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Chip Designer

October 2011 | RF-Microwave Systems
Editor's Note
Beyond the Glitz
A New Yorker cartoon, years back, showed a hometown crowd celebrating a worker for his artistry in assembling a small part of a medieval cathedral. I giggled big time but no one in my family nor most of my friends understood. They tend to see great buildings and monuments as analogs for the designer, the Pharaoh of the moment, or maybe the money bags behind it.
I see the little guys, chiseling sandstone, lying on their backs molding plaster curves, or passing rivets between stories of girders-let along the guys who figured out how to harness steam to shovels or water lines to levels.

I had to admire Steve Jobs for his style, passion and come from nowhere (and come from behind) pluck, but I’m also enthralled by the designers of Smalltalk and the sound tech puzzling out a standing bass wave in a church. In ways, this issue of RF & Microwave eNewsletter, heck, every issue, is dedicated to the unheralded masses that make reality happen.

This issue’s Viewpoints start off with the inspiration in the trenches award to Taranjit Kukal, Brad Griffin, Antonio Ciccomancini Scogna for their collaborative Integrated Design and Full-Wave Analysis of Mixed-Signal 3D Package Designs.

Grant Martin explains milliWatts are not just milliWatts in “Fight the Power!” - No, “Fight the Energy!”

The Next NoC is a collaborative by Ed Sperling and John Blyler as they look at future bandwidth needs.

In When A Physicist Comes Knocking, John Blyler interviews Professor Lisa Randall about recent CERN experiments and contemporary research issues.

In our Wider World section, Stan Krolikoski recognizes the social fallout from the recent passing of Steve Jobs and C and Unix inventor Dennis Ritchie in The Deaths of Two Tech Giants.

And in our coverage for the unsung singers of RF melodies everywhere, we close with the News and Events.

And remember our continuing web focus on the RF and Microwave scene at http://www.chipdesignmag.com/rfmw.
White Papers featured on Chip Design:

Direct Power MOSFET Capacitance Measurement at 3000 V
Common Pitfalls in PCI Express Design
Increasing Revenue Through Continuously Optimized Data Center Management
Introduction to Security for Smart Object Network Devices

  1. Platinum: Agilent
  2. Gold: CST
  3. Silver: AWR

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Integrated Design and Full-Wave Analysis of Mixed-Signal 3D Package Designs

The single schematic-driven IC and package layout/solver flow allows the simulation of mixed-signal systems across IC/package with extracted parasitics.

By Taranjit Kukal, Brad Griffin, Antonio Ciccomancini Scogna
A unified chip/package/module co-design methodology can address a number of analog and digital design integration issues. These challenges include the best placement of die I/O buffers and die bumps for optimal floorplanning; sufficient spacing between the die footprints in a package; and interconnect parasitics that are not so high as to cause signal integrity problems for critical signals. (more)
"Fight the Power!" - No, "Fight the Energy!"

For years Grant has observed how simple confusion between power and energy has led designers to jump to odd conceptions about design alternatives.
By Grant Martin
In evaluating designs, a unit such as milliWatts per MegaHertz (mW/MHz) allows one to normalise different designs – assuming one can run two designs at the same rate (MHz), then the one that consumes more instantaneous power per MHz can be thought of, in some sense, as more "power-consuming". But this is a rather crude metric. Not all milliWatts are the same. (more)
The Next NoC

Sonics rolls out 1GHz network technology in preparation of future bandwidth requirements.

By Ed Sperling and John Blyler
How fast do signals have to travel inside and outside of an SoC? That question may be more difficult to answer than many questions in the semiconductor world because so far it hasn’t been a problem. But that hasn’t stopped companies from looking beyond the current technology needs toward what will be required over the next couple of process nodes. The most recent example… (more)
When A Physicist Comes Knocking

Will neutrinos from a supernova in the Tarantula Nebula save Einstein endangered postulate? Does all research have to be immediately profitable? Ask a very practical theoretical physicist, Lisa Randall.

John Blyer interviews Professor Lisa Randall
LPE: So recent experiments at CERN really contradict Einstein’s postulate that no matter can travel faster than the speed of light?

Randall: First of all, the result is likely to be wrong. Even the experimenters who presented the result are aware of this, and presented it because they measured to the best of their ability, found this result, and want others to search for possible… (more)

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Gold Sponsor: CST

Join CST at one of their free Leading Technology webinars. These are focused on solutions to complex electromagnetic systems in Microwaves & RF, EMC/EMI, and EDA.

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Agilent Radio Signal Analysis Solution for Manufacturing Base Stations
First 3GPP Release 9 Compliant Multi-Standard Radio Signal Analysis Solution (more)

Semiconductors for Femtocells and Picocells to Grow Tenfold by 2016
Center of gravity shifting to carrier-class Small Cells, creating a $1.3B semiconductor market (more)

TI trumpets PurePath Wireless audio products with USB support
CC8521 and CC8531 solutions deliver uncompressed wireless audio capabilities to PCs, TVs, gaming and other applications with USB ports (more)

Broadcom SoC Achieves 1.25Gbps for 4G/LTE Microwave Backhaul
New Modem + Networking SoC Delivers Unparalleled Integration (more)

Atmel Launches Low-Power RF Transceiver for Low Cost Consumer Applications
Supports the latest wireless applications with excellent RF performance, lower power consumption, high-link budget and antenna diversity. (more)

Agilent RF Design and 3-D EM Platform Boosts Design, Speed Simulation
Provides enhancements for RF printed circuit board, MMIC and multi-technology design. (more)
The Wider World

The Deaths of Two Tech Giants

Post mortem double-standard reflects the low esteem in which society views "the geeks."
By Stan Krolikoski
All of you undoubtedly noted the passing of Steve Jobs on October 5. What you might have missed is the passing of another high technology giant, viz., Dennis Ritchie a few days later. Ritchie was the father of the C language and one of the main forces behind the development of UNIX… (more)

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Silver Sponsor: AWR

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Events -- Conferences

ARM TechCon 2011
Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA USA
October 25-27, 2011

GSA Semiconductor Leaders Forum Taiwan

October 26, 2011
Taipei, Taiwan

9th International SoC Conference
Radisson Hotel, Newport Beach, CA USA
November 2-3, 2011

MEMS Executive Congress 2011
Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, Monterey, CA USA
November 2-3, 2011

IP - SoC 2011
Grenoble, France
December 7-8, 2011

3-D Architectures for Semiconductor Integration and Packaging
Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport Hotel, Burlingame, CA USA
December 12-14, 2011

DesignCon 2012
Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA USA
January 30-31, 2012

International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design (ISQED)
Techmart Center, Santa Clara, CA USA
March 19-21, 2012

USA Science & Engineering Festival
Washington, D.C. USA
April 28-29, 2012

Help people to learn about your upcoming event!  Send information to jkobylecky@extensionmedia.com
Editor: Jim Kobylecky

Editorial Director: John Blyler

Advertising/Sponsorship Opportunities: Karen Popp
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