By Colin Walls – The first real debugger for embedded software, which enabled developers to see what was happening in high level language terms, was XRAY Debugger, which was released by Microtec Research in late 1986.
The timing of this release made sense, as it was just beginning to be feasible for each programmer to have their own computer. Before that, programming was largely done on paper in the first instance, and only entered on to a computer when access was available. This meant that programmers were quite careful and would “dry run” their code by hand before going anywhere near a computer. I have a sneaking suspicion that there were a few less bugs in those days, simply because time on a computer was precious and more thought was given to the code before it was entered. Nowadays, the approach of just throwing code at a debugger is all too common. more> http://tinyurl.com/dy9ua97
Posted in Business, Economy, Energy & emissions, Product, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Electronics, Industrial economy, Semiconductor, Software, Test & certification, United States
By David L. Chandler – Silicon, the material of high-technology devices from computer chips to solar cells, requires a surface coating before use in these applications. The coating “passivates” the material, tying up loose atomic bonds to prevent oxidation that would ruin its electrical properties. But this passivation process consumes a lot of heat and energy, making it costly and limiting the kinds of materials that can be added to the devices.
Now a team of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers has found a way to passivate silicon at room temperature, which could be a significant boon to solar cell production and other silicon-based technologies. more> http://tinyurl.com/acc9k7l
Posted in Business, Energy, Nature, Product, Science, Technology
Tagged Climate change, Electronics, Industrial economy, Manufacturing, Semiconductor, United States
R&D Magazine – What if these electronics simply disappeared when no longer needed? DARPA announces the Vanishing Programmable Resources (VAPR) program with the aim of revolutionizing the state of the art in transient electronics or electronics capable of dissolving into the environment around them. Transient electronics developed under VAPR should maintain the current functionality and ruggedness of conventional electronics, but, when triggered, be able to degrade partially or completely into their surroundings. Once triggered to dissolve, these electronics would be useless to any enemy who might come across them. more> http://tinyurl.com/a9awpvm
Posted in Business, Product, Technology
Tagged Commercial off-the-shelf, Cybersecurity, DARPA, Electronics, Semiconductor, Technology, United States, United States Department of Defense, Vanishing Programmable Resources, VAPR
By Sean Gallagher – Silicon nanophotonics were first demonstrated by IBM in 2010 (pdf) as part of IBM Research’s efforts to build Blue Waters, the NCSA supercomputer project that the company withdrew from in 2011. But IBM Research continued to develop the technology, and today announced that it was ready for mass production. For the first time, the technology “has been verified and manufactured in a 90-nanometer CMOS commercial foundry,” Dr. Solomon Assefa, Nanophotonics Scientist for IBM Research, told Ars. more> http://tinyurl.com/c5tzj82
Posted in Business, Media, Net, Product, Science, Technology, telecom
Tagged Blue Waters, Broadband, IBM, IBM Research, Internet, Nanophotonics, Physics, Semiconductor, Silicon photonics
English: 3D IC (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Ann Steffora Mutschler – 3D ICs add a new dimension to design with new degrees of freedom possible, even with the added design and manufacturing complexities.
Steve Smith, senior director for 3D-IC strategy at Synopsys agreed. “I don’t think fundamentally the ownership rules have changed. The guy with the money is the end user of the silicon, the package and so on. In a chip manufacturing environment, maybe a fabless chip company is responsible for the entire procurement process so they might buy wafers, they might buy diced parts, and they will pick a packaging company to package that together. They have to design the package, so they are responsible for that. They are responsible for providing test vectors to test it maybe in an outsourced OSAT.” more> http://tinyurl.com/9uadj3h
Posted in Business, Economy, Product, Technology
Tagged Business, Integrated circuit, Productivity, Semiconductor, Synopsys, Test & certification, Three-dimensional integrated circuit, Through-silicon via, Wafer