Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Graphene, Your Next Switch?

Graphene xyz When silicon transistors finally run out of gas, graphene-based logic is one of the candidates to replace it. Graphene: The Ultimate Switch - IEEE Spectrum is a very readable technical description of how graphene behaves and how it might be used in computing.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Evolution of Conference Schwag

I noticed a lonely unused USB drive in my desk today, and it got me thinking about the hoops that we engineers will jump through to get a conference giveaway. It's an arms race!

In the beginning, there was the t-shirt ... Geek t-shirts I have known and loved

I just took a box full of bags and backpacks to the donation station ... 600 Conference Bags on The Wall, 600....

USB drives were once precious ... USB Drives

An iPod is still a pretty cool gift ... Apple Gift Package - iPod Shuffle

But today's holy grail is the iPad. iPad Door Prizes (and Flip Cameras) at MiCon10

Note, none of the pictures are of my schwag. I grabbed photos available under Creative Commons license.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Synopsys/ Magma - Gary Smith's take

Gary Smith gives his informed perspective on Synopsys/ Magma - Great Acquisition, Difficult Merger :: Gary Smith EDA. I like that he names names with respect to which Synopsys products aren't cutting it. On paper, it seemed like a great deal of overlap between the two companies. But Gary argues that Synopsys wasn't competitive in several of these areas, and the Magma tools will give them a stronger line-up.

This point is hard to argue with:

The static timing analyzer will be a big issue with the customer base. With their recent acquisition of Extreme DA, and now Magma, Synopsys has regained their Franchise position in the important Static Timing market. This is not a good thing for the design engineer. Only competition drives tool improvements.

But how's this for bravado?

Magma brags that they can achieve better results with a five man team than Synopsys can with a fifty man team.
That's the sort of claim I might believe from an EDA startup; could a public company (no longer a spring chicken) be so agile, or is this coming from the supreme confidence of their CEO?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The Engadget Interview: ARM co-founder John Biggs

Happy New Year and welcome to 2012! ARM logo The Engadget Interview: ARM co-founder John Biggs -- Engadget covers the interesting history, philosophy, and future of ARM Holdings. As you will learn from the article, it's a company that might never have been started were it not for Intel.