Semiconductor IP News and Trends Blog
Rural Setting Lag May Lead to Future
No bars, but there might be bears! Rustic, rural settings allow one to step back several generations in terms of connectivity, allowing a disconnected brain to see into the future.
There were no bars! Zero. Zilch. No wonder my smart phone was strangely silent.
How would I make that call to loved ones announcing my safe arrival at the rustic Morrison Lodge on the Rogue River in Oregon? Modern cellular technology wasn’t available. Slowly, my eyes panned the small but surprisingly comfortable room, decorated in early 1930s forest green colors. Almost on instinct, my gaze fell upon the long forgotten shape of a dial-up telephone placed upon a night-stand. After a few fumbling tries at collect calling, I finally researched my party. The voice on the other end sounded distant but clear in the old way unique to analog technology.
It was a strange feeling to be so removed from today’s connected world. It gave me pause, time to remember an era when dial-up communication and black and white TV were considered high tech. Back then, few could conceive of a world more connected than an analog voice-box and B&W, low resolution video.
Today, most of us live in a world of almost unbelievable connectivity. In fact, a recent report from IHS iSuppli notes that, for the first time ever, OEMs will spend more on semiconductors for wireless devices than for computers. The age of connectivity is upon us.
But this level of instant, always-on communication and access to information was made possible by the amazing advances made in silicon electronics, from material science to extremely complex SoC design based upon reuse of intellectual property cores and everything in-between.
Many headlines have conjectured as to the progression of technology that will be available in the consumer world of tomorrow. Electronics may well be embedded into our bodies or, at the very least, become part of the fabric of our garments. Hand and face gestures will replace the clunky keyboard and mouse. Embedded sensors will be everywhere, providing users (and corporations) with an unimaginable amount of useful information about ourself’s and our friends.
All of these technological improvements will requires SoCs and embedded devices that use less power while providing more features. Semiconductor IP will be bundled into subsystems. Hardware will contain some pre-configured core processors while the rest will be endlessly reconfigurable. Software will be the differentiator.
All of these changes are happening now. Semiconductor IP seems to follow the general trends of abstraction, moving from lower (component) to higher (subsystem) levels. Subsystems will be necessary for continued growth in low cost, high performance communication systems.
Naturally, only early adopters use the latest leading edge technology. Stepping beyond the boundaries of any big city usually means returning to a less technological setting. Most rural locations will always be at least one technological generation behind the urban areas, giving the always-on high-tech users the opportunity to remember a less connected age. Being slightly disconnected may afford such users the opportunity to reflection upon where we’ve been and where we might be going.
Don’t try to call me today. I’ve gone fishing.