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Electronic Design


Flashback > 10 Years Ago

AUGUST 6, 1992
Because no one vendor can meet all design needs, users need to put together design environments that consist of multisourced tools. Whether these tools come from various suppliers or are developed in house, it's probable that they're incompatible. End users need a way to integrate tools in an environment that provides compatibility and interoperability, without fuss. That's where frameworks come in.

Unfortunately, there's a wide range of ideas about what frameworks should provide, ranging from net-list compatibility to total data and process management. The end result is a loose characterization that leaves many engineers wondering exactly what a framework is....

Many vendors have introduced frameworks to help solve the tool-integration problems. Often, however, frameworks from two different vendors address completely different sets of problems. For example, one may provide a unified data model and other common services for newly developed or modified tools, while another vendor offers mechanisms for tool invocation and the management of design files without tool modification. (Technology Analysis, p. 36)

Flashback > 25 Years Ago

AUGUST 2, 1977
An on-the-wrist gambling casino is the latest feature to be packaged into an LCD digital watch. Based on a random-number generator in the watch circuitry, three games are available simply by pressing a Game and a Display switch: Jack Pot, Dice, and Roulette.

Jack Pot displays three random numbers, from 1 through 6, to simulate the three spinning wheels of a slot machine. Dice displays two random numbers from 1 to 6 to imitate the roll of a pair of dice. Roulette winds up with a number from 1 to 36, as in the spinning of a roulette wheel. The watch is appropriately named the Monte Carlo. Gaming, timing, and other functions are controlled by four switches on the watch by Unitrex in New York City. One switch, the normal time display, is also used in playing the games. A second is the Game switch, which selects the three games.... A Light switch turns on back illumination for night viewing, while a Set switch is used to set the time.

All three games use the same pseudo-random generator.... In the Game modes, the normal timing logic is locked out and the random numbers are displayed. (News Scope, p. 25)

Flashback > 40 Years Ago

AUGUST 2, 1962
An experimental numeral reader, developed by the Advanced Systems Development Div. of International Business Machines Corp., is under evaluation...

The experimental reader, designed to recognize handwritten numbers, is the result of a program to transform source information into the coded input required for computers.

After a handwritten number is identified, holes are punched in an IBM card which then can be applied to conventional computer equipment.

The experimental reader... differs from conventional character-recognition ma-chines, which scan optically with a fixed routine.

The scanner in the new device follows the contour of the numeral with a moving beam of light. Analog voltages are generated and analyzed with special circuits employed to detect the important shape features of the scanned numeral. Numeral recognition can be accomplished despite a wide variation in handwriting style, numeral size, or shape of the number. (News, p. 24)

TAGS: Components
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