Digital systems engineering and perspectives on chip design


Today we are in the age of Digital Convergence seeing a major change in the way digital electronics systems are designed. Examples of such convergence can be seen in Microsoft's Xbox (From IT/Games to Home Entertainment), Apple's iPhone (From IT to Telecommunication/Entertainment), and Sony's Vaio (From Consumer Electronics to IT). This innovative look at technology has redefined road maps and business objectives of major corporations.

The title of this post is in fact a web-page created by us to highlight and educate folks in the semiconductor industry about the transformations that are happening in the way we try to design electronics and semiconductors. Our motivation is to avoid repetitions of many disasters we encounter in our interactions with the industry. We intend to highlight key aspects like design in HDL's, using HVL's and their importance, Importance of scripting languages and design automation and many other things.

Libelium opens the new ‘kitchen’ for electronics enthusiasts


Hardware design specialist Libelium opens a new community site for electronics enthusiasts offering a wide range of tutorials, cost-effective products, news, customer service and user-created hacks & recipes.

Libelium, a leading wireless and electronics innovator, announces the launch of the Cooking Hacks website. Drawing on the similarity between cooks exchanging recipes and engineers sharing hacks, the new website offers a wide range of fun resources for anyone keen on trying out electronics (and cooking). The website offers an affordable range of easy-to-use boards, modules and software downloads. It also offers tutorials and community facilities for sharing hacks and recipes. The site aims to make building electronic systems as straightforward as trying out recipes in the kitchen.

For more company information call +34 976 54 74 92 or visit http://www.libelium.com

Video review of the OpenPICUS first Webserver application


In march we had an article covering the Italian project made to fill the gap between Embedded Low Cost and Wireless. Today we have the first video review! Check it out.

Peer code review of RTL, Test bench, Test Cases for 100% Verification closure


The topic of "peer code review" is a widely discussed topic in the context of design verification. I remember the times very early in my career when my code was reviewed. There were lots of positives occasionally with some negatives which i have improved over time. What is that people look for in a code review and what is the value add? Is it the most easy and powerful way of hunting down issues and avoid reproducing them by educating people, that is too often neglected in favor of complex tools and methodologies which are never idiot-proof?

I still remember the comments from my first code reviewer who went on to say the following: "Peer code reviews are like speed bumps on the highway where the ultimate goal is not to impose a fine but for the prevention of speeding violations in general". Translating this to way we code is the ultimate benefit for the whole team. The significant gains are that the person whose code is being reviewed puts in that extra effort to check the missed signals in the sensitivity list and add default states in FSMs when they know their code is going to be put under the spotlight in front of their peers. Many potential bugs get fixed even before the code gets to the review committee. Furthermore, this is the right forum to ensure that people are following the coding guidelines that should be in place. Not only does the code owner gets feedback, the peers in the room generally apply the same lessons to their own code, resulting in an overall improvement and value add.

All said well, the main problem is always the time where code reviews consume significant resources and valuable productive time. In any organization, peer code reviews have to be part of the methodology, be it design or verification.

Self code review is probably more important!

A problem with any code review is the lack of specific targets and the right audience. As said above, in a peer code review people learn from each other however, it is generally not 100% clear what specific targets are to be achieved. Coding guidelines are the easy ones among the possible targets, but they should not be the only targets. Based on my experience, code reviews ideally should come with spec and verification plan reviews. The reviewed spec should be complete and clear enough to define how to assure its correct implementation. The code review plan should be a part of verification plan so that it is a part of the integrated solution to assure the implementation's correctness. Theoretically, the verification plan should include a complete set of conceptual properties to verify. This set should be complete enough to 100% assure the implementation's correctness. Some of the properties should be proven in code review and the rest should be proven with other methods. As an industry, we do not know how to create a theorectically complete spec, and we do not know how to create a theorectically complete verification plan. However, we should at least start taking some steps in the right direction.

Infineon wireless unit to be a "seperate legal entity"?


From the open forum that happened at Infineon today it was made clear that the carved out wireless division will be a separate legal entity with a new name (that is being figured out). It was also told that all the acquired employees will be blue badge Intel employees with their own HR, Marketing and Sales team that will work independently. That's interesting!

Post job requirements for free


You can post your job requirements in EDA, Analog & Digital Design, Verification and Embedded for free on http://jobs.digitalelectronics.co.in . For more info please head to the site itself.

IIT Video Lectures Available for all on YouTube


The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and IITs, the premier engineering colleges of India, have earlier joined hands to produce the world's largest repository of technical video lectures and web-based courses geared towards science and engineering students. The IIT and IISc faculty have recorded around 4,750 videos for this project till date and anyone, anywhere can watch the lectures online through YouTube at http://youtube.com/iit. [via] Digital Inspiration Technology Blog

Intel chef Paul Otellini


What is interesting about the title of this post? Check out the article on Channel News Australia. These guys have messed up big time!

Join the YES campaign of "Just One Light" initiative


Say YES for changing ONE light to LED at home. Get your organization to say YES to change ONE light per employee to LED and to encourage each employee to adopt ONE light for home.To know more and to say YES, see the brochure at http://bit.ly/aJyQHp

If you can reach your organization to implement LED lights and to encourage employees to adopt LED lights through this campaign, leave a comment indicating name of the organization /department and approx. number of employees.

Do share the brochure with friends and colleagues and help make the campaign a success.