Category Archives: semiconductors

Powering Down

Ever since Intel hit the Power Wall in 2004—when the Pentium 4 drew 150W and approached 1000 pins—low-power design has come into its own. Over the past decade smart engineers have come up with a seemingly endless number of innovative … Continue reading

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Weightless Weighs In

Now that PCs are old news and seemingly everyone on earth has a cell phone, the Next Big Thing promises to be machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, giving rise to the Internet of Things (IoT)—presumably a parallel universe to the Internet of … Continue reading

Posted in ARM, RF/Wireless, semiconductors, Spectrum, Wireless | Leave a comment

The Power Wall: Are we scaling it or is it just getting higher?

Cadence hosted a Low-Power Summit this month at which Jan Rabaey was the keynote speaker. Jan is the Donald O. Pederson  Distinguished Professor in the EECS department at U.C. Berkeley; Scientific Co-Director of the Berkeley Wireless Research Center (BWRC); and … Continue reading

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Dual Core AMP for Embedded MCU Applications

Symmetrical dual-core processors—using two identical cores—are hardly novel, in fact they’re a bit passé by now. And asymmetrical multicore processors (AMP)—usually combining a CPU and a DSP—have also been around for many years. What’s new is an AMP MCU that combines … Continue reading

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802.11 to the nth Degree

It seems like every major wireless protocol is coming out with a variant that can make it under the low-power limbo bar. Bluetooth has spawned Bluetooth Low Energy and ZigBee now has a low-power healthcare profile. Not to be outdone, … Continue reading

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Hands On: Evaluation Kit Eases Lighting Design Starts

Normally you order an evaluation kit to check out whether a particular microcontroller seems appropriate for a design you have in mind; if everything seems OK, you then order a more costly development kit to prototype your design. Cypress’ CY3267 PowerPSoC … Continue reading

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SiliconBlue Rolls Out 40-nm Low-Power FPGAs

To date winning a cell phone socket has been a bridge too far for FPGA vendors. Xilinx’s CoolRunner CPLDs have been successful there by adding glue logic, but FPGAs have long been too bulky, expensive, and power hungry to get … Continue reading

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Otellini and Perlmutter Kick off IDF

Paul Otellini kicked off this year’s Intel Developer’s Forum (IDF) declaring, “Intel used to be a chip company…now we’re becoming a solutions provider.” Intel’s just the latest semicon firm to be forced to move up the food chain, offering more … Continue reading

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Ultra Low Power Electronics in the Next Decade

As a TI Fellow and director of TI’s Kilby Research Labs, Ajith Amerasekera’s job is to predict the future and plot a roadmap to it. His keynote at day two of the low-power electronics show (ISLPED) in Austin—“Ultra Low Power … Continue reading

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Out of a Job? Create One!

Despite all of the hullabaloo about health care reform, I propose that the number one problem we’re facing right now is jobs—rather, the lack of them. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate in August was 9.7 … Continue reading

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