What's interesting this week? Plenty, as usual, and a peek at history. Read on:
Moto X: context is king
The intense tech buzz this week is all over the Moto X release, the first Motorola mobile product designed since Google acquired the technology.
The skinny is the Moto X phone runs Android 4.2.2 on a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4. Its slightly
curved design yields a form factor of 5.09x2.47x0.41 (here's a helpful comparison chart). It retails for
$199. Endgadget has a nice review.
But really cool thing about Moto X is the device's
context-aware features. Moto X knows when it's in your pocket or sitting in
a car moving at 65mph and adjusts its functionality (and power profile)
I first got a glimpse at this last year when I profiled Ian
Chen, then at Sensor
Platforms. Sensor-laden devices are game changers, and so far,
Scoble has picked up on it.
MEMS and mobileSpeaking of sensors, Karen Lightman with the MEMS Industry Group, highlights a useful paper from Alissa Fitzgerald detailing sensor fusion technology and
applications directions in the coming years.
Why Noyce left Fairchild
Turns out, there was an astonishingly touching and human
side of Robert Noyce that
contributed to his decision to leave Fairchild
Semiconductor in 1968. It's one most engineers, even in our hard-driving
industry, can appreciate.
Intel Free Press has
posted a copy of Noyce's letter of resignation (right) to Sherman Fairchild, dated June 25 of that year. In the letter,
classy and professional, Noyce bemoans the lost intimacy and collegialism that
marked the innovative early days of Fairchild Semi.
"More and more I have looked with longing to earlier days of
Fairchild Semiconductor, when there was less administrative work and more
personal creative work in building a new product, a new technology, a new
It's an inspiring read.
China beats Google
Chromecast, the Apple TV alternative, is hot stuff
right now. At $35, the HDMI dongle allows you to stream Internet content onto
your TV. It's a third the cost of an Apple TV device.
It's also eerily similar to something my colleague David Blaza bought at a
Shenzhen market last year.
He makes an excellent observation about the changing nature
"Just as Michael Dell launched a
multi-billion dollar company from his dorm room using cheap modular PC parts
from Taiwan right under the noses of IBM and HP, we are seeing a new generation
of "makers" taking cheap standard parts and creating clever new products. This time, though, it's the software that will differentiate and deliver
Back in the daze
Some of you are old enough to
remember EDA in the 1980s. (It's a fond, hazy memory like your first Grateful
Dead concert, right?) Richard Goering
was actually there then and he gives a look back at what a young, roiling
industry was like back in that "dazzling decade."
RTL Synthesis vendor Oasys got a capital shot in the arm from our old friend
(and former Cadence CEO) Joe Costello,
as well as Intel and Xilinx. No $s were specified but the
10-year-old company said it will use the infusion for expansion.
TLM, Tour de France, WTH?
De Schutter, over at Synopsys, loves cycling so much he steered that passion into a post about transaction-level modeling. He writes:
there is a minimum set of requirements for a bicycle and a model to be useful,
there are specialized bicycles for specialized tasks, such as a time trial.
Similarly, you need specific capabilities in your model depending on the
software task you want to perform."
Software export regulations are
constantly changing, and evolving rules can wreak havoc on IP companies'
business if they're not careful. ChipEstimate
updates us on what's happening, courtesy of
Sean O'Kane's interview with Larry Disenhof, Cadence's Group Director, Export
Compliance and Government Relations and the chairman of the EDAC Export
Committee. The interview tees up an important EDAC seminar on the topic set for September 18.
--Great Reads (7-25-2013): Robot Octopus; Death of IT; Nerd Love
--Great Reads (7-18-2013): Intel Milestone, Foundry Dispatches, a New Design Paradigm