Altair, Alcatel-Lucent okay LTE chipset


Mobile communications chip company Altair Semiconductor Ltd. has announced that a combination of its FourGee 4G-LTE chipset and Alcatel-Lucent infrastructure has completed a three-month field trial with a U.S. wireless carrier and is now commercially available. More here

Accelerate product development through codevelopment of Hardware and Software


Rising product complexity and intense market pressures present major challenges to designers of electronic systems. To stay competitive, tight coordination between processes used by hardware and software engineers is critical to optimize product quality. This is especially true while controlling costs and meeting tight timelines.

This whitepaper discusses key elements of development and explores how the use of shared processes between hardware and software disciplines enable teams to develop products more quickly. Once shared processes are established, common tools can drive the next level of efficiency. It also highlights how how IBM has successfully used these techniques across a 25,000+ user base to significantly reduce development costs, increase reuse, and improve quality.

This paper is sponsored by IBM

Moisture Barriers for Flexible Electronics


Defects on plastic substrates such as pinholes, cracks and grain boundaries cause a 'pore effect', where oxygen and water molecules are able to seep through and penetrate through the plastic barrier and into the active material. For applications such as flexible OLED displays, organic solar cells, or even electrophoretic displays, sensitivity to oxygen and moisture compromises device lifetime significantly. This means that in order to achieve adequate lifetime for flexible devices that would make viable commercial products, the pathway for oxygen and moisture down into the active layers must be blocked.

Tera-Barrier Films is a portfolio company of Exploit Technologies Pte. Ltd. (ETPL), the commercialisation arm of Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and Applied Ventures, LLC, the venture capital arm of Applied Materials, Inc. as of August 2009. The company was incubated by Exploit-Technologies Pte. Ltd. as a Flagship programme for two years prior to spin-off.

Current barrier technologies focus on reducing these defects by using alternate organic and inorganic multilayers coated on plastic. In contrast, Tera-Barrier has taken an innovative approach to resolve the 'pore effect' by literally plugging the defects in the barrier oxide films using nanoparticles. This reduces the number of barrier layers needed in the construction of the barrier film down to two layers in this unique nanoengineered barrier stack. Tera-Barrier's barrier stack consists of barrier oxide layers and nanoparticulate sealing layers. The nanoparticles used in the barrier film have a dual function - not only sealing the defect but also actively reacting with and retaining the moisture and oxygen.

The result is a moisture barrier performance of better than 10-6 g/m2.day which satisfies even the most stringent requirements for flexible organic device substrates. The barrier film also has a lag time of more than 2,300 hours at 60 ⁰C and 90% RH (i.e. the time required for moisture to pass through the barrier film under those conditions).

It's also important to point out that the barrier layer on its own is not an adequate way to keep oxygen and moisture away from the active materials. Moisture ingress can also occur from the side of the device if it is not adequately sealed. This leads to specific requirements in water vapour transmission rates for the sealants used in electronic devices.

Two of the main companies developing these types of adhesives are Henkel and DELO, Henkel focused mainly on thermally-cured solutions while DELO is focused on UV-cured adhesives.

A trade-off becomes apparent when trying to find the right balance of permeation rates and flexibility. The adhesives that are characterised by the best performance in terms of water vapour transmission are more rigid and would compromise the overall flexibility of the final device. This means that in order to manufacture devices of a given flexibility, permeation performance needs to be sacrificed. Hence, a lot of research and development effort is focused into the development of systems that would lead to a good balance between permeation performance and flexibility.

For more in-depth presentations from Henkel, DELO and Terra Barrier as well as breakthroughs in other materials, manufacturing and novel devices, don't miss the opportunity to attend Printed Electronics/Photovoltaics Europe, in Dusseldorf, Germany on the 5th and 6th of April 2011.

For more information, visit the website www.idtechex.com/dusseldorf

Best known modelling practices for gigabit serial design - Live Webcast


This presentation will go over some of the common issues encountered when setting up performing circuit simulation of high speed serial designs. Topics will include s-parameter passivity and causality, frequency sampling and bandwidth and how they relate to simulation accuracy, model concatenation, and correlation between the time and frequency domains.

This webcast is Hosted by EDN and Sponsored by ANSYS.

Register Now - Click Here

Presenter:
Daniel Dvorscak,
Senior Application Engineer,ANSYS, Inc.

Date: March 25, 2011
Time: 3:00 PM ET / 12:00 PM PT

What would make you "love" your office even more?


Join us on Facebook


Follow us on LinkedIn


Semiconductor Industry - Salary & Opinion Survey with statistics


Intel's new 4G acquisition is Sysdsoft


Intel has made a purchase to bolster its 4G wireless platform, buying Egypt-based Sysdsoft, a maker of 4G software stacks. Sysdsoft has been more closely associated with MIPS than Intel architectures, having created an LTE protocol stack for the MIPS/Android platform, with which the processor core maker hopes to penetrate the mobile sector. It may have to look for a new ally now, with Intel taking over most of the assets of the privately held Egyptian company, and hiring about 100 of its engineers and computer scientists.

Printed Electronics - Europe is Different


Printed electronics is one of the most important new enabling technologies. It will have a major impact on most business activities from publishing and security printing to health care, automotive, military and consumer packaged goods sectors. It is now recognized that commercialization can and should take place in very disparate applications, contrasting with the rather narrow view of possibilities in the past.

However, the regions of the world see printed electronics differently. For example, the USA focuses on the military applications among others. For example, Dr Brian Fuchs of the US Army describes printing processes and novel ink development for armament applications. He notes that,

"Through the advancement of materials printing, superior capabilities can be added to military assets".

Also in the USA, the now Taiwanese-owned E-Ink has recently progressed to colour versions of its electrophoretic displays, interestingly seeing them as useful for textbooks first.

East Asia wishes to use printed electronics to reinforce its dominance in electronic displays such as flat panel television screens and e-readers - for that is where most of the leading brands are made - and generally in consumer electronics and photovoltaics.

Broad approach in Europe

Europe has interest in a very wide range of potential applications, with consumer packaged goods being just one of many applicational sectors prioritized. Peter Johansson of In-Core Systems of France develops vision inspection for the typical roll-to-roll coating manufacturing processes employed. He has practical experience of metal film coating for batteries for electric cars, for example. Flexible Electronics Concepts in the UK has major contracts to make innovative designs of smart label and smart packaging for both the electrical and consumer packaged goods industries.

Leader in paper electronics

It is in Europe where most of the successes in printing electronic and electrical components onto paper takes place. Professor Arved Huebler of Chemnitz University of Technology Institute for Print and Media Technology in Germany puts it this way,

"Printed electronics is the upcoming big innovation for the traditional paper based print media market - with a strong economic impact. This ten years old statement is still very true, but do we need another ten years for finding the killer application? For a lot of reasons, mass printed photovoltaics on paper could become a hot candidate, outpacing the trusty old printed RFID vision."

Security printing

Security printer De La Rue of the UK is about to reveal, "Power into Paper - a New Paradigm". The European Commission FACESS project is progressing a basic building block of printed electronics that puts organic photovoltaics, printed rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and associated electronics all on one small piece of flexible polymer film, with paper a possibility later.

The USA, Europe and East Asia are all working hard on printed Organic Light Emitting Diode technology for lighting and signage and on rechargeable laminar batteries. Many of these are now at the tipping point of commercial production. Gary R. Johnson President and CEO of Blue Spark Technologies in the USA, which prints disposable batteries for interactive media - modernizing paper magazines, point of sale and so on - observes that,

"Exciting applications for printed electronics lie in interactive packaging, ubiquitous sensor networks for health care, RFID and other areas. Today, the value proposition is mainly based on the value of uniquely thin, flat, flexible product forms not otherwise achievable. Moreover, as yet, they are still partly based on traditional silicon and other technologies, such as silicon chips, with a clear roadmap to fully printing components such as printed transistors and OLEDS."

Certainly , Europe is looking at a far broader range of printed components than is pursued in East Asia. To take one example, Professor Werner Jillek of the Georg Simon Ohm University of Applied Sciences in Germany finds that Inkjet printing of nano-particles is a novel technology for manufacturing electronic devices. With silver inks, conductive lines are printed which after a sintering process exhibit sufficient conductivity for various applications. As a demonstrator, the double-sided layout pattern of an FM radio is printed with discrete components attached by conductive glue. In addition, resistors are integrated by inkjet printing as well, using dispersed carbon nanotubes. The sheet resistance can easily be adjusted by repeated printing and the saturation settings in graphic programs.

Whereas laminar lithium-ion rechargeable batteries are made by many companies in North America, Dr Kari Ronka VTT Finland has recently claimed to be printed them. Such truly solid state batteries are the future vision for both large traction batteries and small laminar batteries.

David Lussey of Peratech in the USA is involved in "Quantum Tunnelling Composites (QTC) in Textile and Film Touch-screens, Controls and Sensors" In a printable electronic ink form QTC now allows the construction of sensors, switches, touch controls and touch-screens without the need for air gaps or stand-offs. Over in Europe, Bayer MaterialScience AG has created what it calls a "New dimension for touch screen applications with fidelity haptics using dielectric actuators".

Commercialization must now be the priority

Raghu Das CEO of IDTechEx notes that, "Certainly Europe now has a huge variety of printed electronic technologies - organic, inorganic and composite - and a rapidly broadening vision of how widely they can be applied. Newly printed components are announced al the time. However, the Europeans must work to commercialise as effectively as the Americans and East Asians. That is why our forthcoming event Printed Electronics Europe strongly emphasises commercialisation. It benchmarks best practice from outside Europe in aspects where the Europeans are laggards. This year, we even have an End User Forum - something more appropriate to Europe's needs than peer reviewed academic papers."

The largest event on the subject

All the organizations mentioned above will be presenting at Printed Electronics Europe in Düsseldorf Germany which takes place April 5-6 (www.IDTechEx.com/peEUROPE). Another annual IDTechEx event is Printed Electronics USA which takes place at the end of the year. Both have streams on the new flexible photovoltaics in the two day conference and exhibition and they have optional masterclasses and visits to local centers of excellence on the day before and the day after and both have an awards dinner. These events vie for the title of world's largest event on the subject each year.

Infineon's work in progress - The story for our time


How massive restructuring has created a novel business model at the semiconductor stalwart. If there has been a constant at Infineon, it has been change. From a division of giant Siemens, to a broad-line integrated semiconductor device manufacturer (IDM), to an IDM without a DRAM business, to a bankruptcy candidate, to a fabless powerhouse in smart-phone silicon, to what may be an entirely new model for a semiconductor company, Infineon has illustrated the maxim that a company's only real intellectual equity is its ability to change. In conversation with EDN, Infineon CEO Peter Bauer sketched out a fascinating trajectory.

"Today, the competition is not between companies. It is between countries. For instance, China is investing, I believe the figure is, $20 billion in electric cars. But in Germany, even more than in the USA, the notion of subsidy is disliked. The government believes in the operation of free markets. Perhaps the future is coming down to differences in industrial policies. - Peter Bauer, CEO - Infineon Technologies AG"

Interview Question on Power Analysis


Your task is to do power analysis for a circuit that sends out a one-clock-cycle pulse on the done signal once every 16 clock cycles(done is ’0’ for 15 clock cycles, then ’1’ for one cycle, then repeat with 15 cycles of ’0’ followed by a ’1’, etc). You have been asked to consider three different types of counters: 1. Binary counter, 2. Gray-code counter, and 3. One-hot counter. (The table below
shows the values from 0 to 15 for the different encoding schemes) What is the relative amount of power consumption for the different options?

Additional Info:
Your implementation technology is an FPGA where each cell has a programmable combinational circuit and a flip-flop. The combinational circuit has 4 inputs and 1 output. The capacitive load of the combinational circuit is twice that of the flip-flop.

1. You may neglect power associated with clocks.
2. You may assume that all counters:
(a) are implemented on the same fabrication process
(b) run at the same clock speed
(c) have negligible leakage and short-circuit currents

Encoding:
The columns below represent, Decimal Gray One-Hot Binary in order
0 0000 0000000000000001 0000
1 0001 0000000000000010 0001
2 0011 0000000000000100 0010
3 0010 0000000000001000 0011
4 0110 0000000000010000 0100
5 0111 0000000000100000 0101
6 0101 0000000001000000 0110
7 0100 0000000010000000 0111
8 1100 0000000100000000 1000
9 1101 0000001000000000 1001
10 1111 0000010000000000 1010
11 1110 0000100000000000 1011
12 1010 0001000000000000 1100
13 1011 0010000000000000 1101
14 1001 0100000000000000 1110
15 1000 1000000000000000 1111

This question is asked widely in interviews worldwide with varying levels of difficulty. Please start discussing.

Tip: Capacitance is dependent upon the number of signals, and whether a signal is combinational or a flop.

Cyclic Redundancy Checking (CRC) - Part 2


Modulo two arithmetic is simple single-bit binary arithmetic with all carries or borrows ignored. Each digit is considered independently. This article talks about how modulo two addition is equivalent to modulo two subtraction, and can be performed using an exclusive OR operation followed by a brief on Polynomial division where remainder forms the CRC checksum.

For example, we can add two binary numbers X and Y as follows:
10101001 (X) + 00111010 (Y) = 10010011 (Z)
From this example the modulo two addition is equivalent to an exclusive OR operation. What is less obvious is that modulo two subtraction gives the same results as an addition.

From the previous example let’s add X and Z:
10101001 (X) + 10010011 (Z) = 00111010 (Y)
In our previous example we have seen how X + Y = Z therefore Y = Z – X, but the example above shows that Z+X = Y also, hence modulo two addition is equivalent to modulo two subtraction, and can be performed using an exclusive OR operation.

In integer division dividing A by B will result in a quotient Q, and a remainder R. Polynomial division is similar except that when A and B are polynomials, the remainder is a polynomial, whose degree is less than B.

The key point here is that any change to the polynomial A causes a change to the remainder R. This behavior forms the basis of the cyclic redundancy checking.
If we consider a polynomial, whose coefficients are zeros and ones (modulo two), this polynomial can be easily represented by its coefficients as binary powers of two.

In terms of cyclic redundancy calculations, the polynomial A would be the binary message string or data and polynomial B would be the generator polynomial. The remainder R would be the cyclic redundancy checksum. If the data changed or became corrupt, then a different remainder would be calculated.

Although the algorithm for cyclic redundancy calculations looks complicated, it only involves shifting and exclusive OR operations. Using modulo two arithmetic, division is just a shift operation and subtraction is an exclusive OR operation.
Cyclic redundancy calculations can therefore be efficiently implemented in hardware, using a shift register modified with XOR gates. The shift register should have the same number of bits as the degree of the generator polynomial and an XOR gate at each bit, where the generator polynomial coefficient is one.

Cyclic Redundancy Checking (CRC) - Part 1


Error detection is an important part of communication systems when there is a chance of data getting corrupted. Whether it’s a piece of stored code or a data transmission, you can add a piece of redundant information to validate the data and protect it against corruption. Cyclic redundancy checking is a robust error-checking algorithm, which is commonly used to detect errors either in data transmission or data storage. In this multipart article we explain a few basic principles.

Intel announces first Multistandard GSM Baseband chip and the much awaited Medfield processor


Intel has started production of its Medfield Application processor for smartphones and is sending samples to phone manufacturers. Intel also announced a low power, multi-standard baseband processor, samples of which would start shipping in the second half of this year. The new baseband processor will support LTE, a fourth generation, high-speed network technology currently being deployed by carriers, as well as older 3G and 2G technologies. Intel expects to make this chip widely available in the second half of next year.

Medfield is Intel's second smartphone processor. The first, Moorestown, did not have much success in the market due to power consumption too high for smartphones. Medfield and Moorestown are based on Intel's Atom processor. Medfield, which is built on the company's latest 32-nanometer manufacturing process, is expected to be better equipped for smartphones. Smaller in size and consuming less power than the 45-nm Moorestown, the new chip is expected to enter mass production later in the year. Intel has said Medfield-powered smartphones will hit the market this year. The company has not named the manufacturers. Intel dominates the processor market for PCs, but is playing catch up in the smartphone market, which is ruled today by processors based on the designs of ARM Holdings in the U.K. ARM processors are used by all the major smartphone makers, including Apple, Samsung, LG, HTC, Research In Motion, and others.

Intel's biggest advantage over ARM is in manufacturing. Intel is expected to move to a 22-nm manufacturing process next year, which is when ARM is headed to where Intel is today -- 32 nm. Size matters because reducing the size of circuitry on a chip boosts performance and lowers active power consumption. Therefore, Intel in time could produce a higher performing chip that's less expensive than ARM's. ARM is expected to stay on top at least till end of next year.

The LTE chip stems from Intel's acquisition last month of Infineon Technologies' Wireless Solutions business. Intel's strengths in communications before the acquisition was in Wi-Fi and WiMax chips. The acquisition has added 2G, 3G and 4G LTE technologies.

On 20th Jan 2011: OpenPicus IDE and Framework


OpenPicus, the open source hardware and software platform for wireless Apps, reaches the biggest milestone on 20th January at 10am Italian time. The new IDE and the software Framework will be available for download on www.openpicus.com

This is a great step for the project, as FreeRTOS was ported on the FlyPort Wi-Fi module and the Framework lets you develop your apps even without any experience in embedded programming or communication protocols.

The core team from Rome declares : “we have finally completed our IDE and our Framework. It has been tested from November by several Universities around the world that joined our Campus program. We’ll also have a website restyling and a surprise for our community”.

Stoke Technical Seminar Series - Wireless


If you live in Bangalore, India this might be of interest to you.
Stoke Technical Seminar Series focus on 3G Mobile Data Offload, Emergence of LTE Technology, Integrated WiFi and Seamless Mobility, Stoke SSX Product Family Evolution.

A Must Attend For:

* Telecom Service Providers
* Cellular Service Providers - GSM & CDMA
* VAS Technology & Platform Companies
* Content Aggregators
* Content Owners
* Entertainment & Electronic Media
* Next Generation Mobile Content Solution Providers
* Telecom Associations & Regulators
* Handset Manufacturers - GSM & CDMA
* Portal Providers
* VAS Consulting and Research Organisations
* Venture Capitalists
* Multimedia Service Providers
* Software Developers
* System Integrators
* Mobile Internet Applications & Solution Developers
* DOT, DIT, Ministries & Regulatory

More details here..

Effective communications skills for the Industry - Transactional analysis


According to wikipedia Transactional analysis, commonly known as TA to its adherents, is an integrative approach to the theory of psychology and psychotherapy. It is described as integrative because it has elements of psychoanalytic, humanist and cognitive approaches. TA was developed by Canadian-born US psychiatrist Eric Berne during the late 1950s.

The three ego states that a human being communicates from are -
1. Parent state - I am OK but you are not OK.
2. Adult state - I am OK and you are OK.
3. Child state - I am not OK and you are OK.

The ideal interaction in a professional environment is from the adult state to the adult state.

An angry person shouting is in the child state trying to stimulate your child state.
In such a situation..
1. You should not respond from the child state, which would be to get angry and shout back.
2. You should empathize with the child and elevate them to the adult state.
3. The a fruitful adult to adult communication can occur.

Often positive attitudes and interactions can be achieved by identifying what state you are transacting from and transacting to and recognizing the others ego state and communicating accordingly. The adult to adult states are the most effective

Effective communications skills for the Industry - Complaint handling


It has been a while since i posted an article in this series. Here is the next in that direction and it is on complaint handling. As usual i will highlight only the important points and leave the rest to your interpretation. If you have any questions please leave a comment below and i will try to respond.

1. Listen with a positive attitude
This can be through verbal communication or body language.

2. Empathize - Show concern
Of complainers feelings and situations.

3. Apologize - With sincerity

4. Offer a solution

5. Solve the problem

6. If you cannot solve the problem, minimize the damage and offer alternate solutions

7. Follow-up on feedback from complainer whether problem has been satisfactorily solved

8. Check if you can offer or do anything further to excel in customer satisfaction

9. Conduct a proactive exercise to check why the service went wrong

10. Ensure that similar complaints do not recur

Intel, Nvidia ends legal battle with $1.5 billion cross-licensing deal


Intel and Nvidia announced Monday they are dropping their respective lawsuits with the signing of a six-year agreement to exchange patent rights. Under the deal, Intel will pay Nvidia $1.5 billion for the right to use the latter’s graphics processing units technology. Intel will pay the amount in five annual installments starting on Jan. 18, according to Nvidia.

“This agreement ends the legal dispute between the companies, preserves patent peace and provides protections that allow for continued freedom in product design,” said Doug Melamed, Intel senior vice president and general counsel. “It also enables the companies to focus their efforts on innovation and the development of new, innovative products.”

"This agreement signals a new era for Nvidia," said Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia's president and CEO. "Our cross license with Intel reflects the substantial value of our visual and parallel computing technologies. It also underscores the importance of our inventions to the future of personal computing, as well as the expanding markets for mobile and cloud computing."

Both companies are based in Santa Clara, Calif. One of Intel's largest chip manufacturing plants is in Rio Rancho, N.M., just northwest of Albuquerque.

Intel looks At Creating A ‘Sub-Atom’ Chip Out Of India, renews focus on affordable PCs


Praveen Vishakantaiah, president of Intel India, said one innovation in the area of frugal engineering could soon be in the market. "With HCL, we have launched a nettop with a battery backup in the power adaptor. It's a three hour backup that helps in areas that do not have continuous power supply. The innovation was in the adaptor; if we had done it in the nettop, it would have raised the cost significantly," he said.

The past decade has seen several attempts to mass market PCs through innovations like the Simputer, Classmate PC and a $100 portable computer under the one-laptop-perchild initiative, some of which had Intel's involvement. Vishakantaiah said some of these initiatives did not fully appreciate the complexities of the Indian market. "Broadband connection is a problem, so is reaching rural areas. Classmate PC has been a success in Latin America, with success in one country influencing others in the region to take it up. But in India, success in one area is no guarantee that others will want to do it," he said.

So, apart from efforts to bring breakthroughs in chip architecture to make them both
low cost and multi-functional, Intel India will be looking at triggering innovations around low-cost chips, like the battery backup in the power adaptor. "Besides, in India, we can't just provide a box and expect people to know what to do with it, like in mature markets. We have to provide content, we have to work with the teachers using the PCs to explain what's possible.We will have applications
preloaded on the system which are activated only when the buyer starts using them;
and they pay only for the time they use the app.We will work with our partners and the entire supply chain to do all of this," Vishakantaiah said.

The company's chief technology officer, Justin Rattner, who was in Bangalore last week, told TOI he's starting what he calls a "frugal engineering" effort at its India facility. "It's intended to bring high technology to these huge populations, to those whom our products for the most part do not touch today. And India seemed to be the perfect place to do that kind of work," he said.

Rattner said he expects early results from the 'rethinking' initiative a year from now."We will do a number of projects in this area and quickly weed out the ones that aren't going anywhere, and focus on one or two that look promising," he said.

More at this link from Times of India!

Intel India labs will focus on parallel computing


Intel dominates the business of PC processors. But as consumers shift increasingly to tablets and smartphones, the company is trying to quickly move to serve those devices. On a visit to Bangalore last week, Justin Rattner, CTO of Intel, talked exclusively to TOI on a range of issues, from the nature of work its Bangalore labs are being asked to do, to some really futuristic, almost sci-fi, stuff.

More at this link from Times of India!

Infineon Technologies India, Walkin Interviews - 11th Dec 2010, 9AM to 4PM


Checkout the attached flyer for more details.

Glitch-Free Frequency Shifting


Download this white paper from Silicon Labs to learn how to simplify your timing design using glitch-free frequency shifting. This solution addresses low-power design challenges and the complexity of generating a wide range of frequencies in consumer electronics applications including audio, video, computing or any application that requires multiple frequencies.

Four key strategies for enabling innovation in the age of smart


On a smarter planet, intelligence is infused into the products,systems and processes that comprise the modern world. These include the delivery of services; the development, manufacturing, buying and selling of physical goods; and the way people actually work and live. No where may this transformation be more evident than in the creation of smarter products.

Improving IC Design Productivity with an Integrated Hardware Configuration Management System


Like software teams, hardware design teams need configuration management systems. However, Software Configuration Management (SCM) systems do not meet all the demands of hardware design teams. This paper explains the drawbacks of traditional data sharing and collaboration techniques and how a Hardware Configuration Management (HCM) system integrated into the design flow can enhance collaboration, improve productivity and dramatically reduce the need for re-spins.

10 Reasons to Customize a Processor Core


There are plenty of really good, proven processor cores on the market today. But if you have more than simple control tasks, perhaps you've considered using a processor that you can customize. This paper discusses 10 good reasons why you should consider customizing your core in your next SoC design.

Qualcomm, Ericsson demo LTE in India


Wireless Broadband Business Services, one of Qualcomm’s India LTE partners, and Ericsson said they achieved LTE TDD outdoor mobility at 2.3 GHz Tuesday (Nov. 30) in northwestern India. The demo is part of Qualcomm’s strategy to accelerate the deployment of LTE in concert with 3G to drive the growth of mobile broadband in India.Qualcomm said it expects to attract other 3G HSPA or EV-DO operators to its LTE network in order to comply with Indian government deployment requirements for the wireless spectrum. Once those requirements are met, it will exit the Indian joint venture.

2010 EE Times Global Salary and Opinion Survey


The average base salary among the North American engineers surveyed totaled just over $100,000; annual compensation, including bonuses and overtime pay, averaged $107,300, according to our findings. North American engineers also reported the highest job satisfaction (64 percent) among the respondents.In China and India (where base salaries for engineers in most cases remain far lower than in the other surveyed regions), bonus figures for Chinese engineers tracked those in North America and Europe, but India failed to keep pace. Only more experienced Indian engineers reported a greater percentage of bonus payments during the past year.
Read on..

ARM founder claims that company will “obliterate” Intel


Diwali wishes


We like to wish all our readers a very happy and a safe Diwali. May this festive season bring you loads of happiness and prosperity.

Broadcom buys femtocell chip maker


Femtocells are small, low power cellular base stations that extend coverage indoors where signals are weak. Broadcom Corp. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Percello Ltd., a privately-held company that develops system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions for femtocells, for $86 million in cash.

Five good, five bad signs for IC market


We are in the fourth quarter and the outlook is cloudy for the rest of 2010 and heading into 2011. Here are some good and bad signs for the electronics industry.

Understanding system-level energy-management techniques and test


Gina Bonini is the worldwide embedded-system technical-marketing manager for Tektronix. In this article she talks about Power dissipation, Bus energy dissipation, PCI-e low power mode, some power saving modes and low power DDR DRAM.

Intel opens China fab


Intel Corp. has begun operations within its first fab in China, according to Dow Jones. In 2007, Intel won approval to build a $2.5 billion, 300-mm wafer plant in northern China for chip sets. The plan called for the fab to be in the city of Dalian. The fab will produce 65-nm devices.

Intel is also expanding in the U.S. As reported, Intel recently confirmed speculation that it will build a new R&D wafer fab in Hillsboro, Ore., and upgrade other existing U.S. facilities for 22-nm production at a total investment of between $6 billion and $8 billion.

The investment will create 800 to 1,000 permanent high-tech jobs and 6,000 to 8,000 construction jobs, Intel (Santa Clara, Calif.) said. The new development fab in Oregon, to be known as D1X, is slated for R&D startup in 2013.

One analyst thinks the fab will be ''450-mm ready.'' [Via: EETimes]

GlobalFoundries tech park in trouble?


A New York state agency plans to take over a technology park that houses the new 300-mm fab owned by U.S. silicon foundry upstart GlobalFoundries Inc.

GlobalFoundries' wafer fab under construction in New York state, Fab 8, would run the 22-nm production and more advanced nodes. Construction for Fab 8 started in July of 2009. The fab will have 60,000 wafer starts per month once it goes into full production. Production is expected to go online in 2012.

''The Fab 8 project is on schedule and construction is progressing very smoothly. We just have some concerns about a few pieces of infrastructure that need to be delivered. The state and (Luther Forest) are working out the details and we are confident they will address our concerns,'' according to a spokesman for GlobalFoundries.[Via: EETimes]

Is Intel prepping up for 450mm wafer sizes?


Is Intel preparing to push the issue with regard to its desire to move to 450-mm wafer sizes? One analyst thinks so. While most equipment is nowhere near ready at this stage (development has been limited ), C.J. Muse, an analyst with Barclays Capital, thinks the No. 1 chipmaker could specify that its newly announced D1X development fab in Oregon will be 450-mm capable (meaning it can accommodate 450-mm processing when/if the equipment becomes available).

Considering that Intel, Samsung and TSMC have said in the past that they want to see 450-mm development fabs by 2012 (fat chance), Intel almost has no choice but to build D1X with enough space to accommodate 450-mm processing. While the chances of the tools being ready for 450-mm by that date are slim, Intel must at least plan for the contingency if the company wants to send the message to its equipment suppliers that it is serious about this. While the 450-mm ball is rolling to some extent (450-mm wafer specs are ready; handlers and interfaces may be also), the question is when the big gear like lithography, CVD, RTP, etch systems and others, will be ready. Don't be surprised to see Intel make a public statement about this fab being 450-mm capable as a way to turn up the heat and spur tool development by equipment vendors who have mostly been dragging their feet. [via: EETimes]

INDIA Seminar Series 2010 - Modern Design Processes


An exciting agenda has been developed by Altium that will highlight many of the challenges facing today's electronics industry as well as put forward a case for rethinking tools and strategies to better align design capabilities with your current needs

Topics of focus will include:

* Design Process Management
* Design Team collaboration
* Collaborative PCB Design
* Design Data Management
* Version Control
* Also preview exciting new technology coming soon in the latest release of Altium Designer.

Who should attend:
Electronics Engineers, Electronics Managers, Team Leaders, Electronics Designers, Technical Directors, Technical Managers

For more info, please contact:
Rajesh Sawant +91 9663466910

Tech Talk - The Bleeding Edge (Oracle India, Sun Microsystems BU)


Last week i was invited to a Tech Talk organized by Oracle India (Sun Microsystems BU). The title of the talk was "Tech Talk - The Bleeding Edge, Evade your challenges– A dive into critical issues affecting High-end bleeding edge Semiconductors designs and the development engineers face off". The speaker was Mr. Sridhar Vajapey, VP, Hardware Development (Sun Microsystems BU), Oracle Corporation Inc.

The talk was highly informative covering the aspects of Semiconductor process Technology and challenges affecting the lower technology nodes of 28nm. The speaker also provided some very good insight into Sparc processor development, thermal management in a data center and issues with recreating silicon failures. Mr. Sridhar captivated the audience with his detail oriented talk and also dedicated time for answering questions from the audience. What kept me wondering was, how a VP kept himself up to date with technical details, issues and facts of current technologies. By the way did you ever wonder what Cutting edge, Leading Edge and Bleeding edge refer to? Do you know what they really mean?

Infineon takes over LTE specialist "Blue Wonder"


Infineon's Wireless Solutions unit has been working together with the Dresden design house "Blue Wonder" on the development of LTE technologies for one and a half years. Now Infineon has taken over the Saxony-based company together with its 50 employees.

Blue Wonder describes itself as a design house for LTE-IP and mobile communications
solutions serving the telecommunications and semiconductor industries. Blue Wonder’s team is made up of highly qualified specialists for mobile communications
solutions.

The core competencies encompass mobile broadband modem design and OFDMbased system development. First and foremost, the company’s special know-how in LTE Layer 1 supplements and complements the LTE development work of WLS and hence in future of Intel Mobile Communications.

The 4G mobile standard Long Term Evolution (LTE) is the successor of today’s 3G
standard UMTS/HSPA. It provides peak data rates of 150 Mbit/s downlink and 50
Mbit/s uplink. The perfor-mance in surfing the internet, playing online games and in
video telephony is as if the mobile devices were connected via DSL to the fixed
network.

Browser compatibility


This blog is now compatible with the following browser versions.
Microsoft Internet Explorer - 7 and above
Firefox - 3.0.0 and above
Safari - 5.0.0 and above
Please contact us if you face any issues.

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.