Cyclos Brings the Past Into the Future
Back in the old days, they really knew how to make clocks. Their energy sources were less than ideal - usually a big tensioned spring or an elevated mass on a chain. They wanted whatever energy they stored there to last as long as possible, as it was usually recharged manually by humans. Their go-to solution was simple harmonic motion - usually in the form of a pendulum. As long as they tuned the resonant frequency of the pendulum to the frequency they needed for their clock, the system would tick and tock for days - at a steady pace - using very little of the precious stored energy.
It was all about resonance.
Cadence’s Virtuoso for Advanced Nodes
Analog designers bear a heavier burden than many other designers. If you’re a digital guy, someone is out there creating cells for you, abstracting away the nasty bits so that you can operate unsullied in a land of make-believe that, magically, seems to work.
No such luck for the analog engineer. He or she has to do a lot of heavy lifting on his/her own. And this is largely of their choosing, since “trust” is not easy for analog folks: it’s too easy for someone else to make their design look bad.
Cadence Rolls Sigrity and Allegro - Together
Board design and layout used to be so simple. All you had to do was make sure that all the metal parts that were supposed to touch did, and all the metal parts that were not supposed to touch didn't. Handy software tools did all the heavy lifting, and there were about a zillion different possible layout solutions - all of which worked.
That was back in the day - before all this high-speed serial nonsense. Now, thanks to our multi-gigabit lifestyle, just making the metal touch doesn't cut it anymore. We have to worry about signal integrity (SI). All those zeroes and ones flying through PCB traces start to cut corners, and our eyes slowly begin to close…
Intel Does FinFETs for SoCs
Remember when you were a kid, playing with Legos? You could build tons of things with it – maybe. It depended on the size of your kit. Because the bigger kits had more variety.
If you had only the standard-issue rectangular pieces, you could build lots of walls and such that went straight up, and perhaps some pyramidy things – up to a point. Actually, that was the one thing you couldn’t build them up to: a point. But, well, everything had a rather right rectangular look.
If you really wanted to increase your options, you needed additional square pieces and the wee ones, and then perhaps some specialized rounded bits for corners and cornices and festive filigree. (Of course, then they got all carried away and created kits that were pretty much good for only one thing, but we won’t worry about that).
What Mistakes to Make and What Mistakes Not to Make
It's never too late. Why not start today? I know you can. Yep, I'm talking about analog design. This week we're giving everyone a little analog university refresher. We're getting down to some serious analog business with Bob Dobkin (Linear Technology Co-Founder, CTO & VP of Engineering). Bob and I are going to investigate how analog design is like learning a language, why application notes are crucial to the study of analog design, and how you can update your analog circuit knowledge with just a couple clicks.
Analog Devices Supports JEDEC JESD204B
We’ve yammered on a lot in these pages about how these newfangled FPGA whipper-snapper chips are neater’n dirt when it comes to crankin’ out a whole mess-o lickety-split figgerin’ fastern’ you can say “Bob’s yer Uncle.” Yep, if you got something like that whatcha call digital signal processin’, they got them some-o them there DSP blocks that can do yer times-es, your gozeintas, yer take-aways, and yer summin’. You just pile up the data and pump it in, and the FPGA will do the figgerin’ fastern’ cuzin Winki can go through a stack-o flapjacks.
The problem, of course, with “cuzin Winki” eating “flapjacks” is that somebody has to prepare and serve them - and they need to be going at least as fast as “cuzin WInki” can eat. Before an FPGA can really shine on applications like signal processing, you have to be able to gather data (which is probably analog), convert it accurately to the digital domain, and somehow get it into your FPGA at a speed worthy of the FPGA’s considerable computational abilities.