Technical Marketing

Embedded Vision Alliance Forms to Catalyze Practical Applications of Computer Vision

A new industry association, the Embedded Vision Alliance, is being formed to help embedded system designers harness computer vision in their products.  BDTI, which has initiated the partnership, believes that computer vision—extracting meaning from images and video—is poised to proliferate into a wide range of applications in the next few years. The success of the Microsoft Kinect—which has become the fastest-selling consumer electronics device in history, selling 10 million units in its first Read more...

Case Study: Benchmarking PowerPoint Processors

Processor designers know that a cycle-accurate simulator can be used to benchmark a processor that has not yet been fabricated. But many designers don’t realize that it’s also possible to benchmark an idea for a processor, a processor that may exist only in PowerPoint slides—and that there are good reasons for doing so. As BDTI’s president Jeff Bier wrote in a recent column, BDTI has seen a number of cases in which a processor vendor used BDTI’s benchmarks on its fully-designed processor, Read more...

Jeff Bier’s Impulse Response—Avoiding Accidental Stealth Mode

Recently I realized that I hadn’t heard a peep out of a certain embedded processor vendor in quite some time. Usually my colleagues and I at BDTI hear from processor vendors on a regular basis for new product briefings, but it had been almost a year since we’d heard anything from this particular vendor.  The lack of communication made me wonder – what are they up to? Are they still developing new products? I called one of my contacts there to see if I could get a pulse.  It was hard to get a Read more...

Case Study: Improving Products and Product Announcements—Cost-Effectively

We all know that test marketing is the best way to see if a product meets buyers’ needs.  Household and consumer product manufacturers test their products with a select test market as a matter of course.  They use test marketing as a rehearsal for product introduction and to avoid disasters.  For technology developers and vendors, test marketing can be just as valuable, but finding the right test market can be tricky.  After all, the right test market is the target market—and when this is the Read more...

Case Study: Maximize Press Coverage of Your Product

Unless you’re announcing a laptop that runs off body heat or similar epochal breakthrough, it’s hard for technology companies to get media attention.  And when a product does get editorial coverage, it’s even harder to distinguish what’s true from the infomercials.  With every announcement claiming “better,” “new,” and “breakthrough,” what will grab legitimate attention?  One ingredient of a successful announcement, PR professionals agree, is compelling data. In 2007, an early-stage chip Read more...

Case Study: “Your Mileage May Vary:” Creating Reliable Comparisons of IP Cores

An attractive attribute of licensable processor cores is the flexibility chip designers have to adapt these cores to their chosen fabrication process, cell library, tool flow, logic synthesis goals and other conditions.  In other words, chip designers can tune the core to the needs of a particular application and to their preferred chip design methodology.  An unfortunate side effect of this flexibility is that it can be extremely difficult to make apples-to-apples comparisons between Read more...

Case Study: Creating Super-efficient Embedded Software

Digital signal processing algorithms are increasingly important in an expanding range of embedded systems. For example, compute-intensive multimedia functions are finding their way into applications from toys to appliances to telephones. As a result, a growing number of system developers face a daunting challenge:  delivering implementations of DSP algorithms that are sufficiently optimized to meet demanding MIPS, memory, and cost requirements while also meeting aggressive schedules.  DSP Read more...

Case Study—Optimizing Presentations, Products, and Plans

The best way to ensure that a presentation is effective is to test it with a knowledgeable, critical, and responsive audience. A test audience can also help ensure that the content is correct, relevant, and appropriate for the intended audience. Just as important, a test audience can help presenters gauge the clarity, appeal, and impact of their pitch. After all, superb technical content serves no purpose if the audience loses interest a few minutes into the presentation. BDTI analysts can Read more...

Case Study: Custom Benchmark Analysis—Making the Numbers Work For You

Processor designers, marketers, and users with a sophisticated understanding of benchmarks know that raw benchmark results rarely give the most accurate picture of processor performance for a specific application scenario.  While useful for providing a general impression of processor capabilities, raw benchmark results must be adapted to give a clear sense of how processors will perform in a particular application. For example, one large manufacturer of wireless equipment relies on BDTI DSP Read more...

Case Study: Early Benchmarking Yields Better Products

Chip and IP vendors typically utilize benchmarks for marketing purposes—specifically, to demonstrate the capabilities of their products to prospective customers.  But processor vendors that use benchmarks for marketing purposes alone are missing half the picture:  during the design of a processor, subsystem, or chip, good benchmarks are invaluable for ensuring that the design is as good as it can be. Just as a carpenter needs accurate measurement tools to build a quality piece of furniture Read more...