August 19, 2016
Robot arm demonstration

Embedded Systems Industry Expected to grow, Grow, GROW

We interact with embedded systems every day. You wake up, and turn on the coffee machine. You watch TV as you get dressed. At work, you send a fax. After work, you stop by the bank’s ATM, then use a GPS system to find a new restaurant. Some people return […]
August 4, 2016
Tesla Roadster

The New Frontier of Self-Driving Car Embedded Systems

When the new self-driving Tesla S car is in autopilot mode, a number of embedded systems are activated: Forward radar. Forward-looking camera. 360-degree ultrasonic sonar capable of detecting cars, children and pets 16 feet in any direction. A high-precision, digitally-controlled electric assist braking system. Thus, it’s no surprise that on […]
July 28, 2016
Traffic through construction zone

Can Autonomous Cars Make Split Decisions?

While many people wonder if they’re ready for self-driving cars, maybe we ought to be asking, “Are autonomous cars ready for us to use?” With almost daily headlines about such cars getting into accidents, it’s clear that they still struggle to discern conflicting data which we humans even struggle resolving. […]
July 12, 2016
Insulation cut away to expose the +5V wire

Not All USB Cables Are Created Equal

Could you be wasting money on the next USB cable you buy? It’s possible. Maybe even probable. Recently I needed to monitor the current flow through a USB cable charging the battery in a USB device as part of a patent claim analysis. I used an oscilloscope with data-collection capabilities […]
April 30, 2014

Copyright Infringement of Software

Most people have a good understanding of what copyright protection means with regards to written words, such as a book or an article. Those same protections also apply to software source code. Suppose I write some software in C as follows: y = 0; for (i=1; i<=x; i++) y += […]
April 30, 2014

Patent Infringement of Software

Patents protect an invention. Unlike copyrights (see post on copyrights), one must apply for a patent by filing with the patent office. If the patent is granted, then the patent holder has exclusive rights to that invention. When an invention is submitted for a patent, it becomes public domain. Others […]
April 30, 2014

Trade Secret Misappropriation of Software

A trade secret is something that provides an advantage to the company that owns it. It could be formulas, software, even lists of names. A trade secret is not disclosed publicly (unlike a patent, see post on patents.) If a company wishes to mark something a trade secret, it must […]
April 15, 2014

3D vs. 2D Printing: Similarities in Technical Details

3D printing is the process of making an object out of some material, often plastic. 2D printing, or just simply, printing, is the process of putting an image on paper. They appear to be two different processes. Internally, however, the technical workings behind both types of printing have some strong […]
March 31, 2011

Football vs. Football

When I say “football,” what comes to your mind? If you live in the US, you are likely thinking of American football. If you live in Australia, you are likely thinking of Australian football. But for most of the world, the term football refers to association football which is also […]
February 28, 2011

Is Your Safety Net an Afterthought?

At a recent DesignCon, I attended the panel, “The Same Chip Killers Keep Delaying Your Schedules – What Are You Doing About It?” consisting of Ed Sperling (Moderator/System-Level Design), John Busco (NVIDIA), Ravi Damaraju (Juniper Networks), Ramon Macias (NetLogic Microsystems), Sunil Malkani (Broadcom), and Bernard Murphy (Atrenta Inc.) Two of […]