Blog Review: Sept. 24

Chip phyla; thermal runaways; orange paint; stadium housing; analog front ends; automotive integration; DVCon India; chaos and order.

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Cadence’s Brian Fuller captures Chris Rowen’s phylum classifications for data-efficient design—lots of insects and much bigger but fewer mammals. There are cognitive layers in between, as well. Check out the chart.

Mentor’s Robin Bornoff digs into thermal runaway and how to determine when it will occur—and burn up a chip. There’s a video to illustrate just what can go wrong.

Synopsys’ Mick Posner shows how to differentiate products when they all look the same. One solution: orange paint.

ARM’s Anton Lokhmotov shows how to evaluate compute performance on mobile platforms, including benchmarking basics and pitfalls. Grab a notebook and a pen.

Ansys’ Justin Nescott zeroes in on the top five engineering technology articles of the week. No. 1 on the list is using old stadiums for low-cost housing. Also really good—what engineers and comedians have in common.

NXP’s Todd Hallinan has coined a new speed metric for solar power — driving at the speed of sunlight. The car goes nearly 500 miles per charge, it’s CO2 neutral, and it produces twice as much energy as it consumes. It’s also a great car for a drought-plagued state.

Tom Kalil and Colleen Chien of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy point to a large gap between how technology is used in education and how it impacts the economy and society. The funding spigot may be opening a little wider.

Cadence’s Priyank Shukla shines a light—and a camera—on choosing the right ADC and analog front end for wireless 802.11AC communications systems.

Mentor’s John Day finds that automotive applications are becoming increasingly complex with the biggest challenges in the integration to make them all work together. Sound familiar?

Independent verification blogger Gaurav Jalan offers a preview of DVCon India, which begins tomorrow. Like all DVCons, this one should be very interesting.

ARM’s Lakshmi Mandyam looks at how PayPal, HP and TI create order out of chaos, meaning lots and lots of data. Welcome to the world of very powerful computers.

Ansys’ Chris Wolfe looks at how to get girls more interested in engineering issues. And what exactly does a real engineer look like?

Cadence’s Richard Goering interviews colleague Vahid Ordoubadian about FPGA-based prototyping at his last job at Broadcom.

Mentor’s Colin Walls answer some questions that have surfaced during an online C++ class about multiple constructors and other issues embedded programmers are likely to encounter.

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

Executive Editor Mark LaPedus finds the used equipment market is a tough place to get a good deal.

Mentor Graphics’ Nancy Nguyen and Jean-Marie Brunet show why having the most accurate and up-to-date sign-off engine instead of a limited place-and-route tech file is essential at advanced nodes.

SEMI’s Pushkar Apte looks at what’s necessary to enable the future of IC fabrication and packaging.

Semico Research’s Tony Massimini digs into the many layers of security and privacy.