Tag Archives: semiconductors

Where is the next factor of 10 in energy reduction coming from?

Over the last decade chip engineers have come up with a large number of techniques to reduce power consumption: clock gating; power gating; multi-VDD; dynamic, even adaptive voltage and frequency scaling; multiple power-down modes; and of course scaling to ever … 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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More than MEMS

The fact that I spend too much time focusing on consumer electronics was brought home to me vividly last week by a visit to the Sensors Expo 2011 in Chicago. Far from the niche show that I expected, it was … Continue reading

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How Green Is Your MCU?

With energy efficient, ‘green’ designs devices being all the rage, embedded developers need to be asking semiconductor vendors, “How green is your MCU?” (OK, so it’s black. Work with me here.) Ever since Intel hit the Power Wall in 2004—when … 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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What’s In a Chip? Reverse Engineer It to Find Out

I had an interesting meeting today at DAC with Julia Elvidge, the president of Chipworks. Chipworks basically reverse engineers chips to find out exactly what makes them tick. The results may surprise you—they certainly did me. I must admit I’ve … Continue reading

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