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Blog Review – Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Moving on from 4K and 8K, Simon Forrest, Imagination Technologies, reports on 360° video, as seen at this year’s CES in Las Vegas. That, together with High Dynamic Range (HDR) could re-energize the TV broadcasting industry in general and the set-top box in particular.

The IoT is responsible for explosive growth in smart homes with connectivity at their centre. Dan Artusi, Intel, considers what technologies and disciplines are coming together as it introduces Intel Home Wireless Infrastructure at CES 2017.

Announcing a partnership with Renault and OSVehicle, ARM will work with the companies to develop an open source platform for cars, cities and transportation. Soshun Arai, ARM, explains how the ‘stripped down’ Twizy can release the brakes on CAN development.

Some Christmas reading has brought enlightenment to Gabe Moretti, Chip Design, as he unravels the mysteries of CEO comings and goings, and why the EDA industry could learn a thing or two from the boards of spy plane and stealth bomber manufacturers.

Still with EDA, Brian Derrick, Mentor Graphics, likens the automotive industry to sports teams, where big names dominate and capture consumers’ interest, eclipsing all others. This is changing as electric vehicles become a super power to turbo charge the industry.

It’s always good to welcome new blogs, and Sonics delivers with its announcement that it is addressing power management. Grant Pierce, Sonics, introduces the technology and product portfolio to enhance design methods.

Caroline Hayes, Senior Editor

Blog Review – Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

New specs for PCI Express 4.0; Smart homes gateway webinar this week; sensors – kits and tools; the car’s the connected star; Intel unleashes AI

Change is good – isn’t it? Richard Solomon, Synopsys, prepares for the latest draft of PCI Express 4.0, with some hacks for navigating the 1,400 pages.

Following a triumphant introduction at ARM TechCon 016, Diya Soubra, ARM, examines the ARM Cortex-M33 from the dedicated co-processor interface to security around the IoT.

Steer clear of manipulating a layout hierarchy, advises Rishu Misri Jaggi, Cadence Design Systems. She advocates the Layout XL Generation command to put together a Virtuoso Layout XL-compliant design, with some sound reasoning – and a video – to back up her promotion.

A study to save effort is always a winner and Aditya Mittal and Bhavesh Shrivastava, Arrow, include the results of their comparisons in performing typical debug tasks. Although the aim is to save time, the authors have spent time in doing a thorough job on this study.

Are smart homes a viable reality? Benny Harven, Imagination Technologies, asks for a diary not for a webinar later this week (Nov 23) for smart home gateways – how to make them cost-effective and secure.

Changes in working practice mean sensors and security need attention and some help. Scott Jones, Maxim Integrated looks at the company’s latest reference design.

Still with sensors, Brian Derrick, Mentor Graphics Design, looks at how smartphones are opening up opportunities for sensor-based features for the IoT.

This week’s LA Auto Show, inspires Danny Shapiro, NVIDIA, to look at how the company is driving technology trends in vehicles. Amongst the name dropping (Tesla, Audi, IBM Watson) some of the pictures in the blog inspire pure auto-envy.

A guide to artificial intelligence (AI) by Douglas Fisher, Intel, has some insights into where and how it can be used and how the company is ‘upstreaming’ the technology.

Caroline Hayes, Senior Editor

Blog Review – Monday, August 15 2016

Monday, August 15th, 2016

In this collection, we define the IoT, investigate IP fingerprinting, and break into vehicles in the name of crypto-research. There is also prophesizing about 5G and disruption technology for technology, and relationship advice for computing and data.

Empathizing with anyone who has ever struggled with CMSIS RTOS API, Liviu Ionescu, ARM, offers a helping hand, catalogues the issues that can be encountered and reassures designers they are not alone and, more importantly, offers practical help.

Putting IP fingerprints to work may sound like the brief for an episode of CSI, but it is Warren Savage’s, (IP-extreme) recipe for successful SoC tapeout. He does do some CSI-style digging to thoroughly explain how to delve into a chip’s IP to limit the risks associated with IP reuse.

Listening intently at the Linley Mobile Conference, Paul McLellan, Cadence, sees the advent of 5G as good news for high-capacity, high-speed, low-latency wireless networks and linked with all things IoT.

Famous couplings, love and marriage, horse and carriage, could be joined by computing and data. Rob Crooke, Intel, believes that an increase in data and increased computing will transform cloud computing, but that memory storage has to keep up to realize smart cities to autonomous vehicles, industrial automation, medicine, immersive gaming to name a few. His post covers 3D XPoint and 3D NAND technology.

On security detail this week, Gabe Moretti, Chip Design magazine, finds a white paper from Intrinsic-ID that he recommends on the topic of embedded authentication which is vital to the secure operation of the IoT.

At the end of this year, the last Volkswagen Camper, (or kombi) van, will roll off the assembly line in Brazil. Robert Vamosi, Synopsys, includes the iconic vehicle in his post about a hack related in a paper authored by researchers at the University of Birmingham to clone a VW remote entry systems. The paper was presented at the Usenix cybersecurity conference in Austin, Texas, with reassurances that the group is in ‘constructive’ talks with VW.

For a vintage automobile to the latest, EV and PHEVs, Andrew Macleod, Mentor Graphics, looks at disruption they may bring to the automotive industry. Referring to account technology manager Paul Johnston’s presentation at 2016 IESF, he touches on the electrical engineering and embedded software challenges as well as the predicted scale of the EV industry.

Still looking at a market rather than the technology, Alex Voica, Imagination Technologies, looks at the IoT. He has some interesting graphs and statistics and asks some interesting questions around definitions, from what is the IoT and what defines a device.

Caroline Hayes, Senior Editor

Blog Review – Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday, July 25th, 2016

This week, the blogsphere is chasing Pokemon, applying virtual reality as a medical treatment, cooking up a treat with multi-core processors, revisiting Hybrid Memory Cube, analysing convergence in the automotive market – and then there was the ARM acquisition

Have you bumped into anyone, head down as they hunt for Pickachu in Pokémon GO? Eamonn Ahearne, ON Semiconductor vents some frustration but also celebrates the milestone in virtual reality that is sweeping the nation(s).

Virtual reality is also occupying Samantha Zee, Nvidia, who relates an interesting, and moving, case study about pain management using virtual reality

The role of the car is changing, and Andrew Macleod, Mentor Graphics, identifies that convergence is a driving force, boosting mobility with an increase in the vehicle’s electronics content, presenting new challenges for system engineers.

You are always going to grab my attention with a blog that mentions food, or a place where food can be made. Taylor K, Intel, compares multi-core processors to a kitchen, albeit an industrial one. Food for thought.

Virtualization is revitalizing embedded computing, according to Alex Voica, Imagination Technologies. The blog has copious mentions of the company’s involvement in the technology, but also some design ideas for IoT, device authentication, anti-cloning and robotics.

What will the SoftBank acquisition of ARM mean for the IoT industry, ponders Gabe Moretti, Chip Design Magazine. Is SoftBank underestimating other players in the market?

Still with ARM, which recently bought UK imaging company, Apical, Freddi Jeffries, ARM, has a vision – how computing will use images, deep learning and neural networks. Exciting times, not just for the company, but for the industry.

Micron’s Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) architecture is five years old, so Priya Balasubramanian, Cadence Design Systems, delves into the memory technology which is having a mini resurgence, and the support options available.

Caroline Hayes, Senior Editor

Blog Review – Monday, July 11, 2016

Monday, July 11th, 2016

Wi-Fi evolves, and the latest certification, 802.11ac Wave 2, is introduced by Richard Edgar, Imagination Technologies. His blog considers the structure, benefits and how the Ensigma Explorer RPU architecture fits in.

A video speaks a thousand words, and the complex area of IoT security is illustrated well by a video Wilfred Nilsen, ARM includes about the Chain of Trust. It shows how to create an Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) certificate for the server, how to install it, and how to build trust with clients.

Another helping hand is offered by Debbie Dekker, ARM, who pre-announces the TrustZone for ARMv8-M training webinars later this month. A handy agenda includes what attendees can expect.

The IoT is analyzed as a business proposition across many industry sectors, by Olivier Ribet, Dassault Systèmes. He looks at the 3Cs: Connected, Contextual and Continuous experiences, under the title, Internet of Experience.

To mis-quote Nancy Sinatra, “these boots were made for wah, wah”. The Atmel Team missed the obvious joke of being able to play sole music, with the All Wah pair of Converse, showcasing the prototype by Critical Mass design agency. The video shows the plug in version, but it can be wireless too.

Dividing pessimists and optimists, Lisa Piper, Real Intent looks at unknown value, or X-pessimism in verification, using the company’s Ascent XV.

Learning from DAC still goes on, as Christine Young, Cadence Design Systems, recalls how a visit from an NXP employee shows the value of distributed static timing analysis in large designs.

How to model using SPICE in the absence of a good fuel cell has perplexed Darrell Teegarden, Mentor Graphics. He presents a lengthy solution to how to model when not all of the details are known.

Thinking ahead is taken to extremes by Tom De Schutter, Synopsys, with a tale of the Tesla Model 3 and the loyalty built up by FPGA-based prototyping systems by engineers.

By Caroline Hayes, Senior Editor

Blog Review – Monday, June 13, 2016

Monday, June 13th, 2016

DAC 2016 highlights; Medical technology and IoT; Autonomous car market races ahead; Remote controlled beer; Secure connectivity

Distinguishing between Big Data and Business Intelligence, ScientistBob, Intel, identifies a ‘watershed’ moment for Big Data and Intel’s steps with Intel Xeon processors to deliver the next step in data analytics.

In response to FCC regulations, the prpl Foundation addresses next-generation security for connected devices. Alexandru Voica, Imagination Techologies, has collected some useful information (demo, white paper, devices, kits and links) to show the progress made.

A fascinating medical application is detailed in Steve Leibso, Xilinx, as he describes how the Xynq-7000 SoC in an eye-tracking computer interface. The video is a little ‘salesy’ and could have benefitted from some more examples of use rather than talking heads but has some practical engineering information about how the processing moves to the SoC.

Continuing the medical theme, Thierry Marchal, ANSYS, tantalizes readers ahead of a medical IoT webinar (June 22) by Cambridge Consultants. He has some interesting statistics to put the topic into context, some graphics and an exploration of the communications protocols involved.

The 53 rd DAC saw ARM launch ARM Artisan physical IP, including POP IP, targeting mainstream mobile designs. Brian Fuller, ARM, adds some meat to the bones with comment from Will Abbey, general manager, ARM’s Physical Design Group.

Automotive design at DAC captured the interest of Christine Young, Cadence, who reports on the keynote by Lars Reger, CTO Automotive Business Unit, NXP Semiconductors. She looks at the security issues for vehicles from the family car to trucks.

Beer that comes to you takes the slog out of summer al fresco dining, doesn’t it? The Atmel team details the use of an ATmefa8 MCU for a remote controlled beer crate, with a link to the build recipe list.

Here in the UK, we are knee-deep in discussions about how to get on with our neighbours as an EU membership referendum looms. A model for happy international relations is here in the blog by Devi Keller, Semiconductor Industry Association, which records the 20 years of the World Semiconductor Council (WSC).

A trip to Detroit for Robert Bates, Mentor Graphics, for its IESF conference, was a source of great material for all things related to autonomous cars. Keynotes and networking led him to consider safety and neural network questions around the technology.

Putting it all into practise, the first Self Racing Cars track event is gleefully reported by Danny Shapiro, Nvidia. There are some great images capturing the spirit of a ground-breaking event. Last weekend a momentous event in the motorsports and automotive world took place. Of course, the company’s technology is used and there is a handy list of what was used and where.

Caroline Hayes, Senior Editor

Blog Review – Tuesday, May 31 2016

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

Security issues around IoT and maritime vessels; CCIX Consortium accelerates data centers; Cheers for metering; Noise integrity in ADAS; Virtual Reality in practice

Protecting IoT devices is clearly and elegantly outlined by Jim Wallace, ARM, he includes illustrations, a lot of information and guidelines on advice on how security can produce new business models.

Accelerating data centers always raises interest and when names like AMD, ARM, Huawei, IBM, Mellanox, Qualcomm, and Xilinx come together. Steve Liebson, Xilinx, describes how the companies, via the CCIX (Cache Coherent Interconnect for Accelerators) Consortium are developing a single interconnect technology specification whereby processors using different instruction set architectures can share data with accelerators and enable efficient heterogeneous computing to improve efficiency.

Advocating an alternative to the plan to drink beer when the fresh water runs out, David Andeen, Maxim explains the importance of an ultrasonic water meter which can accelerate design cycles and reduce the cost of meters.

All in the name of research, Alexandru Voica, Imagination, tries his hand at Daydream, the Virtual Reality (VR) platform built on Android N and outlines the rules of VR.

Another cyber threat is identified by Robert Vamosi, Synopsys. His blog looks at research from Plymouth University and how vulnerable marine vessels can be at risk.

The undeniable increase in Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) needs careful design consideration, and Ravi Ravikumar, ANSYS, discusses how the ANSYS CPS simulation helps power noise integrity to be met. His blog is informative, with some clear graphics to illustrate ADAS design.

For a quick catch-up on USB 3.1 and the Type-C connector, turn to Chris A Ciufo, eecatalog, for a quick reference guide. He includes some handy links for extra reading.

A review of the Bangalore, India, Design&Reuse event is provided by Steve Brown, Cadence Design Systems. A rundown of keynotes ends with a head-up for the next event.

Blog Review – Monday May 16, 2016

Monday, May 16th, 2016

Ramifications for Intel; Verification moves to ASIC; Connected cars; Deep learning is coming; NXP TFT preview

Examining the industry’s transition to 5G, Dr. Venkata Renduchintala, Intel, describes the revolution of connectivity and why the company is shifting its SoC focus and exploit its ecosystem.

Coming from another angle, Chris Ciufo, Intel Embedded, assess the impacts of the recently announced changes at Intel, including the five pillars designed to support the company: data center, memory, FPGAs, IoT and 5G, with his thoughts on what it has in its arsenal to achieve the new course.

As FPGA verification flows move closer to those of ASICs, Dr. Stanley Hyduke, Aldec, looks at why the company has extended its verification tools for digital ASIC design, including the steps involved.

Software in vehicles is a sensitive topic for some, since the VW emissions scandal, but Synopsys took the opportunity of the Future Connect Cars Conference in Santa Clara, to highlight its Software Integrity Platform. Robert Vamosi, Synopsys, reports on some of the presentations at the event on the automotive industry.

Identifying excessive blocking in sequential programming as evil, Miro Samek, ARM, write a spirited and interesting blog on real-time design strategy and the need to keep it flexible, from the earliest stages.

Santa Clara also hosted the Embedded Vision Summit, and Chris Longstaff, Imagination Technologies, writes about deep learning on mobile devices. He notes that Cadence Design Systems highlighted the increase in the number of sensors in devices today, and Google Brain’s Jeff Dean talked about the use of deep learning via GoogLeNet Inception architecture. The blog also includes examples of Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) and how PowerVR mobile GPUs can process the complex algorithms.

This week, NXP FTF (Freescale Technology Forum), in Austin, Texas, is previewed by Ricardo Anguiano, Mentor Graphics. He looks at a demo from the company, where a simultaneous debug of a patient monitoring system runs Nucleus RTOS on the ARM Cortex-M4. He hints at what attendees can see using Sourcery CodeBench with ARM processors and a link to heterogeneous solutions from the company.

Caroline Hayes, Senior Editor

Blog Review – Monday, February 29, 2016

Monday, February 29th, 2016

ARM and Xilinx Embedded World highlights; Mobile World Congress news; Sensors are on a roll; What makes MIPI?

Ahead of the ARM Cortex-A32 processor announcement at Embedded World and Mobile World Congress, ARM announced its latest real-time processor IP, the ARM Cortex-R8, designed for LTE-Advanced and 5G designs. Neil Wermuller, ARM goes into detail about the Cortex-R8 quad-core, real-time processor, building on the ARMv7-R architecture.

Also at Embedded World, Mentor Embedded teamed up with Xilinx which used demonstrated the Xilinx ZYNQ 7000 platform, hosting a Nucleus RTOS. Andrew Patterson, Mentor, describes how this can be used in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS)

More power for less dollars is driving demand in the consumer market. Alexandru Voica, Imagination Technologies, explains how the latest additions to the PowerVR series, PowerVR Series8XE meets efficiency and performance requirements.

When someone says “pass the masking tape” do check that it’s not a sensor network. The Atmel team blogs about SensorTape, the MIT Media Lab’s Responsive Environments group project for a sensor network that is on a roll.

Ahead of the MIPI Alliance event (March 7), Hezi Saar, Synopsys looks at what makes up the specification as it moves from the mobile marketplace.

Using a real-life crime to illustrate hazards, ARM’s Simon Segars focused on security at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain last week, reports Paul McLellan, Cadence. Other areas of interest was virtual reality, and an appearance by F1 racing driver, Lewis Hamilton, under the guise of discussing CAN in vehicles and what street cars could learn from F1.

Still with Mobile World Congress, Gary Bronner, Rambus, is quoted in report of the demonstration there of thermal-enabled lensless smart sensor (LSS) technology, by Rambus Labs. With the capability to replace traditional thermal lenses for IoT in medical equipment, manufacturing as well as the less obvious smart cities and transportation, this is a new approach to imaging, driven by computing rather than optics.

Striving to reduce debug effort and increase productivity is a noble cause, championed by Aditya Mittal, Arrow Devices. He looks at the AX13 system bus and its virtues as well as the company’s PDA tool.

Caroline Hayes, Senior Editor

Blog Review – Monday, January 25 2016

Monday, January 25th, 2016

In this week’s review, there is a Star Wars analogy, IoT security plans, a 30th anniversary and an unusual way of serving whisky

The dormant nature of some devices in the IoT are likened to the reawakening of Star Wars’ R2-D2 by Joe Hupcey III, Mentor Graphics. In an equally honorable and daring quest, he looks for the wisdom of ultra-low power design and verification for SoCs used in devices that wait a long time for reactivation.

FPGA with a dash of splash or on the rocks? Steve Leibson, Xilinx, explains how a bottle of fine whisky (scotch) ended up in a PC. It’s all in a good cause.

Three trends for embedded systems are identified by Amber Thousand, Critical Link. She explains how we should all be paying attention to user interfaces, the rise of complexity and integration, and a focus on core competencies.

This year marks 30 years since MIPS Computer Systems introduced the MIPS R2000 microprocessor chipset. Alexandru Voica, Imagination Technologies, considers the rise of RISC and where it has led.

Silicon is the best place to secure security features for the IoT, argues Matthew Rosenquist, Intel. He outlines the role Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs) play in the cyber future.

Clearly not a man that travels light, Navrai Nandra, Synopsys, concluded that if storage space is limited, instead of trying to close a bulging suitcase, think about moving up. His wait at the airport inspired an interesting blog on 3D stack technology to triple NAND capacity.

Looking at what the IoT design wins means for design at advanced nodes, Vassilios Gerousis, Cadence, considers the design rules for 10nm.

Caroline Hayes, Senior Editor

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