Blog Review: May 13

From electrons to the universe; designing cities that inspire; the sensors guiding bat flight; ARM’s path from IPO to today; verification adoption trends for FPGAs; making USB decisions; PCI-SIG board elections; sneak peek at Bay Area Maker Faire; FPGA prototyping myths.


From corralling graphene electrons to the wild west of space, this week’s top five from Ansys’ Bill Vandermark reaches from the tiny to the immense. This summer, an asteroid mining firm plans to deploy a satellite to seek out mineral-rich space rocks. But someday, when mining asteroids is a commonplace affair, it may be archeologists who are doing the digging on distant planets.

Could a smart city be optimized not only for efficiency, but also for beauty, romance, inspiration, serendipity? For this to happen, says NXP’s Ben Hammersley, technology firms need to see their products as part of a broader, human system.

Bats are famed for their echolocation ability, but a study highlighted by Rambus’ Aharon Etengoff focuses on another aspect vital to their flight: an array of embedded wing sensors that could be the model for next-gen aviation.

ARM enjoyed its first years as a public company during the late ’90s technology boom—and then came the dot-com crash. The second half of Ben Walshe‘s brief history of ARM follows the company’s recovery and the prominent changes in technology and approach.

FPGA design is about where ASIC/IC design was five years ago in terms of verification, says Mentor’s Harry Foster as he delves into FPGA verification technology adoption trends for the verification study’s fifth installment.

While it’s hard to imagine a device that isn’t USB-connected, the options (and costs) are myriad. To narrow it down, Cadence’s Jacek Duda poses three questions for USB application designers to consider before shopping for IP.

It’s election season already (or again)—at least if your company is a member of PCI-SIG. While Synopsys’ Richard Solomon would like your vote, what he really wants is a better voter turnout. Plus, he has a campaign promise to back it up.

Sensors in space, foam-sword fencing, and live teardowns of the latest gadgets: ARM’s Phill Smith takes a sneak peek of what’s happening at the Bay Area Maker Faire this weekend.

Synopsys’ Michael Posner is on a quest to bust the myths about FPGA-based prototyping, with his primary targets being capacity constraints, time to first prototype, and limited debug visibility.

Check out the blogs featured in last week’s IoT & Security newsletter for more good reading:

Editor in Chief Ed Sperling contends that big companies are taking care of some security problems that affect the IoT, but there’s still a lot exposed.

Technology Editor Ernest Worthman finds the darknet can be used for good, but with the IoT the risk of misuse will rise significantly.

Executive Editor Ann Steffora Mutschler concludes that current security features in today’s electronics are not sufficient to keep out the black hatters, but that is changing very quickly.

Mark Templeton, one of Artisan’s founders, observes that commercial IP has come a long way in the past 24 years.

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