The 555 Timer Was Just The Beginning For Hans Camenzind

Editor’s Note: Hans Camenzind was selected for the Engineering Hall of Fame in our inaugural induction, which appeared in our 50th Anniversary issue in 2002. He died on August 8, 2012. His son, Peter, has summarized his career for us. Hans Camenzind is well known for the design of the 555 timer, but he accomplished much more in his lifetime. …

Jay Last: Revolutionary Designer Spearheads The IC’s Early Days

Founded in intrigue, Fairchild Semiconductor has a long history of innovation. Indeed, it’s no surprise that a group of men notoriously known as the “Traitorous Eight” would produce some of the most significant technologies of the second half of the twentieth century. Several of these rogue engineers already are members of Electronic Design’s Engineering Hall of Fame. This year, we …

What’s the Deal with SoC Verification?

The title of this article may sound like the start of a Seinfeld joke from the 90s, but it’s actually a serious question. Many people do not appreciate what makes a system-on-chip (SoC) different from other semiconductor devices. Many companies, especially in electronic design automation (EDA), toss around the term “SoC” without defining it or explaining why it’s such an …

Troubleshoot and verify 8b/10b encoded signals with a real-time oscilloscope

Few serial technologies have become more widely adopted than 8b/10b coding, which is now used in standards like PCI-Express, Serial ATA, SAS, Fibre Channel, InfiniBand, FireWire, MIPI M-PHY, HDMI, DisplayPort, CIPRI, OBSAI, XAUI, USB3.0 and others. Therefore, any designer will eventually need the ability to efficiently analyze 8b/10b encoded signals using common instrumentation such a real-time oscilloscope. The intent …

Small but Terrible Circuits

Part of every man’s childhood is his penchant for toy robots. Today, these robots, which used to serve as a mere toy or fictional character in films, have evolved into hybrid and full functional machines. These inanimate creations are programmed to perform work that is beyond man’s capability and control. They’re assembling cars at Ford plants, working on Mars exploration, …