Prototyping Building Blocks


Lego has existed for 85 years. The company was founded August 10, 1932, and after all these years, the concept of building structures big and small still hasn’t lost any of its charm. For my children, now 10 and 12, it is probably the most played with toy throughout their childhood. As with any new purchase, they initially and carefully build the specific design for the instructions included ... » read more

Are You Designing The Right Product?


Development and production of SoCs is becoming more and more complex and expensive. And rightfully so, the semiconductor industry spends billions of dollars on verification efforts. Verification is about checking the design behaves per its specification, a process that is very important and well understood. Still, something can go terribly wrong because having a verified SoC does not guarant... » read more

When A Lot May Not Be Enough


For the last couple of months my son has been trying to save for a Nintendo Switch. The emphasis here is on “trying to.” The problem is that whenever he amasses enough money to buy something else, he tends to spend the money on a cheaper toy like a new Lego Dimensions figure. I guess that delayed gratification isn’t really a strength of my son. His assumption is that the best way to colle... » read more

Come Together Right Now Over… Virtual Prototypes


As a frequent traveler and gadgets enthusiast I love the concept of all my devices being connected. However, more often than not I experience a divide which is sometimes caused by bad software and sometimes caused by missing hardware interfaces. My recent frustration was related to my tablet missing a USB port to upload new maps to my GPS device. The GPS device became a divided, isolated pi... » read more

Verification And Validation Don’t Mean The Same Thing


While often used intermixed, verification and validation are quite different procedures with different goals and different means to achieve those goals. No better way to clear up the confusion by starting with some definitions as stated by Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verification_and_validation: “Verification is intended to check that a product, service, or system (or porti... » read more

Wear Down Your Virtual Prototype


Just when you think you know all variations of embedded software development you are exposed to another domain of unique and interesting challenges. This happened to me awhile back when I started to learn about the software for Flash Memory controllers. You can read a lot about Flash market growth predictions or about the physical challenges of the next generation storage technologies he... » read more

Learn From The Experts


I visited SNUG Silicon Valley last week. This annual Synopsys User Group event at the Santa Clara Convention Center is always a good way to get in touch with the end users of various EDA products. I attended the technical track with experts from ARM, NVIDIA, Intel and Synopsys, who talked about their experience in accelerating software development, hardware verification and system validation... » read more

Software Modeling And KPI


In Software Modeling Goes Mainstream, Ed Sperling recently wrote how chipmakers are applying use case modeling techniques to better understand the interactions between software and hardware and how they impact system performance and energy efficiency. As the software content for multicore SoCs grows, these interactions are becoming increasingly complex. For system designers and SoC architect... » read more

It Feels Like Magic


Over the holidays I visited Universal Studios in Los Angeles with my family. The entire park is full of high tech so-called 4D rides as they add motion and other effects, like spraying water when someone sneezes, to a 3D movie. We were, for example, able to experience what it would be like if a bus gets caught in between King Kong and a t-rex fighting with each other. Despite a wide range of... » read more

Virtual Iron (Chef)


I love good food but I am a horrible cook. Partially because my wife is a wonderful chef at home and I can enjoy the comfort of just eating. Until recently, I couldn’t handle most of the kitchen equipment and I had no clue which ingredients and spices work well together. When I read cooking recipes my brain started to freeze and I felt completely clueless. This was nagging me at times and... » read more

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