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This finding got me thinking about what other time series might matter in predicting semiconductor industry sales. To figure that out, it is worthwhile to consider both supply and demand variables. In terms of supply, fabrication facility capacity is likely to be a good candidate, as is the risk-free interest rate, since that rate affects the amount of capital available to manufacturers. Turning to demand, a good place to start is with gross domestic product.

DCM3414B50M17C2T09_Datasheet PDF

This finding got me thinking about what other time series might matter in predicting semiconductor industry sales. To figure that out, it is worthwhile to consider both supply and demand variables. In terms of supply, fabrication facility capacity is likely to be a good candidate, as is the risk-free interest rate, since that rate affects the amount of capital available to manufacturers. Turning to demand, a good place to start is with gross domestic product.

This design ensures that there is never a constant path from VCCA or VCCB to ground, which enables very low quiescent current consumption. Transistors T10 and T11 in the output block can be sized to offer the current drive required for the application. Figure 2 shows a uni-directional buffer. For bi-directional level shifting, a similar return path is required. Figure 3 shows an implementation of a dual-supply level-translator that uses a control signal to control the data flow direction. The advantage of this configuration is that the output drivers can be as strong as needed and maximum frequency is restricted only by the output load and switching speed of the output transistors. Consequently, these devices are typically designed to sink/source currents of up to several tens of mA and they support frequencies of up to several hundreds of Mbps.

DCM3414B50M17C2T09_Datasheet PDF

Click to Enlarge

DCM3414B50M17C2T09_Datasheet PDF

Another implementation (Figure 4) does not require the direction control signal, but in turn has a restriction on the drive strength of the output transistors. In a DC state, the output drivers can maintain a high or low, but are designed to be weak, so that they can be overdriven by an external driver when data on the bus starts flowing in the opposite direction. An output one-shot is used to provide high AC drive during output signal transitions. These devices have to be used carefully in applications that might have pull-up or pull-down resistors on the I/O lines since the resistors could contend with the weak output driver and cause bus contention.

Such a weakly buffered voltage translation circuit is an ideal solution for interface of two CMOS devices via a short transmission line (lumped load). If used to drive long trace lengths, transmission line effects will be observed depending on the duration that the one-shot is designed to stay on. If the one-shot is designed to stay on for a longer period of time, then the device can be used to drive longer transmission lines, but has lower maximum frequency capability. On the other hand, the one-shot can stay on for a shorter period of time which allows the device to have a higher maximum frequency capability, but trades off the capability to drive longer trace lengths. The one shot duration also affects the maximum capacitance of the lumped load that can be driven. A very fast one-shot might not allow the AC drive to fully charge (discharge) the output capacitive load. The DC drive continues to charge (discharge) the capacitor but might be too weak to get the signal all the way to the rail before the next transition occurs.

DCM3414B50M17C2T09_Datasheet PDF

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Genau das passiert laut Newton mit heutigen Prozessoren, DSPs und MPUs. Für die Schaffung von SoCs ergänzen Entwickler heute Chips mit einem neuen Funktionsumfang, der auf dem gleichen Basisprozessor-'Chassis' beruht.

Moderne DSP-Architekturen bezeichnete Newton als Alleskönner mit vielen verschiedenen Karosserien auf einem neuen Chassis, während der herkömmliche ASIC eher einem 'Auto ohne Räder' gleiche.

Sein Argument: Genauso wie Spezialfahrzeuge von Grund auf für bestimmte Aufgaben entwickelt werden – ein Traktor zum Beispiel, der einen Pflug ziehen kann -, werden softwarekonfigurierbare Prozessoren in vielen Applikationen an die Stelle von Standardprozessoren rücken. Die Anwender könnten dann die Prozessorleistung an ihre jeweiligen Anforderungen und Applikationen anpassen.

Ein Kamerahersteller braucht zum Beispiel für ein Design keine Spitzen-Performance, würde aber gern die Akku-Lebensdauer um fünf Stunden verlängern. Laut Newton kann ein Software-konfigurierbarer Prozessor diese Anforderung erfüllen.

Heute Designs verwenden immer häufiger mehrere Prozessoren, so Newton. Ein Custom-Design von Tensilica vereint zum Beispiel 180 konfigurierbare Prozessoren auf einem Die.

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