Two (relatively) recent announcements from Brussels have made it clear that the European Union is serious about pushing back into the electronics business. One, which initially looks like a bureaucratic reshuffle with added jargon, is that three programs, ARTEMIS, ENIAC and EPoSS are being merged into a Joint Undertaking / Public Private Partnership to be called ECSEL. I will translate this in a moment. The other announcement was an aspirational target - that Europe should double chip manufacture to reach 20% of the world output, and more than domestic US output, by 2020.
Both these initiatives are being driven by the Euro Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, who has said, “I’m not a politician… I’m Dutch – I tell it bluntly.”
Fans of Heavy Metal Will Like TI’s New Delfino MCU
Are you into heavy metal? Do power generation, motor control, PLCs, robotics, and automation rock your socks off? Does spinning metallica make you want to raise your fist and yell? Then grab your lighters, motörheads. Stuff’s about to get real.
The number of this beast is F2837xD (it probably means something if you say it backwards), and it comes out of Texas. Dallas, to be exact, and more specifically, TI. Within the walls of TI’s black metal warehouse it’s called Delfino because, well, F2837xD is too hard to pronounce when you’re sober.
Apparently That Makes Sense
A simple-sounding-yet-bizarre notion has been frequenting certain optical research spots. It’s the concept of a “lens-free” imaging system. I’ve found no mentions that bother to explain exactly what that means.
Perhaps that’s because it should be obvious: you need no lens. Duh…
You know, it’s been a long time since I studied optics in college physics. And once my career was plotted on the digital scale, my mathematical tendencies have been spoiled by a solution space that gives you a 50:50 chance of being right just by guessing. Things are either 1 or 0. (OK, or Z or X. Fine. Happy?)
Talking Wearables with Jawbone VP Ivo Stivoric
Alright, Fish Fryers - let's do some visualization. You're wearing some kind of device. It's monitoring your vital signs, it's measuring your activity, and it knows if you've been naughty or nice. What names come to mind? Fitbit? Jawbone? BodyMedia? In this week's Fish Fry, my guest is none other than Ivo Stivoric. He's the former co-founder, CTO, and VP of New Products at BodyMedia, the current Vice President of Research and Development at Jawbone, and a Croatian dancer extraordinaire. Join us, won't you?
Not Just Software vs. Hardware
We recently took a look at Lattice’s approach to sensor hubs. We’ve seen many other ways of implementing sensor hubs in the past, but all of those were software-based; it was just a question of where the software executes. Lattice’s approach is hardware, and that raises all kinds of new questions.
The biggest red flag that it raises for me is that moving a task from software to hardware in the design phase is not trivial. (Trying to keep it with the software guys, using tools that automatically generate hardware is, for the most part, a quixotic goal that seems largely to have been lovingly placed back on the shelf.) In my quest to figure this part out, I found that there’s more to the sensor hub world than all-software and all-hardware. And that makes the design question even more complex.
Taiwanese CPU Company is Happy to Keep Cool, Cash Checks
You know that feeling when you discover a great little restaurant that nobody else knows about? Or listen to a terrific band that’s flying under the radar?
That’s how the designers of a few hundred million SoCs must feel. They’ve discovered the Andes, a small 32-bit microprocessor core that sits in the middle of a burgeoning array of small-scale electronic devices. Once known only to the Asian cognoscenti, Andes is going global, including a push into the United States. Who knows – Andes may even be seen in South America before long.