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It appears that a single RF solution for multiple wireless communication reception is near to reality. A startup firm (or is it a VC firm) tied up with UCLA, apparently have come out, already with a working prototype. I got to read this  excerpts on-line. Dr. Alireza Tarighat (the illustrious student of Prof Sayed of UCLA) is instrumental behind it? Well, do they have a cannon solution for MIMO as well? Developing an RF Circuit Capable of Receiving All Services in the 800MHz to 5GHz Range on One Chip. . . p. 105 The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and WiLinx (WiLinx) Corp, a venture capital firm located in LosAngeles, California, have developed an architecture that enables the reception of wireless services over a wide range of frequencies, from 800MHz to 5GHz, with just one RF circuit. They have already manufactured a prototype chip with those configurations. This holds hope for significant reductions in size of RF circuits for software radio devices that can receive multiple wireless services. Applied to portable devices, you would be able to create mobile phones on which you can switch freely between multiple wireless services. So-called “reconfigurable RF circuits,” for processing, on a single platform, wireless circuits for mobile terminals that can be used in various regions around the world, could be realized. The engineers who pursued the development explain their development concepts and details of the architecture.


Remember Gerald Hsu [1,2,3,4,5,6] aka Gerry Hsu? The Avant! CEO who was in the limelight in early 2000s for all the wrong reasons! The story of Avanti and the infamous law suit by Cadence against certain stolen source code from Cadence by Avanti, surely stands up among the folklore’s in the EDA community:-). It is best known for a long running legal battle with Cadence Design Systems, of which Business week said[2]

“The Avant! case is probably the most dramatic tale of white-collar crime in the history of Silicon Valley” 

 

Were you wondering, what he is up to these days? I have come across this little audio excerpts of a recent interview from Gerald Hsu to some Korean journalist/broadcaster (in English). Here is the mp3 version of that interview (audio) excerpts. He even post regular blogs.

Let us see some of the related quotations/remark related to the infamous avant!-cadence battle from case filing through the settlement:“It removes the clouds, opens up a new age and closes a chapter of the EDA industry that is best closed” [1]–Aart de Geus, chairman and CEO of Synopsys

“Accepting a settlement and agreeing not to pursue any more litigation against Avanti seemed the prudent thing to do” [1]–Ray Bingham, president and chief executive officer at Cadence

“A lot of people think lawsuits hurt the EDA industry when, in fact, stealing does more damage. Stop stealing and stop complaining when EDA companies sue other companies for taking their property. Avanti Chief Executive Officer Gerry Hsu set a precedent that you can build a company on stolen property, use that stolen property to get a head start on the competition, and, even if the courts find you guilty, walk away a multimillionaire. Vendors shouldn’t encourage this practice, and, after the courts have handed down a decision, consumers shouldn’t, either. (If you think IP theft is no big deal, wait a few years; chances are that it will likely hurt you, too)” —Michael Santarini (EDN) [6]

References:

[1]http://www.eetimes.com/news/design/showArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=V5F5I3ZQXKCXAQSNDLOSKH0CJUNN2JVN?articleID=10806192
[2]http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/01_36/b3747087.htm
[3]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avanti_Corporation
[4]http://www.geraldchsu.com/
[5]http://www.deepchip.com/items/0351-09.html
[6]http://www.gabeoneda.com/node/39?PHPSESSID=dbbbbdeeb88a63644804df115e7a5882

Coconut Grove! This restaurant in Koramangala, Bangalore, has gone down tremendously over the last year or so. The once acclaimed Kerala style food hop in Bangalore no more deserve any praise. It is in a very very advanced stage of decline (Just reminds me of the quote from Shashi Tharoor on India, when he said: “Indian is not an undeveloped country. Rather it is a highly advanced country in its advanced stage of decay”. I don’t remember, the exact words of his quote, but the essence is something like this).

I am not a food freak. I eat anything, but I am quite disappointed when these restaurant folks advertise as though they represent the authentic cuisines of certain style and then went on to mess it big time. People often get mislead by the ill propaganda and taken for a fancy drive by these guys. This time, I took a friend of mine and his mother, who came from US. They wanted to have a true Kerala style food. By mistake I suggested this place and what to say? Quite a disaster! Just to give an example, they served something by name avial, one of the favorite Kerala food item (vegetables, turmeric, curd etc are the essential ingredients). It was simply a shame that they serve something quite shabby for this name. If ever the owner of this chain of restaurants happen to read, please please, dont let your name go any worse.

The first time, I came across Voronoi regions is in the context of Maximum likelihood decoding of symbol detection in digital communication. For equally likely transmitted constellation, in additive white Gaussian noise channel, the optimum symbol detection follows the simple voronoi partitioning (voronoi regions based on the a posteriori probability in the more general case, or based on the maximum likelihood criteria when the a posteriori probabilities are unknown). If the noisy received symbol (signal) falls into the well defined voronoi region, the symbol is decoded as the transmitted symbol present in the voronoi region. Of course, each voronoi region would have one symbol from the transmitted constellation.

Voronoi regions are applied much widely in applied mathematics and topology.

The concept of Euclidean space is remarkably known from high school days, but the more complicated space in the name of “manifold” is not quite so. Let us start with the simple example. The example is a 3 dimensional sphere.

On a sphere, the sum of the angles of a triangle is not equal to 180°. A sphere is not a Euclidean space, but locally the laws of the Euclidean geometry are good approximations. In a small triangle on the face of the earth, the sum of the angles is very nearly 180°. A sphere can be represented by a collection of two dimensional maps, therefore a sphere is a manifold.

Now then, what is a manifold?

References:
[1] Wikipedia article, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manifold

It was interesting to read the news about my former employer Synopsys coming out with a byproduct in the form of supercomputer . In normal circumstances, you don’t expect an EDA company to build a super computer, even in your wildest imagination. Believe it or not, some Synopsys engineers developed world’s 242-nd powerful supercomputer (see this link from eetimes). The number 242 doesn’t matter much. They did it. That’s all it matters.

This news is not entirely surprising to me. Not that, I was aware about this plan of Synopsys (if ever they had one!) to build a supercomputer of any sort! I had a long and enjoyable stint at Synopsys at the beginning of my career and I enjoyed every moment of working there. The work culture and the freedom given to engineers to explore new ideas, support to innovate wild engineering issues are something you don’t get to experience in every high tech companies. I think Synopsys in those days were like the Google these days, where every smart engineer longed to work with. Mind you, not everyone necessarily worked in EDA software design in Synopsys. They had a wide portfolio of work groups. For instance, I was working part of a small team focused to develop digital communication (wireless) modem design. I had developed myself as a wireless communication algorithm and system design engineer. It was an enviable looking team spread across three centers (Aachen Herzogenrath in Germany, Bangalore in India and Mountainview CA in USA) of Synopsys. Now, if I were to look back, this team (Could you identify me in this list of photos?) had an amazing bunch of guys. The caliber of this team was something Synopsys failed to use to the fullest potential, especially now that wireless industry prospered big time after Synopsys rather mistakingly decided to get away (from wireless design services). But then, Synopsys is not the only company in the world got this perception wrong. In business, these things ought to happen anyway! Nevertheless, wireless group was some sort of money making machine for them in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

This example is brought in to re iterate the fact that Synopsys always encouraged different engineering opportunities, most of them as part of the services division. Besides, they heavily support their research and development staff to go after adventurous and forward looking problems, whether it is directly related to EDA business or not.

To help matters, they used to get some of the smartest campus out graduates in those days. Synopsys and Cadence were two of the most preferred destinations for EE and CS graduates from IITs and NITs in India and other schools around the world. Things appeared to have changed these days. They are no longer conservative in recruiting, simply because the need of the hour is grow big in number! They are a big company now. The freedom you enjoy in a smaller company is not pertinent when the company grow in proportions. These days, I tend to hear that Google culture is akin to the earlier Synopsys culture.

….and Synopsys should be really proud of their champion CEO Aart De Geus. He is truly a leader in every sense, someone who the industry trusts and every EE engineer would want emulate!

References:
[1] http://www.eetimes.com (article portion copy pasted below)
[2] Bernd’s home page http://bernd.reinkemeier.com/work.htm


EE Times: Design News
Synopsys builds supercomputer from Linux servers
EE Times
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Today, at Multan (in Pakistan) Brian Lara slaughtered the depleted Pakistani bowling attack on the way to Sunil Gavaskar’s record of 34 centuries in the five day version of cricket. Only Sachin Tendulkar ahead! With Tendulkar having age in his side (I expect him to play at least few more years, so should Lara! The former is 4 years younger than the latter). What a nice thing to have, these two star cricketers play, one right handed and one left handed!. I always loved to watch these two fine cricketers excel. To me Sachin Tendulkar is more of a complete player equipped enough to play well in all sort of conditions, while Lara is an absolute treat to watch, once he settle in on a decent (not so moving) batting track. He makes batting ridiculously easy and mind blowing to watch. The left handers elegance is something you can enjoy to the fullest extend when Lara on song. He is merciless at occasions. Look at this (poor Danish Kaneria) today!

End of over 83 (5 runs) – West Indies 255/2 

BC Lara   66* (57b 10×4 2×6)   Umar Gul   23-11-40-0
RS Morton   5* (9b 1×4)   Danish Kaneria   29-2-104-2
Long-on and a long-off in place
83.1 Danish Kaneria to Lara, FOUR, flat on the stumps, Lara steps out and lofts it straight down the ground, one bounce into the fence
83.2 Danish Kaneria to Lara, no run
83.3 Danish Kaneria to Lara, SIX, short ball outside leg stump, Lara rocks back and pulls it away high and over mid-wicket fence
83.4 Danish Kaneria to Lara, SIX, One more and this is high- Lara charges down the track and lofts it away high over the long-on fence, this is a massive hit and Lara is on a high
83.5 Danish Kaneria to Lara, SIX, Hat-trick of sixes! length ball and Lara steps out yet again and this time straight over the sight-screen, this is even bigger than the previous one, Lara is on a roll and this is really a treat to watch
83.6 Danish Kaneria to Lara, FOUR, Boundary to end the over! full toss, Lara steps out and puts it away over the mid-wicket fielder
26 runs off the over and Lara has moved into the 90’s off just 63 balls

This is not the first time he did something similar to a spinner. A certain South African spinner must be not so unhappy today, after seeing Danish Kanerias fate. Let us don’t, go into the irrelevant part of it. Man, Brian Lara has this uncanny ability to score high! …..when it rains it really pour from his bat…. He is surely a trend setter in this high scoring business. he is 197 not out at the end of play and surely on a game to score a double or perhaps a triple hundred. I am just hoping that he sails high tomorrow as well.

A lot of debate will once again sprout, on the argument “Who is better? Lara or Tendulkar?” Ricky Ponting is not very far, but I like to consider Lara and Tendulkar in a different league. Critics of these players would say that one is a match winner, the other is less attacking etc. The fact is that, the two legends are part of average cricketing teams (not so match winning bowlers and fielders to be precise). As a fan, I wouldn’t mind the team losing, but for these guys play a great innings, like the one today and Tendulakrs Chennai test against Pakistan. Isn’t it just so nice that we get to see a right hander and a left hander playing in the same era. Lara is 37 years and tendulakr 33 years. I hope Tendulkar take this as an appetite to score much more. If only he doesn’t care about winning or losing:-) I hope he play a little more care free in the coming days, as Lara often does. I often felt that Lara care little about the result and in the process produce some monumental innings.

We had been to Kumarakom recently on a 3 day holiday. How do I describe this place? Just so beautiful!. As a person who originally hail from this state (north Kerala), a place so green, clean and scenic is nothing new to me. Nevertheless, the back waters and the lovely climate around Kumarakom are just too good….and what about the house boats? Man, I find it hard to describe this place.

The Taj garden retreat is one of those silent, just meant for relaxing for any amount of time! I would recommend this place as a holiday destination. Simply silent and beautiful! No wonder Kerala is often termed the Gods own country. Kumarakom with its backwaters and scenic surroundings surely added colour to Kerala’s tourist attraction…and what is noteworthy is that…all natural here. Dont miss the ayurvedic spa either. For Rupees 1000 (about 25USD) you could have a good ayurvedic massage!

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