Blog Review: Nov. 19

Robot baseball; dog GPS trackers; sensor deprivation; RRAM for MCUs; formal’s expansion; pumpkins; renderings; verification tips; Moore’s Law.


Ansys’ Justin Nescott picks the top five engineering articles for the week. Check out robot baseball players. This should be an interesting twist. Players won’t even need shirts anymore. Numbers can painted directly on their backs.

ARM’s Brad Nemire zeroes in on the next big thing for pets—a Kickstarter-based GPS and activity tracker. It probably will work on young children, too.

Mentor’s John Day is experiencing sensor deprivation in his car. But will these kinds of improvements translate into the same kind of frenzy—meaning lines around the block—as the next iPhone release?

Rambus’ Aharon Etengoff points to the key benefits of resistive RAM for MCUs, namely lower power, smaller dies and faster switching speeds. RRAM may finally be ready for prime time.

Cadence’s Brian Fuller digs into a keynote speech by Ziyad Hanna at the Jasper User Group conference about the growing use of formal verification and why it’s now more scalable and in demand.

Synopsys’ Richard Solomon heralds the arrival of PCIe 3.1—with a pumpkin. Well…yes…it does raise some unanswered questions.

ARM’s Peter Harris runs down the best practices for high-performance rendering. Principle No. 2 is particularly important.

Cadence’s Richard Goering questions verification guru Mike Stellfox about what’s changing in verification, the advantages and limits of UVM, and where the pain points are for system-level verification.

Synopsys’ Mick Posner highlights the key FPGA prototyping challenges. Top of the list is still mapping ASICs into FPGAs, followed closely by clocking issues and debug visibility.

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

Executive Editor Mark LaPedus questions whether Moore’s Law is slowing and why.

Mentor Graphics’ Jeff Wilson finds that at 28nm and below the rules for fill changed forever.

D2S’s Aki Fujimura argues that as line/space measurements fall below 50nm, shape-based mask-data preparation and mask verification are no longer sufficient.

SEMI’s Paula Doe writes that the Industrial IoT is saving companies millions of dollars a year and providing the impetus for infrastructure development.

Semico Research’s Seth Itow provides a glimpse into the other side of the 3D printer market—the hobbyist community—and what’s holding it back.

Technology Editor Ernest Worthman contends that someone is really thinking outside the traditional sales box.

Executive Editor Ann Steffora Mutschler observes that somewhere between a battery and a super capacitor lie energy harvesting opportunities.


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