July News

Where the search for the truth is conducted with a wink and a nod
And where power and position are equated with the grace of God
These times are famine for the soul, while for the senses it's a feast
From the edge of my country, as far as you see, looking east

   Looking East — Looking East album, 1996.
By Jackson Browne, Jeff Young, Kevin McCormick, Scott Thurston,
Mark Goldenberg, Mauricio Lewak, Luis Conte
See Jackson Brown lyrics for detailed copyright.

Quick Summary

We have not done much in the way of electronics or software that we can report on. Mechanical CAD and metal work have taken most of July. More of that in future months with photos of the present project. Patience my dears....

Tales from the Woods

The usual suspects

The bankers and inside traders continue to make the news, happily paying the billion dollar fines for playing their part in the GFC. Almost no longer news.

Snowden changes business models for privacy hoovering companies

Snowden finally granted asylum in Russia. The winters should be a lot different to what he was used to in Hawaii.

The likes of Facebook, Google, Microsoft's Skype and any cloud storage service will have a desperate fight to regain user trust after the recent revelations.


A remarkable scope was described in Teledyne LeCroy Successfully Demonstrates World's First 100 GHz Real—Time Oscilloscope on July 24. Microcontrollers running around at a few GHz have some way to catch up, but no doubt costs reflect the challenge.

What a pleasure to work on projects requiring that level of performance! It would be interesting to know the breakdown in bandwidth versus volumes of oscilloscopes sold worldwide (and where shipped to) for above 20 GHz performance.

Spansion completes acquisition of Fujitsu's analog and microcontroller division

The acquisition announcement was made on 30th April in a Spansion press release, and closed on 1st August. The closure deal is described here. (roughly $110 million plus $38 million for inventory). There are plenty of ARM based M3 and M4 microcontrollers from Fujitsu at Microelectronics and Electronic Devices. (The site might move with the acquisition).

Freescale Vybrid

The Freescale Vybrid microcontroller with a dual-core (Cortex-A5 and Cortex-M4) is available at a reasonable price with ARM's DS5 development software. Altera is also offering development kits with ARM's DS5 software. Perhaps in a few months time, but right now we have our hands full with other work.

Elpida is now Micron

An email reported the 31st July close of the sale of Elpida to Micron. As part of the deal, they get two 300mm DRAM fabs. The $2,5 billion paid for the bankrupt Japanese memory chip maker took almost a year to complete. The payment calls for $750 million to be paid on closure and the $1,75 billion in installments through to 2019. Not sure how they are going to turn it around but if a new fab costs $8 billion, then it was a bargain.

Compulab $99 ARM box

Compulab has released a $99 ARM box based on the Freescale iMX6 (single core). See their utilite website.

Shares down in unlikely quarters

Microsoft and Google reported lower than expected figures, plus Facebook reached its IPO launch price based on some advertisement revenues that had Wall Street excited.