs:

Executive Editor Mark LaPedus investigates—and asks some important questions—about whether the IC industry has hit a “red brick wall.”

Technical Editor Katherine Derbyshire takes a glimpse into the future of quantum computing.

Mentor’s Carey Robertson and Steve Pateras say test and failure analysis takes on new importance because critical dimensions of finFETs are smaller than the underlying node size.

Multibeam’s David Lam examines what’s missing in semiconductor lithography and what’s needed to finish the job.

Semico Research’s Joanne Itow finds the next big thing for cars isn’t so new.

Applied Materials’ Joseph Jeong and Tony Chao offer a behind-the-scenes looking at why their company is investing in a biotech company.

SEMI’s Paula Doe finds big changes in the test industry as the IC industry matures.