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Comment Re:Lost a Friend Yesterday (Score 5, Insightful) 385

Mostly I was talking about the ACs, but let's talk about you. What BoRegardless said was:

Now [my drug-addicted friend] is gone. Would he have been better served to still be here w/o some "reward center". I don't know. I will never know.

This is not a statement of support. It is a statement of confused grief.

After misinterpreting this as fervent support, you proceeded to speculate wildly about BoRegardless's motivations and his late friend's addiction, levy criticism based on that speculation, and recommend that he read a story about being trapped in a hellish existence where death is the only escape.

In response to a person who just said that his friend had died. Yesterday.

The article is talking about a surgery that is performed only in China, only for research purposes, and only with worldwide condemnation. The only debate outside of China is whether the results of that research should be published in respectable journals.

Your comment did not address that debate. It will have zero effect on what happens in China. The only thing it does is attack and belittle someone who just lost a friend. In your zeal to put on a show of righteousness on the internet, you are stepping all over the real human being who is (metaphorically) right in front of you.

To say that this lacks compassion would be an understatement.

Comment Re:Stop. Just stop. (Score 1) 145

90nm? In 2010? That should be enough to tell you that Freescale doesn't care. A chip announced in 2010 (no idea when, or even if, it actually shipped), using a process that was state of the art in 2002.

ColdFire is a line of microcontrollers. Microcontrollers are not built on state of the art CMOS processes, partly to keep the cost down, partly to keep the power consumption down, and partly because they need high-quality embedded NOR flash, making them not pure CMOS anymore. This means you're making a whole separate, specialized process for your MCUs. In that context, 90nm is pretty good. I think the absolute top of the line for flash MCUs right now is 55nm, which might not even be in production yet. There are plenty of MCUs still in production at 180nm.

TL;DR: Embedded processing and desktop CPUs are Not The Same Thing.

Comment Re:It's not just the power (Score 1) 328

Disagree about peak efficiency. In my experience testing PSUs, it is normally found around 90% load. Newer PSUs have gotten a lot better and enhancing efficiency at lower load levels, but PSUs still work most efficiently when running near the load they are designed for.

Thank you for the correction. I was talking based on the 80+ certification requirements and hazy memory of an article I saw once. Glad you know the efficiency picture is better than I thought.

Comment It's not just the power (Score 2) 328

Noise is also a factor. High-efficiency supplies have fans that run more slowly under load, or not at all. If you're building a quiet system, this is a big deal.

Note that the peak efficiency is usually at ~50% load, so be sure to size your power supply appropriately for best results. Newegg has a calculator to help with this.

Comment Re:Pretty doomsday to me (Score 3, Insightful) 306

It's never been about doomsday for the whole planet. It's about poverty, war, and general misery for billions. But Slashdot Libertarians are still stuck in their echo chamber where anything less than a massive asteroid strike is preferably to a tax increase. Didn't you know that the suffering of poor people is really just a plot to take away your money?

Some new arid areas are expected to appear in the south of N. America, South Africa and Mediterranean countries. Overall, hardly a doomsday scenario.

Oh, just some "new arid areas". No big deal. If you have no idea what the fuck you are talking about. Maybe you should read a bit about the massive drought that hit Texas last year. Or the many, many wildfires due to our entire state being a tinderbox. August in Houston was extra fun, with 29 out of 31 days reaching highs over 100 degrees F, with all-time highs of 109 F being reached on four separate days. Maybe you'd rather see some pictures, if that's your thing -- look, I Googled it for you! You know it's bad when people are hoping for a hurricane to bring drought relief.

Let me make this simple for you: no water = no agriculture, no cities, few people, lots of fires. Texas has 25 million people. That's a lot of misery you can spread around. A lot of potential refugees moving to your neighborhoods. But clearly letting my state be destroyed is preferable to allowing TEH EVIL (nonexistent) MARXISTS enact their EVIL (nonexistent) SOCIALIST AGENDA! (Which everyone in the world except Slashdot Libertarians is in on, of course.) Those evil socialists just hate the obvious solution of having billions of people and most of our agriculture pack up and move. But not Slashdot Libertarians! In addition to being IT administrators, they're *also* the worldwide experts in the economics of relocating entire populations, and can tell you with 100% certainty that it's super-cheap and mostly painless as long as we let the free market work its magic! Unlike carbon taxes which will instantly destroy the world economy! Because Cambodia!

(I really heard someone here compare fighting climate change to Cambodian communism once. Incidentally, Cambodian communism was all about forcibly relocating large populations, but if you want to be a good Slashdot Libertarian, you don't sweat the details.)

Comment Re:Those performance numbers are BS (Score 1) 258

Seems like the GP is a believer of the "I don't understand what that guy does, so it must be easy" crowd.

It's a pretty common blind spot. I'd be willing to cut him some slack for it if he hadn't jumped straight from "cool idea bro" to "give me all your money". Or at least if he weren't so willfully ignorant about his own project.

Comment Re:Those performance numbers are BS (Score 2) 258

Thanks for the info! I had a feeling EOMA-68 was nonsense too, but I stopped reading after discovering that A) his first big hardware project was developing an "industry standard", and B) they had to change the name from EOMA/PCMCIA because it wasn't actually compatible with PCMCIA.

The only thing I might be inclined to worry about is the possibility that he might sucker gullible people into donating to his obviously doomed project. (I'm not quite cynical enough to believe he's a scammer, but intent doesn't matter when the money's been flushed and donors can't ever get it back.)

Yeah, that was why I commented in the first place. There are too many overly optimistic software people here to let this sort of thing slide.

p.s. I also work for a fabless semi company. HATE YOU if you work for a direct competitor. (okay, not really ;)

Fabless, heck, I work for TI! We have plenty of fabs. Although we like foundries too. Everyone likes foundries these days since process development is insanely expensive. I spent the last five years doing product engineering and embedded flash process development/testing, and recently moved on to applications engineering. I am intimately familiar with how much work it takes to do the stuff that these proposals gloss over, and become very annoyed when it is not taken seriously. :-)

Comment Re:Those performance numbers are BS (Score 1) 258

As I said above: I have no problem with a project to build an "open" chip for education & hobbyists

Me either. For the record, while I'm happy to trash people who come here looking for money for pie-in-the-sky projects, I think it's great that people are becoming interested in building custom chips. Particularly with more and more functionality moving into SoCs, it's important that hobbyists and amateurs be able to learn and create their own work in the semiconductor world. I just never seem to hear about that kind of stuff on Slashdot...

Comment Re:Those performance numbers are BS (Score 5, Insightful) 258

pay attention 007: we're aiming for mid-2013

Yes, that's what I said:

* The proposal is dated December 2, 2012 for an advanced kitchen sink SoC with silicon in July 2013? Really?

Perhaps my phrasing was unclear. I am skeptical of a six-month development process.

also, bear in mind: the core design's already proven.

By who? To what specs (temperature, voltage, operating life)? Using what methodology?

mid-2013, whilst pretty aggressive, is doable *SO LONG AS* we *DO NOT* do any "design" work. just building-blocks, stack them together, run the verification tools, run it in FPGAs to check it works, run the verification tools again... etc. etc.

You know you can't go straight from RTL to silicon, right? You need timing sims and physical layout. Those are not trivial and they cannot be totally automated.

the teams we're working with know what they're doing. me? i have no clue, and am quite happy not knowing: this is waaay beyond my expertise level and time to learn.

Okay, here's the part that confuses me. You came up with an idea, talked to other people with expertise about doing it, and it sounds like you know who's working on it. All of that is fine. What I don't understand is why you are acting as the leader/spokesman for a project you know almost nothing about. Who are these other groups? The link at the bottom of your proposal is to a no-name Chinese semiconductor company that formed last year and has no products listed. Are they doing the RTL, layout, and verification? Who's doing the silicon testing? What foundry will you use?

The reason I'm being so harsh here is because you're asking for a lot of money with very little credibility. There is nothing in your proposal, your CV, or your comments to suggest that you are competent to work on a project like this. So who's doing the work? Why aren't their names on the proposal? Who has the experience and leadership to make sure the project actually gets done? Why are you "quite happy not knowing" what they're doing when you're the one trying to secure funding?

If you come back here in 2013 with a working chip I'll be the first to apologize, but right now I see very little reason to take this seriously.

Comment Re:Those performance numbers are BS (Score 5, Interesting) 258

Forget the performance numbers, the whole thing is bullshit:

* The proposal is dated December 2, 2012 for an advanced kitchen sink SoC with silicon in July 2013? Really?

* Their never released to market CPU design that beats an ARM on one video decoding benchmark is ready to go, except they need to move it to a new process, double the number of cores, and speed it up by 30%. Trivial, I'm sure.

* This bit here:

What's the next step?

Find investors! We need to move quickly: there's an opportunity to hit
Christmas sales if the processor is ready by July 2013. This should be
possible to achieve if the engineers start NOW (because the design's
already done and proven: it's a matter of bolting on the modern interfaces,
compiling for FPGA to make sure it works, then running verification etc.
No actual "design" work is needed).

The design is done! They just have to, you know, grab their perfectly-working peripheral IPs from unstated sources, "bolt them on" to their heavily-modified CPU, and then compile for FPGA. And maybe some timing simulations for their new 40nm process, but I'm sure that won't turn up any problems. And "verification, etc." (aka the part where you actually make it work). And fixing any problems found in silicon. But no *actual* design work is needed.

I have spent the last three months in my day job on a team of a dozen people writing design verification test cases for a new SoC. Fuck you for talking like that's nothing.

* They're going to hit "Christmas sales"? So despite being a real honest for-profit multi-million-selling product, we swear, they're still targeting a consumer shopping season. Hint: you want your chip to go into other products. Products sold at Christmas time are designed long before Christmas. Probably more than six months before, i.e. July 2013. Oops.

* No mention of post-silicon testing, reliability studies, or even whether they've got a test facility lined up, or what kind of resources they need for long-term support. I said it when OpenCores pulled this crap, and I'll say it again. Hardware is not software. You have to think about this stuff. Yield and reliability are what determine whether other companies buy your stuff and whether you make money from it.

Let me offer some advice to anyone who wants to change the semiconductor world overnight with the magic of open source: start small. Really small. Even Linus Torvalds didn't start out planning to conquer the world. Maybe you could start by trying to get open source IP blocks into commercial products. Once there's a bench of solid, field-tested designs, *then* we can talk about funding an attempt to put it all together. But coming out of nowhere and asking for $10 million is not the way to start. Just ask OpenCores -- their big donation drive got them a grand total of $20 thousand.

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