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Moto X; Noyce Quits; China’s Chromecast (Great Reads 8-2-2013)

Comments(1)Filed under: Cadence, Synopsys, Intel, sensors, Chromecast, Google, Fuller View, Robert Noyce, Motorola, Apple TV, Richard Goering, Moto X, Sean O'Kane, Endgadget, smart phones, Oasys, MEMS, mobile phones, Qualcomm, sensor fusion, ChipEstimate, Moto X phone

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, Moto X product designthe 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) accordingly.

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, only Robert Scoble has picked up on it

MEMS and mobile

Speaking 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

Intel museum piece

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 organization."

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.

Google chromecast China version

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 of innovation:

"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 winners."  

 

Our stuff

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."  

Their stuff 

Oasys refreshed

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?

Tom De Schutter, over at Synopsys, loves cycling so much he steered that passion into a post about transaction-level modeling. He writes:

 

"While 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." 

Export update 

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.

Brian Fuller 

Related Stories:

--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

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