Blog Review: Oct. 3

Unhinged; Ethernet; embedded files; power dissipation; smarter verification; superheroes; satellites; team spirit; complexity.


Cadence’s Brian Fuller rolls out a twice-monthly TV program called “Unhinged,” which he bills as a cross between The Daily Show, Letterman and ESPN. The intro is a classic. Who needs coffee?

Synopsys’ Karen Bartleson interviews Bob Metcalfe, co-inventor of Ethernet, creator of Metcalfe’s Law—which has withstood the test of time quite well—on why Ethernet still really important. What can you do with 1 terabyte per second?

Mentor’s Colin Walls looks at some of the unusual requirements of an embedded file system. It’s not as simple or straightforward as it sounds.

SuVolta’s Jeff Lewis, writing a guest blog for ARM, points to power dissipation as the primary limiting factor for mobile platforms because of heat and battery life, and goes on to look at the ARM MCU at 1.2V and 0.9V. The numbers are interesting, and there’s a white paper with even more data.

Applied Materials’ Siobhan Kenney looks at some unusual and very positive ways that technology—and in this case it’s bikes, phones and video games—are being used for the benefit of humanity. Score one for technology.

Cadence’s Richard Goering follows a panel on system-to-silicon verification and what will make verification smarter. According to panelists: Spend time on critical problems and less on non-critical ones.

Synopsys’ Mick Posner has created a new job category: FPGA prototyping superhero. Who was that man behind the photomask?

Mentor’s J. VanDomelen expounds on the future of satellites, particularly whether there will more or fewer of them. Wait until you find out how many are already circling the Earth.

And in case you missed the most recent System-Level Design newsletter, here are some standout blogs:

Arteris’ Kurt Shuler looks at the difficulty of pulling together different SoC functional design teams from around the globe, and why technology is helping.

Cadence’s Frank Schirrmeister says the verification challenge is no longer one engineer’s problem. It’s grown to the point where an entire team is necessary.

Mentor’s Jon McDonald notes that ESL has been around long enough to start looking at it from a historical perspective—what’s worked, what hasn’t, and what needs to be done in the future.

And Sonics’ Frank Ferro says that the increase in SoC complexity has a direct correlation to increased interest in on-chip networks.

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