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One Design, Many Products


By Pallab Chatterjee The tightening worldwide economy finally has forced the consumer products arena to adopt an aggressive single-SKU mentality for their products. This means companies are now making a single standard product that can be sold into multiple applications. This marks a radical shift in the way products are being designed, a direction that makes the design and development proces... » read more

Artificial Intelligence: This Time It’s For Real


AI used to be the stuff of science fiction, but cheap processing power and storage has made it a reality. To find out what's being developed, System-Level Design (www.semiengineering.com) tracked down Rachel Goshorn, assistant professor of System Engineering at the Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Science in the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. Check out what she has to s... » read more

Moving Up The Food Chain


By Ed Sperling It used to be considered axiomatic that chip companies would be rewarded for spectacular technology, reflected in the market value of their components and in their stock price. But with stock prices routinely getting hammered even before the downturn, many companies have begun to re-think their mission. National Semiconductor, for one, is looking at creating modules rather than... » read more

Case Study: A Better Way To Predict Weather


By Ed Sperling Most of our weather predictions are developed from about 150 stationary government radar systems, which interlock and occasionally overlap to create a cohesive picture. The picture isn’t perfect—in fact, it’s probably the equivalent of looking at a large, grainy satellite photo—which creates plenty of wrong forecasts. But the system can track large storms across state bo... » read more

SOI Goes Mainstream


By Ed Sperling The crossover for system on insulator (SOI) versus bulk CMOS was supposed to happen at the 22nm, but that was before software developers ran into problems programming multicore chips. For years, SOI was considered the high-performance cousin of CMOS—more expensive, more difficult to manufacture and unnecessary for most applications. It is the heart of the Cell processor, ... » read more

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