Early Hardware/Firmware Collaboration

A few years ago, I was invited to a high-level design review of a new SoC. The proposed design contained an I/O block that needed features added. I successfully convinced them to replace that block instead with an existing block that had the needed features, had seen silicon, and had a functional driver. Months later on real hardware, bringing up …

Designing a Chip for Unplanned Products

One of the rules of the Extreme Programming design philosophy for software is Never Add Functionality Early. This means that when coding for one product, do not add features or functionality needed for a future product. While this rule does have some merit for software development, it should be applied more judiciously to hardware development. One of the reasons programmers …