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Great Reads (7-25-2013): Robot Octopus; Death of IT; Nerd Love

Comments(0)Filed under: Cadence, EDA tool vendors, EE Times, Electronic Design Automation, EDA tool companies, EDA tools, EDA, EDA companies, DAC 2013, electronics, Mentor Graphics, engineers, engineering, design automation, computer processor, EDA vendors, electronics design, DesignNews, Intel

This industry is not only fun to work in, it's fantastic to read about. Here are some things that struck me this week:

The "vanity of trendiness"

My longtime friend and old colleague Junko Yoshida hits a nail on its head in EE Times this week with an excellent post on feature phones.

Feature phones are the soiled diaper of the mobile world, but for Nokia, nearly 9 of every 10 phones it sells is a feature phone. NEC is quitting smartphones but keeping its conventional phone business.

Do they know something the pundits don't?? Yoshida writes that given the battery life and cost benefits of feature phones, "Other than the sheer vanity of trendiness, what's not to like?"

Awww and it's cute too!

DesignNews Editor Ann Thryft reports that European researchers are building a robotic octopus body and brain that will be able to "propel itself through water, elongate its arms, and use them to reach and grasp items."

She writes:

"Results of experiments conducted inside a water tank by a robotic prototype with eight arms confirmed previous experiments, which were done with simulations examining the contributions of fluid drag using a dynamic model of the robot."

All they need to do now is add an inking feature!

Productivity sidebar

We run a mile a minute in the electronics world and, if you're like me, you're always running a program in the back of your head trying to figure out how to improve your efficiency and productivity.

Brad Pierce, for years one of my favorite industry bloggers, offers a simple suggestion: Think about a could-do list.

Kickstarted supercomputer 

Back in the misty days of my youth a couple of years ago, I visited Andreas Olofsson CEO of Adapteva, while we were on the Drive for Innovation across North America. He had a small office with a few engineers located in the crucible of the American Revolution and he was making processors in a really unique way. 

A year later, he got even more unique: He used Kickstarter to crowd-source a processor design. And it worked! The Parallella design debuted this week.  Check it out. 

Great view

Sometimes the "great read" is actually a great view. EDA Café button-holed Raik Brinkmann, President and CEO of OneSpin Solutions, to talk about his company's formal verification technology. What's interesting about OneSpin's approach is that Brinkmann claims they've solved the security problems that concern most EDA customers about adopting cloud-based solutions.

BYOD tablets and IT

I'd hate to be in the IT department right now. These are the guys that held enormous power in the 1990s and 2000s (I know: I suffered at their hands!).

But now with the rise of open-source software, cloud computing and ever-cheaper devices, IT's power is eroding. Now it's business managers calling the shots.

Intel Free Press interviews analyst Rob Enderle as part of a story on how tablets and back-office trends are reshaping enterprise computing.

Love triangle

Brian Bailey wonders whether EDA services, tools and IP mix. In general, he argues, they haven't, but he does a little feature analysis on eSilicon to suggest that it might mix and mix in a way that reminds us of the cloud computing model. 

And for laughs... 

Another choice management morsel from Scott Adams

Brian Fuller


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