Brazil’s Path to Hardware Manufacturing at Home

SAO PAULO — Brazil's policies on imported goods are hurting the country's economy. But engineers can do something about it. That was the message delivered by Jon “Maddog” Hall, president of Linux International, in his keynote at the opening day of the Embedded Systems Conference in Sao Paulo. “There are many reasons that more companies…

The Limits of Moore’s Law Limits

PORTLAND, Ore. — Every engineer is worried whether Moore's Law (that the density of transistors will double every two years) can be extended forever. So far, merely scaling to smaller sizes has kept Moore's Law in play, but now that we are approaching the atomic scale, many see the handwriting on the wall: When you…

Intel Outlines 14nm, Broadwell

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Intel provided the first details of its 14nm process technology, now qualified for volume production in an Oregon fab, and gave a sneak peak at Broadwell, its first CPU to use it. Intel claims its 14nm process delivers a lower cost per transistor than its 22nm node thanks to aggressive area…

Woz Riffs on Watches, Engineering

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The Woz showed off his nixie tube watch and gave the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch a big thumbs down in a public appearance here. Steve Wozniak, the designer of the original Apple personal computer, was in top form, firing off opinions in his characteristic, rapid, stream-of-consciousness style on everything from innovation…

Supply Chain Security: 5 Important Steps

One of the largest known breaches, resulting in 110 million records lost and hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, started with a small, third-party supplier. We're talking about Target, where attackers compromised Fazio Mechanical Services, a provider of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning services, to gain access to the retail giant's network. The breach…

New Fujitsu-Panasonic Co.: 6 Things Left Unsaid

TOKYO — Fujitsu Semiconductor and Panasonic, together with Development Bank of Japan Inc. (DBJ), marked a sea change in the Japanese electronics industry last week by signing a definitive agreement to establish a new fabless-type company to design and develop system LSI. The move confirms the end of an era. For decades, Japanese electronics companies…

6 Things to Expect at Flash Summit

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Here's a heads-up on six things to expect at next week's Flash Memory Summit in Silicon Valley. The annual event has been growing in parallel with the rise of NAND flash chips that are plugging into an increasing variety of sockets in consumer and business systems. 1. Expect more details on…

Startup Looks for Sunny Skies for Solar Charging

Users won't tolerate the idea of their mobile devices running out of battery power, leaving them isolated from the world. Since no cure has been found for cellphone withdrawal and electronics manufactures haven't created everlasting batteries, some designers are creating solar-powered solutions to complement the increasing use of mobile devices outdoors. Solartab Ltd., a startup…

Freescale Rolls Platform for Wearables Design

At the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week, flocks of unfamiliar vendors will be trotting out wearable devices: wristwatches, shoes, headbands, goggles, Dick Tracy cufflinks… you name it. What no one knows is whether any of these wearables will turn out to be manufacturable in the foreseeable future, let alone become the hottest new…