Sensors are becoming more prolific and changing the way that you interact with your world. That smart phone in your pocket is a good example. A lot of what you can do with it is the result of sophisticated sensors that are built into it. For instance, the accelerometer inside determines the orientation in which you are holding the phone so the screen can switch making it easier to read. It also makes games that you control by moving the phone and applications like a bubble level possible. The accelerometer is actually a very sophisticated piece of technology, which is true of many of the sensors that are being developed today.
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.
When we have a choice to pick a name for something, it usually reflects some meaning for us. For example, I chose my daughter’s name as Abigail because I once saw a Mike Leigh play called ‘Abigail’s Party’ (the video below is a clip from the play). But, I also chose it because the name means ‘Father’s Joy’. Similarly, my name is Allen. It is of Scottish and Irish origin and it means ’handsome’. So, now you know why my parents chose to call me Allen.
Texas is experiencing one of the worst known droughts in its history this year. Drought brings fire, and the fires have certainly arrived. Wildfires have destroyed nearly 1,400 homes so far this year in Texas, and the fires continue to burn. “Some residents needed no urging to leave because they saw the flames lapping at the trees. Others heard from friends and neighbors, while still others found a sheriff’s deputy at their door or heard firemen rolling down the street with bullhorns. In most cases no one had to be told twice” according to CBSnews.com
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?
VLIW (Very Long Instruction Word) machines first appeared in the early 1980’s. They were used primarily as scientific super computers. At the time with semiconductors still in their infancy and process geometries measured in microns it made sense to bolt two (or more) execution units together and tolerate the software and real-time inefficiencies that this creates. There were few better options at the time if you wanted to increase performance. Pushing the problem off to the compiler made sense because there were fundamental limitations on the number of transistors that you could put on a chip and by extension the level of functionality that could be implemented.