The Future is Verified

Looking Forward to DVCon 2017 with Dennis Brophy

by Amelia Dalton

Design verification is front and center in this week's episode of Fish Fry. Dennis Brophy, General Chair of DVCon, gives us a special sneak peek into the Design Verification Conference and Expo taking place next week in San Jose, California. Please join me as Dennis and I explore the variety of tutorials, keynotes, and sessions you will find at DVCon. We also discuss how to learn about advanced verification methodologies and techniques, how to apply formal methods to the art of verification, and how to achieve the next level of design verification productivity. Then, for something completely different, our Kickstarter Corner highlights a new campaign launched by a team at MIT Media Lab that transforms air pollutants into unique art supplies.

 

Security: Hard and Soft

Next Up: A Tortoise That Checks Your Chip for Flaws

by Jim Turley

I hate writing about security. I hate it because I wish it were unnecessary. There was a time when engineering meant making a product that did what you wanted it to do. Now it means spending a bunch of time making it not do what other people want but you don’t want. This sucks.

Most of the problem with implementing security features is guessing where the vulnerabilities are. How do you fix a bug you’ve never even thought of, much less identified? At least “real” hardware bugs are unintentional. Security hacks are both deliberate and malicious. Someone is trying to break your stuff.

 

Radio FPGA!

Xilinx Announces RFSoCs

by Kevin Morris

CQ CQ CQ - Calling CQ. This is 5G calling...

We’ve all heard it. 5G is coming. Maybe not soon, but as soon as we can get all those pesky technical issues worked out. Which pesky technical issues would those be? Glad you asked. It turns out that cramming a previously unfathomable amount of bandwidth over an unprecedented number of individual connections into each and every cell tower using millimeter wavelengths and 2 dimensional massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) antenna arrays - and doing all of that within acceptable power and footprint constraints - is a really tough problem. Actually, it’s a LOT of really tough problems.

 

Network Timing in Your Car

Of Oscillators and IEEE 1588

by Bryon Moyer

It’s a quaint tradition, born out of decades of action thrillers summoning teams of protagonists to execute some very precise (and unlikely) plan. As the caper commences, before they disperse, they execute the final ritual: synchronizing watches.

Seems silly these days; quartz and electronics have long ago given us watches that keep excellent time, with no need for constant resetting. What with cell phones doubling as watches, our timing is even better coordinated.

 

High Speed Wizardry and a Steaming Cauldron of VPX Fixins

Hoodoo Rituals for New Technology Implementation

by Amelia Dalton

This week’s Fish Fry is a virtual bubbling cauldron of hoodoo rituals, VPX goodness, and bat wings. (OK, kidding about the bat wings). First up, I chat with a team from Elma Electronic about the perfect recipe for high speed wizardry in the world of VPX and the rituals we need to perform to get the newest and coolest technology features in OpenVPX. Continuing with our open architecture theme, I chat with Mike Walmsley from TE Connectivity about rugged embedded computing and the trends driving new interconnect design today.

 

The Abacus Conundrum

How Hard Can it Be to Count Chips?

by Jim Turley

One of the questions we often get asked here at EE Journal Galactic Headquarters and Bait Shoppe is, “What is Company X’s market share?” or the corollary question, “How big is the total market for microcontrollers, CPUs, and FPGAs?”

After charging our customary consulting fee, plus tax and 18% gratuity, and after deducting for mileage, food, lodging, client entertainment, and out-of-pocket expenses, our reply is generally, “We don’t know.”

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