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Blog Review – Monday, November 6, 2017

Monday, November 6th, 2017

This week, we find that ANSYS gets hyper about Hyperloop development, Xilinx puts its mind to networks, Maxim supports factory automation and NXP, Mentor and ON Semiconductor explain why and how a product can be used.

A positively upbeat tone is set by Maxim Integrated’s Jeff DeAngelis, as he looks at how Industry 4.0 and automation is bringing back jobs. He looks at how being competitive through automation is leading to reshoring activity.

The now infamous ‘Jeep hack’ is the starting point for Timo van Roermund, the security architect at NXP considers what safeguards are needed and how the car domain needs to be re-thought for security on the roads. As well as citing several NXP products, there are also some useful links.

There’s a new look to the Mentor Graphics blogs and Michael Nopp uses it to good effect to take us through the company’s PADS Professional. His use of clear, colourful graphics adds to a simply told design guide.

Who isn’t super-excited about Hyperloop technology at the moment? Adora Anound Tadros, HyperXite guests on the ANSYS site to tell us how the team from University of California, Irvine, used simulation tools for its entry in the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod competition. The team is gaining momentum and was in the top six of this year’ competition and is planning to compete again in 2018 – with a self-propulsion pod design.

Smile, you’re on camera, says an image-conscious Jason Liu, ON Semiconductor. He looks at the changing roles of cameras in our lives and introduces the company’s digital image sensor.

Another current favourite topic is neural networks. Steve Leibson proudly relates how a team at the University of Birmingham in the UK has implemented a deep recurrent neural network on a Xilinx Zynq Z-7020 SoC using the Python programming language.

Caroline Hayes, Senior Editor

Blog Review – Monday, December 19, 2016

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Today’s the day -Bluetooth 5 and ARM is ready; A vision for disruptive technologies; When being better connected counts; Memory – the jewel in the crown; Functional Safety, in three video parts

At the launch of Bluetooth 5, Paul Williamson, ARM, celebrates the contribution of the ARM Cordio IP, qualified to Bluetooth 5 standards, available on the day that qualifications are available.

Gearing up for some disruption in the automotive market, Jeff Bier, Berkley Design, anticipates the role of computer vision and how it is central to autonomous vehicles. His view has shifted from an enhancement for the automotive industry to a transforming force.

Functional safety is adroitly explained by Charles Qi, highlighted by Corrie Callenbach, Cadence Design System. This is the second of a three-parter Whiteboard Wednesdays video series – all well worth a viewing.

Jeff Klaus, Intel, is wondering where has Pokémon Go, gone. His blog looks at the demands on data centers for the future and the world of connectivity of IoT, wearables, navigation devices and their impact on enterprise servers.

https://www.mentor.com/products/fv/blog/post/-that-s-unusual-memory-consistency-acc55210-aa68-41ea-95a3-9f598548e7ec

An audacious jewelery heist by elderly thieves inspires Russell Klein, Mentor Graphics Design, to ponder how Big Data and memory was their downfall, and how CodeLink brings memory consistency.

The connected world is occupying Joe Bryne, NXP and the danger posed by malicious software running on internet connected devices, with a touch of ‘I told you so’, and advocating prevention is better than cure.

Blog Review, Monday, September 12, 2016

Monday, September 12th, 2016

This week, we find the legacy of Star Trek at 50; celebrate design challenges from NXP and Hackster.io; investigate criminal activity and speculate on Bluetooth 5 and headphone design; arriving late for an FPGA verification tutorial and how depth sensors make sense of a 3D world

The enduring appeal of Star Trek on its 50th anniversary sets Tom Smithyman, Ansys, thinking about communications, and how Qualcomm challenged engineers to emulate the great and the good of the USS Enterprise and create Dr McCoy’s medical tricorder.

Another challenge is laid down by NXP, which has teamed up with Hackster.io, for engineers to fulfil the potential of NXP’s Kinetis FlexIO for the IoT. Donnie Garcia, ARM, tracks how engineers can maximize the, often over-looked, microcontrollers at the edge of the IoT, with some arachnid-like illustrations.

Quoting a bank robber is an unusual opening for a technology blog, but Matthew Rosenquist, Intel, uses Willie Sutton to help us understand the cybercriminal. His blog about cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, and how to protect transactions is a detailed look at the cyber economy – and this is just part one.

Apple’s decision to remove the headphone jack in its latest phone has been met with derision, but one positive is that it has prompted Paul Williamson, ARM, to speculate on the whether wireless accessories could be boosted as Bluetooth 5 brings faster data rates.

How have I missed the first three parts of Mentor Graphics’ Harry Foster’s blog about Functional Verification? Part 4 looks at FPGA verification and some handy ‘escapes’ for effective verification, written by an engineer, for engineers.

Anyone designing consumer electronics will be familiar with the DDR PHY interface (DFI) protocol for signal, timing and transfer. Deepak Gupta, Synsopsys has written a clear, comprehensive analysis of how and why it is needed and used most effectively.

Continuing a theme he has explored before, Jeff Bier, Berkeley Design Technology, looks at depth sensing and what companies are doing with varieties of depth sensors.

We all love Whiteboard Wednesdays, and Corrie Callenbach, Cadence Design Systems, highlights Michelle Mao’s hierarchical CNN design for traffic sign recognition, highlighting Tensilica Vision DSPs.

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 – 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, March 07, 2016

Monday, March 7th, 2016

IP fingerprinting; Beware- 5G!; And the award goes to – encryption; Fear of FinFET; Smart kids; Virtual vs real hardware

Keeping an eye on the kids blends with wearable technology, as demonstrated by the Omate Whercom K3, which debuted at Mobile World Congress 2016. It relies on a 3G Dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex-A7 and an ARM Mali-400 GPU, relates Freddi Jeffries, who interviews Laurent Le Pen, CEO of Omate.

The role of MicroEJ has evolved since its inception. Brian Fuller, ARM, looks at the latest incarnation, bringing mobile OS to microcontroller platforms such as the ARM Cortex-M.

Rather overshadowned by the Oscars, the winner of this year’s Turing Award could have more impact on everyday lives. It was won, says Paul McLellan, Cadence Design Systems, by Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman for the invention of public key cryptography. His blog explains what the judges liked and why we will like their work too.

The inclusion of a Despicable Me photo/video is not immediately obvious, but Valerie Scott, Mentor Graphics makes a sound argument for the use of a virtual platform and includes a (relevant) image of the blog’s example hardware, the NXP i.MX6 with Vista.

Everyone is getting excited about 5G, and Matthew Rosenquist, Intel, sounds a note of caution and encourages readers to prepare for cyber risks as well as the opportunities that the technology will bring.

Fed up with FinFET issues? Graham Etchells, Synopsys, offers advice on electro-migration, why it happens and why the complexity of FinFETs does not have to mean it is an inevitable trait.

Efficiency without liabilities is the end-goal for Warren Savage, IP Extreme. He advocates IP fingerprinting and presents a compelling argument for why and how.

Caroline Hayes, Senior Editor

Blog Review – Thurs, January 08 2015

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

CES, no I mean CPS; CES 2015, 2016 and beyond; Connected cars at CES; ISO 26262 help; Constraint coding clinic

No doubt anticipating a wearables deluge at CES, Margaret Schmitt, Ansys, cleverly uses this to her advantage and tailors her blog, not to ‘that Vegas show’ but to arguing the point for CPS (Chip Package System) co-analysis for shareable, workable data. She also avoids all mention of CES but reminds readers that the company will be at DesignCon later this month.

This time of year it is always a trial to find decent blog material. If it’s not a review of 2014, it will be preview of trends at CES, but some bloggers do it well. David Blaza, goes behind the glitz and straight to the semiconductor business of CES. He takes the view that looking at devices being launched will reveal more about CES 2016 or 2017 than this week’s show.

Sounding a little world-weary (or is that Vegas-weary?) Dick James and Jim Morrison, ChipWorks, fought the crowds at CES Unveiled, the press preview. Their tech-fatigue is entertaining and they also came up with five top themes. Most you could guess but the connected car is a new addition. It is a theme embraced by Drue Freeman, NXP, which is not surprising as the company is showcasing its RoadLINK secure connected car technology in Vegas this week.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich delivered a keynote at CES, illustrating how computer and human interactions are vital in this world of mobile computing everywhere. Scott Apeland refers to it in this blog about Intel’s RealSense technology and his enthusiasm knows no bounds. He includes descriptions of application examples and has sympathy for ‘those who haven’t had the good fortune’ to try the technology first hand. All that can be put right at the company’s booth.

This industry is the kind that wants to share and help fellow engineers and Kurt Shuler, Arteris, does just that with a glossary of ISO 26262 abbreviations and acronyms to help those attempting to wade through the functional safety standards.

Another helpful, detailed and timely blog is from Daniel Bayer, Cadence, discussing generative list pseudo methods in constraint for modelling and debugging. It is timely, as Ethernet-based communication is increasing in popularity and will require a different take on constraint coding.

Blog Review – Monday December 08 2014

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Industry forecasts sustained semi growth; EVs just go on and on; Second-chance webinar; Tickets please; Play time; Missed parade

By Caroline Hayes, Senior Editor

Bringing 2014 to a close on an optimistic note, Falan Yinug, director, Industry Statistics & Economic Policy, Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) tries to understand the industry’s quirky sense of timing while reporting that the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) program revised its full-year 2014 global semiconductor sales growth forecast to 9% ($333.2 billion in total sales) an increase from the 6.5% it forecast in June. It also forecasts that positive sales trend to continue with a 3.4% increase in sales in 2015 ($344.5 billion in total sales) and beyond, with $355.3 billion in 2016.

First road rage, now range anxiety. Apparently it is a common ailment for EV (electric vehicle) drivers. John Day, Mentor Graphics, takes heart from a report by IDTechEx which says that a range extender will be fitted to each of the 8million hybrid cards produced in 2025 and predicts the introduction in 2015 of hybrid EVs with fuel cell range extenders and multi-fuel jet engines to increase driver options.

It’s hardly a stretch to find someone who remembers using public transport before MIFARE ticketing, but Nav Bains, NXP looks at the next stage for commuters using a single, interoperable programming interface for commuters to tap NFC mobile devices to provide the ticketing service.

More time-warp timings, as Phil Dworsky, ARM, tells of a webinar entitled Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Verifying Cache-Coherent ARM-based Designs, which has been and gone but can be watched again, simply by registering. He even lists the speakers (Neill Mullinger and Tushar Mattu, both Synopsys) and lists what you missed but what you can catch again in the recorded webinar.

Enamoured with e code, Hannes, Cadence, directs people who just don’t get it to the edaplayground website, with links to a video for e-beginners.

Recap of what you missed, impactful blogs from the last 3 months
Perhaps frustrated that no-one seems to have notice, Michael Posner, Synopsys, patiently outlines some of his favourite blog posts from the last couple of months. He wants to draw your attention to prototyping in particular (it features heavily in the list) as well as abstract partitioning and the joy of vertical boards.

Blog Review – Monday, December 01 2014

Monday, December 1st, 2014

The mysteries of NFC are revealed; Qt declares a champion developer; India celebrates IDF; Cortex-M7 Q & A video preview. By Caroline Hayes, Senior Editor

Going back to basics, Laurent Dardé, NXP, lifts the lid on real-world NFC architecture for the wireless technology, with examples of automotive, consumer device, set-top boxes and industry.

Tasuku Suzuki, has been recognized as the second Qt Champion at the latest Americas Qt Developer Days, writes Tero Kojo, Qt. He was awarded the title for work with the Japanese Qt community. Suzuki-san is working on silk – a Qt project for simple and flexible web framework enabling server-side code to be written with QML and JavaScript.

For the last two weeks, Joseph Yiu, ARM, has been conducting a fascinating Q&A with the ARM community. Tom Stevens has posted the blog ahead of a video this week. Yiu gamely invites questions about Cortex-M processors’ code, architecture, applications and security.

Wendy Boswell reports from the recent IDF, Bangalore India, and shows that the country has some bright, enthusiastic engineers, eager to crack on with the challenge of IoT-enabled applications. The winner? An IoT fish aquarium condition monitor. Sounds like the event went swimmingly. . .

Blog Review – Monday, Nov. 17 2014

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Harking back to analog; What to wear in wearables week; Multicore catch-up; Trusting biometrics
By Caroline Hayes, Senior Editor.

Adding a touch of nostalgia, Richard Goering, Cadence, reviews a mixed signal keynote at Mixed-Signal Summit that Boris Murmann made at Cadence HQ. His ideas for reinvigorating the role of analog make interesting reading.

As if there wasn’t enough stress about what to wear, ARM adds to it with its Wearables Week. Although David Blaza finds that Shane Walker, IHS is pretty relaxed, offering a positive view of the wearables and medical market.

Practise makes perfect, believes Colin Walls, Mentor, who uses his blog to highlight common misconceptions of C++, multicore and MCAPI for communication and synchronisation between cores.

Biometrics are popular and ubiquitous but Thomas Suwald, NXP looks at what needs to be done for secure integration and the future of authentication.

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