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Presentation Slides from GSA IP Working Group Meeting

Posted by Terry Moore
Terry Moore
 
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I spoke today at the Global Semiconductor Alliance's IP Working Group: "System Software for Complex Connectivity IP". The slides are available for download here: System Software for Complex Connectivity IP

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Windows 8 Release Preview date implies November 2012 release

Posted by Terry Moore
Terry Moore
 
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As noted previously, the Windows 8 Release Preview will be out first week of June.  It appears that this is, in effect, the release candidate. For Windows 7, there was a five month delay from release candidate to final release (May to October, 2009). This suggests that Windows 8 will be released by November.

If you've been waiting to update your drivers, or to start testing on Windows 8, it's time to get started. The conversion is not terribly hard; the biggest issue, if you have a large collection of drivers, is the change in the build system (from makefile-based to msbuild.exe based -- basically XML-controlled builds). Microsoft ships a tool to convert things, but it's somewhat incomplete; and if your automation depends on the structure of the build tree, you'll probably have to fix things up. (Makefile.inc processing is particularly troublesome.) In some ways, the new scheme is a step backward, because it's not as mature as build.exe; so some of the things that used to be possible (but difficult) from inside the old framework are now much more difficult (or impossible) in the new framework.

I'm looking forward to Windows 8; though I'm kind of bummed out that Microsoft is not going to support a DDK for WinRT (formerly Windows on Arm). There are lots of interesting things that one could do with a WinRT tablet that are not as easy if you have to live in user mode -- there are no TAP drivers in WinRT, as far as I know, and there's no general PTY mechanism; I guess I'll just have to wait for some kind of tablet running an x86-architecture CPU.

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Windows 8 Release Preview will be out first week of June

Posted by Terry Moore
Terry Moore
 
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on Wednesday, 25 April 2012
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Windows 8 Release Preview will be out the first week of June.

This will replace the Consumer Preview that's out now.  Apparently the preview is getting lots of use:

 No word on what "same point in time" means; would be interesting to calibrate time-to-RC.

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Links for week of 2012-04-20

Posted by Terry Moore
Terry Moore
 
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Eric Huang of Synopsys posted a more detailed version of the Synopsys SSIC USB demo.  To USB or Not to USB.

Microsoft posted a detailed list of features in Windows 8, and the names of the various editions.  Blogging Windows: Announcing the Windows 8 Editions.

 

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Links for week of 2012-04-12

Posted by Terry Moore
Terry Moore
 
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on Thursday, 12 April 2012
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In the spirit of Mark Thoma's daily post of interesting links on economics (interesting can sometimes be predicated of economics without a negative), here are some somewhat interesting recent articles about connectivity.

InStat, the market research firm that had some of the best reports on USB, was shut down:
http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-blogs/other/4370399/In-stat-shut-down

TI updated their view on USB:
http://www.eetimes.com/design/analog-design/4370593/Which-USB-is-right-for-your-application---Part-3--
But the article doesn't mention HSIC USB, nor SSIC USB.

Solid state drives are using SCSI SAM-5 over PCIe (sort of like USB Attached SCSI, UAS):
http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4370635/Solid-state-drives-jump-on-PCI-Express
This is competition, sort of for USB 3.0 UAS; but the use cases are substantially different.

Intel/Windriver/Digi are doing M2M stuff.
http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4370591/Digi-International-and-Wind-River-cooperate-on-cloud-connected-wireless-M2M-solutions

More M2M: a product survey article by Rick Merritt in EEtimes
http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4370765/Photo-Gallery--Internet-of-Things

From IDF Beijing, Eric Huang of Synopsys posted a demo of SSIC USB:
http://blogs.synopsys.com/tousbornottousb/2012/04/10/the-worlds-first-demonstration-of-superspeed-interchip-ssic/

Eric also posted a good article summarizing the current status of USB 3.0 versus Thunderbolt:
http://blogs.synopsys.com/tousbornottousb/2012/03/30/ti-supports-thunderbolt-thunderbolt-pricing/

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New platform for forums.mcci.com now live

Posted by Terry Moore
Terry Moore
 
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on Thursday, 12 April 2012
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We started the forums page about six months ago, as a place to quickly post content related to MCCI, USB, MIPI, or embedded systems. It was great for content, but kind of ugly. The old platform (movable type) successfully resisted our attempts to make it look more like MCCI's main pages, so we paused for a few months while our IT team started the process of moving the site to a new platform (Joomla).

Thanks to the efforts of Karthikeyan, Mohankumar, Rajasekar, Rob Levine, Roy Flacco, and Chris Yokum, we've made the transition. There's still more work to be done. In particular, we hope to get the user-to-user forums working in the next week or two. If you have any ideas, suggestions, brickbats, etc., please log in and leave a comment on this post.

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Getting power from coin cells

Posted by Terry Moore
Terry Moore
 
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on Friday, 02 December 2011
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Buried on TI's website, there's a very nice white paper on practical considerations for getting power from coin cells: "Coin cells and peak current draw," http://www.ti.com/lit/wp/swra349/swra349.pdf.

The author, Mathias Jensen, obtained CR2032 coin cells from a variety of vendors, and tested how much energy could be obtained in a variety of circumstances.  His key findings:

  • CR2032 cells have varying real capacities (based on the vendor).
  • Because of internal resistance, if you need bursty power, you should add a capacitor that can be trickle-charged at low current.

Out of politeness, he probably didn't mention some important additional conclusions:

  • Customers are going to buy batteries based on convenience and price, not based on vendor.
  • Many batteries don't nearly acheive their rated capacities in real-world tests.
  • If you want your customers to be satisfied, you have to design for the worst-case battery, not for the best-case.
  • Careful design for the worst-case battery can result in 1.4 times the battery capacity with low-quality batteries.

This is the kind of detail that, properly attended to, makes the difference between products that are loved, and products that are merely used.

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