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Comment Re:So it's a bit like a software JTAG, but not... (Score 1) 154

I'd say password protected and undocumented is far more hidden than a unpopulated footprint marked 'jtag' (I know I know, not all hardware debug i/faces are always that obvious either :-)
But yeah, no one should be particularly surprised... these are ridiculously complex chips and would be impossible to develop and debug (the chip that is, not software for it) without extra hidden circuitry.

Comment Re:So it's a software JTAG (Score 1) 154

I'm just guessing, as the site is still inaccessible, but it sounds like this is a set of debug functionality beyond what you'd get with the normal debug registers or with a JTAG interface. AFAIK modern desktop/server processors still have JTAG interfaces (not just SoC, embedded type processors). Sure JTAG interfaces are often 'hidden' as you say... maybe there's a footprint there but you have to solder on some flying leads or a connector.. but without knowing about these new registers you still wouldn't be able to use these debug features over JTAG.

Comment Re:Wonderful (Score 1) 217

Because not everyone has the time, ability or inclination to put down a uController in a schematic, surround it with power circuitry and whatever basic logic and signal conditioning they might need, then layout a PCB for that schematic, then send off their design to a PCB house or make it themselves using one of a few different methods, before finding out that they messed something up that they can't fix with a cut-and-strap (or that it doesn't work but they don't know how to fault-find well enough to fix the issue) and have to GO TO 10 until they get it right.

Arduinos and other similar development/prototyping boards are great for people who are happy to plug various building blocks into each other to get the overall hardware design they need and want to get something working quickly and easily, without getting bogged down in a lot of the stuff usually involved in embedded design and development.

I've got no desire to play around with Arduinos as I much prefer working at the lower level (eg. PIC asm or C), or the higher level (eg. Linux on ARM9), but on more than one occasion I have recommended them when non-embedded developer friends have started talking to me about an embedded project they would like to tackle but don't know where to start.

(just realised this is way off-topic, but meh)

Comment Re:This is impractical (Score 1) 625

It was not easy

Not wishing to troll, but... Really? I recently had to implement a similar thing for a public transport voice announcement system (certain parts of the world require ambient noise compensation on their passenger announcements (plus sometimes customers want that anyway)).
As you say, running average (or similar) of RMS is a key part of it... but other than some very (very) simple logic and arithmetic (basically scale the volume (up to a limit) based on a scaling of the RMS against a calibrated value), nothing more was needed.
Was it particularly more complex when implementing this for use in a room (as opposed to on a vehicle)? I guess the more dynamic nature of TV/film vs. passenger announcements would probably make it a bit trickier.
Just curious :-)

(Oh and I agree on your last statement. The problem has only existed 'cos advertisers know they can get away with it, nothing technical at all!)

Comment Re:It's also about maths (Score 1) 314

you maybe need something like DMA

Its a safe bet that this chip has DMA capabilities for most, if not all of its built in peripherals. Otherwise you're left to perform interrupt or polling based data transfers which just wouldn't let it get anything done.
I don't know this for a fact, but I'd say that all chips in this class have DMA capabilities. A few ARM chips now seem to have quite flexible DMA that allows for BitBlt operations which can be quite handy.

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