ADN Issue 8, July 2014


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Is Moore’s Law Less Important to the Tech Industry?
Quentin Hardy
The New York Times, July 25, 2014

The central organizing principle of much of the tech industry is Moore’s Law. In one very important sense, it may be of less value than it once was.

Moore’s Law is the notion that the density of transistors on a chip tends to double every 18 to 24 months. That doubling was also a way of organizing the industry, though, and that is what is changing.

In an era of cloud computing, people assume there are large amounts of computing power at all times, unconstrained by a single device. With mobile computing, apps work with computing strength on the device and in the cloud. People don’t obey upgrade cycles like they used to.

If the periodic reliability of Moore’s Law matters less for organizing the industry, what is likely to replace it?

Tags: General,
Is Silicon Valley Funding the Wrong Stuff?
Christopher Mims
WSJ, July 6, 2014

Social networks that allow you to send only the message “Yo” to your contacts. Food-delivery services valued at $400 million. Startups that deliver rolls of quarters to your home (just $27 for $20 in change!).

It isn’t hard, looking at a lineup like this, to conclude that Silicon Valley has jumped the shark. The entire Bay Area appears to have given up on solving anything but its own problems: those afflicting the same 20-somethings who are building these startups.

“Do you believe there is more innovation today than 20 years ago?” asks Yatin Mundkur,...

What he does mean is the kind of basic research and development that transforms lives, in fields such as energy, medicine or food safety, rather than just optimizing advertising platforms.

Tags: General,
Big Switch Brings Hyperscale SDN To Enterprises
Timothy Prickett Morgan
EnterpriseTech, July 22, 2014

Big Switch Networks, a networking startup that was spun out of the Stanford University labs that created the OpenFlow protocol that underpins a lot of software-defined networking stacks, is rolling out its Big Cloud Fabric Controller. The software is the culmination of four years of work and fulfils its founders’ goals of creating a controller that can span both physical and virtual networks.

Among other things, the Big Cloud Fabric Controller is taking inspiration from the hyperscale datacenter operators like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, which have all created their own network operating systems and fabrics as part of their own SDN efforts. The companies could not wait for SDN technologies to mature because they are operating at scales that most enterprises will never see and they must add automation for the configuration of switches and routers and for the shaping of traffic around their massive, global networks as workloads and conditions change.

Tags: Software-Defined Networks, Cloud-Computing,
Report: Drivers ready for connected cars
Atmel Staff
Atmel, July 18, 2014

In its annual study of buying behavior and attitudes, the telco found that 70% of drivers were either interested in using, or already were using, connected car services, while 80% of consumers expected that they would ultimately be have the access to the same connected experience in their vehicle as they would in their home via a mobile device.

In fact, around half of consumers now consider connected features, such as built-in connectivity and the ability to plug-in a smartphone, a key part of their next car purchase. Other features, including increased safety, early warning systems and smarter navigation, are cited as the most popular with nearly three-quarters (73%) of drivers listing safety and diagnostics components as the most important.

“I also think vehicle-to-vehicle communication is going to grow very quickly in the next five years. The beauty of that technology is that the communication protocol can be used for a host of other services beyond vehicle communication, so it benefits the wider infrastructure too,” said Kia Motors...

Tags: Automotive, Connected Cars, Mobile,
Designing the Next Wave of Computer Chips
John Markoff
The New York Times, January 9, 2014

Not long after Gordon E. Moore proposed in 1965 that the number of transistors that could be etched on a silicon chip would continue to double approximately every 18 months, critics began predicting that the era of “Moore’s Law” would draw to a close.

But Moore’s Law is not dead; it is just evolving, according to more optimistic scientists and engineers. Their contention is that it will be possible to create circuits that are closer to the scale of individual molecules by using a new class of nanomaterials — metals, ceramics, polymeric or composite materials that can be organized from the “bottom up,” rather than the top down.

Tags: General, EDA,
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