By Ann Steffora Mutschler“People have been designing mixed-signal for a long time and the composition of mixed-signal is changing drastically,” explained Mladen Nizic, engineering director at Cadence Design Systems. “Traditionally, mixed-signal was viewed as big digital with some analog in there, but now we see that mixed-signal has really expanded in complexity. So we have designs today that are about equal mixed with respect to analog and digital content. With designs that in the past were predominantly digital, engineers didn’t need to worry about analog impacts and effects. Now they have to, at least to some extent. Digital designers doing verification need to have some representation for these analog parts or mixed-signal parts or they might not completely verify their designs.”Given that consumers are the driving force behind semiconductor demand today, there are very high performance and cost demands. In fact, cost is now viewed as a primary design … [Read more...] about Cost vs. Value
Cost vs expense
I was at Dell's analyst conference last week and HP Discover is this week. As I was considering the contrast between the two companies, I started to think the contrast between Apple and HP is greater.Given how many Apple employees used to work at HP before its massive layoffs, there is a lot of cross-pollination between the firms -- and given how often Apple has embarrassed HP in the market, you'd think HP would have learned from its mistakes.Apparently, it hasn't. I'll explain and then close with my product of the week: the amazing Nvidia Shield set-top box. I've been involved in and covered a lot of them. Most fail, but the turnaround that stands out is the one Steve Jobs accomplished at Apple. It was a simple process. Bring in a staff of subject matter experts, convince customers to ride out the change, cut the firm down to the basics, and then rebuild it.When the iPod opportunity arose, Jobs was able to quickly pivot the newly loyal and lean firm to that opportunity, and Apple … [Read more...] about OPINION HP vs. Apple: The Contrast Is in the Turnaround
Although databases have been a fundamental component of the enterprise IT stable for decades, they now seem to be multiplying faster than ever before, both in number and importance.Many enterprises now rely on hundreds or thousands of databases, and administering them has become a major challenge, Noel Yuhanna, senior industry analyst at Forrester Research, told the E-Commerce Times. As a result, companies are looking for easier tools with which to manage their environments.Enter the Relational Database Management System, or RDBMS. According to online dictionary Webopedia, an RDBMS "is a type of database management system (DBMS) that stores data in the form of related tables."Because such tables do not, for the most part, restrict the ways in which their information is organized or expressed, the data may be sorted in myriad ways. Moreover, the information stored in a single database may extend across many tables, depending on a user's needs.Many variables, including price and … [Read more...] about E-BUSINESS SPECIAL REPORT The Heavy-Duty Database Showdown: Oracle vs. IBM
The holiday selling season has come and gone, and the Blu-ray vs. HD DVD war is still on.The HD DVD camp came out strong with a hard jab when Toshiba's HD-A2 DVD players sold for a rock-bottom price of US$98.97 at Wal-Mart and other outlets like Best Buy in late October, but since then prices have remained well over $200 for both HD DVD and Blu-ray players -- and many models still cost much more.What are consumers waiting for? Is price alone keeping them from even approaching the category, or are potential buyers waiting for HD DVD or Blu-ray to become an obvious standard?"I think those that are aware are waiting for a single standard to emerge," Mike McGuire, a vice president of media research for Gartner, told TechNewsWorld."Certainly, the cost associated with any new device is a challenge, especially when the benefits might not be totally obvious to most consumers. And the dual-format players are just too expensive," he added.The major movie studios in Hollywood aren't exactly … [Read more...] about HD DVD vs. Blu-ray: Will the War End With Two Losers?
Ask a Mac OS X fan or a Windows fan what the difference is between thetwo operating systems, and the short answer might be something like,"The difference is, the one I use doesn't stink." That response may underscore the emotional pull an operating system has with a particular sort of computer user, but it is not veryhelpful for getting at the heart of the matter. The long answerinvolves understanding the soul of each OS.Mac OS X is gaining favor among a growing number computer users.What is it that makes up the real difference between OS X and Windows? The long answer goes well beyond the Dock, the Start Button, or other obvious surfacefeatures and appearance details that any user can easily see at first glance."Apple is second to none in user experience," Bill Gribbons told MacNewsWorld. Gribbons is director of the Master of Science in Human Factors in InformationDesign at Bentley University and senior consultant to the BentleyUniversity Design and Usability Center. "They turned it … [Read more...] about Mac OS X vs. Windows: Does Soul Matter?
In part 1 of this two-part article, the E-Commerce Times explored Linux' potential to win market share from Solaris, Sun's proprietary version of Unix, as Linux is used to power ever more mission-critical functions.What is the future of Solaris in a world where Linux shares the limelight? In part 2, we will examine why the rise of Linux may not be the death knell for Solaris, and will analyze Sun's rationale for offering Linux as an option on its Intel-based servers.It may seem odd that despite Linux' potential threat to Solaris' viability, Sun has not been participating in Linux fear-mongering. In fact, the company recommends Linux to several of its customers, depending on their needs, Sun spokesperson Bill Moffitt told the E-Commerce Times.Several factors may make Linux the right operating system choice for a customer, Moffitt said. He noted that Linux provides buyers with a rapidly changing architecture, the ability to obtain the latest technology as it is released, direct access to … [Read more...] about OS Wars: Solaris vs. Linux – Part 2
The economic pressure continues to increase and there is a reasonably good chance that we'll be down to one large car company in the U.S. by this time next year -- Ford, which appears to be the only one that isn't saying it won't survive without a massive cash infusion from the U.S. government.In the PC space, there are three companies being watched closely: Apple and Dell in the U.S. and Lenovo in China. Apple was growing at an incredible rate and has large reserves, but now -- thanks to the economic collapse -- it may have PC products priced out of the market. Dell brought out its second netbook, a 12-inch model more appropriate for men, and instituted an aggressive (for a large PC vendor) PC customization program. And Lenovo continues to be recognized for what may be the perfect laptop, and I think it is a good time to reflect on this perfection.We'll close with the product of the week, a utility that turns an iPod Touch into the thinnest iPhone in existence. Apple recently has … [Read more...] about OPINION Apple vs. Dell vs. Lenovo: Got to Love Choices
My server has been getting a lot of hits lately from searches that look like the following:22.214.171.124 - - [30/Apr/2004:13:44:24 -0400] "GET /article.html HTTP/1.1" 200 35654 "http://search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=windows+vs+unix+term+paper&FORM=SMCRT""Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)"On the one hand, I suppose this reflects increased academic interest in Unix. On the other, it does make me wonder about the marking keys used to judge a student's success in differentiating the two environments. As a public service, therefore, I thought I'd provide an overview for what to look for -- and what to avoid -- in Unix-vs.-Windows comparisons.Because there are an awful lot of Internet-accessible documents that offer, or purport to offer, some contribution to this discussion, it's important to start with some basic rules for winnowing out the most obviously dishonest.The single most common indicator of dishonest comparisons is the presence of important but … [Read more...] about INDUSTRY ANALYSIS Grading the Windows-vs.-Unix Debate
I've been covering the Leopard launch for the last three weeks and will now wrap it up. There have been some issues with the new OS, but nothing critical, and it appears to be a near-flawless launch.Moving to a more interesting battle, Black Friday is coming up and it looks like the HD DVD folks are planning on nailing the Blu-ray folks to the wall. Finally, Phoenix Technology is back, and they have a really interesting idea about how we all will be using Linux on our more-secure PCs shortly.As always, I'll close with my first product of the week for November: a new PC that meets the very high Energy Star 4.0 standard, has a starting price of US$369, and allows you to help save the environment without spending a lot of your own green.Leopard came to market with only a few ironic blue screens of death, and Apple reported 2 million sold during the opening weekend. Given the relative installed bases in the consumer space, this would be like Microsoft selling 20 million copies of Windows … [Read more...] about OPINION Leopard Launch Wrap, HD DVD vs. Blu-ray, Next-Gen PC Security, Product of the Week
San Francisco in January could become the first U.S. city to adopt open source software to run its voting machines.City officials last month authorized consulting group Slalom to prepare a report on the benefits and challenges involved in using an open source voting machine platform. The city voted to pay Slalom US$150,000 for its research.Meanwhile, the city this year will pay Dominion Voting Systems $2.3 million to renew its contract for the company's proprietary voting machine software. That system is nearing the end of its life cycle.Officials hope a move to open source will make San Francisco's voting software more transparent and secure, as well as less costly. The expectation is that an open source voting machine program would offer more security against hack attacks. If the city should develop its own system, it then could provide the code to other cities.Unlike proprietary software, open source code is available to anyone to vet potential security breaches. Users would not … [Read more...] about Next US Elections: Open Source vs. Commercial Software?