We like to blog about how technology changes our lives and will continue to do so. And, it is exciting to see Synopsys leading the semiconductor industry and pioneering new solutions.
There was a time when you got your new computer home it was likely to be an HP and it ran Microsoft Windows on an Intel processor. You knew what to expect. Well, not anymore. At Microsoft’s BUILD conference for developers in Southern California, they unveiled their next operating system on a machine that didn’t have an Intel processor inside. At the same time, a few hundred miles north in San Francisco, Intel was unveiling a software partnership for an operating system – and it wasn’t with Microsoft! A few weeks ago, HP said it was spinning off or getting rid of its PC business, or not. What’s going on! Can’t we trust the status quo anymore? What happened to the Old Order?
Touch screens and the associated gesture control as introduced in smart phones and tablets have changed the way we interact with our devices. Tap-and-swipe touch-screens are fun and addictive to use, but touching tends to make the screen smudgy, and there are rising concerns on health and hygiene aspects. After all we want to be able to and do use our devices everywhere and anytime, right?
If you are British or are an aficionado of British TV, you will be familiar with the TV series ‘Doctor Who’. If you’re both, and like me, of a certain age, you may recall a childhood of watching this show from behind the sofa. It’s the longest running science-fiction TV show in the world and it’s scary. One of the key props in the story is the Tardis, a time-machine disguised as an old-fashioned Police Telephone Box. (It’s a long story why it’s a rather incongruous Police Box.) The Tardis allows the good Doctor to travel back & forwards in time. As I look at the Embedded Software industry today, I was thinking, what if I accompanied the Doctor back to ten years ago. How did the industry look compared to now? How would it look ten years into the future?
The Android operating system generates a lot of buzz in the marketplace today, will it kill the use of RTOSes.
Google has recently reassured the market that Android will continue to be the open and processor neutral platform that it was meant to be, without lock-downs or restrictions against UI customizations. The dust up was because Google wants to avoid the type of fragmentation that would prevent applications like the latest hot Angry Birds Rio game that you just downloaded from working on your device.
Google deserves tremendous credit for the way they have driven and are driving Android as an open source architecture-neutral framework. The result is that its success and popularity has far surpassed even the most optimistic projections of just a few years ago. Originally targeted to cell phone handsets, there currently appears to be no limit to the markets and applications in which Android will be deployed.
On May 7, 1997 Intel introduced the Pentium II at 233MHz. That was the state of the art for microprocessors and computers just 13 years ago. Today if I gave you a computer with a Pentium II you wouldn’t be able to use it. It is not capable of running a modern operating system. Microprocessors and software has been transformed over the past 13 years. The processors that are embedded in our electronic gadget have been transformed as well. For example, a microprocessor (ARC 601) that we released for deeply embedded applications just over a year ago, runs at 532MHz in 65G process and occupies less than four hundreds of a square millimeter (0.039mm2). This ultra-compact processor in many ways has more performance than the Pentium II had but it can fit 2 ½ times in the dot at the end of a sentence in a 12 point font.