Howdy Pierce

Encoders Aren’t Commodities

My partner Ben Mesander had a really cool post the other day: An H.264 encoder written in 30 lines of C code. Ben’s encoder outputs completely valid H.264, but it doesn’t actually compress anything. (What do you expect from 30 lines!) In fact, because of the necessary H.264 headers, the output of Ben’s encoder is…

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World’s Smallest H.264 Encoder

Recently I have been studying the H.264 video codec and reading the ISO spec. H.264 a much more sophisticated codec than MPEG-2, which means that a well-implemented H.264 encoder has more compression tools at its disposal than the equivalent MPEG-2 encoder. But all that sophistication comes at a price: H.264 also has a big, complicated…

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Howdy Pierce

More on Patents

I had intended to give the indemnification issue a rest. But then the following caught my attention this morning: One big difference between patents and other kinds of intellectual property, like copyrights and trademarks, is that patent-holders who want to sue someone for infringement don’t have to show that their patents or their products were…

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Howdy Pierce

Providing Indemnification for Patent Infringement

Cardinal Peak recently had an unfortunate “first”: We chose to walk away from a promising engineering engagement because we couldn’t reach agreement with our customer about an indemnification clause. Let me give a little background before diving into the issue. “Indemnification” technically is the legal obligation to compensate a business partner for losses that the…

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Tools to Help Find Memory Leaks

Previously, I wrote about my “golden rule” for reducing the prevalence of memory leaks in your code. One other easy way to prevent memory leaks is to actively seek them out during the development process, instead of waiting around for them to be reported to you as bugs. One good way to do this is…

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Mike Perkins

Delta Sigma Converters: Modulation

The web is filled with introductions to Delta Sigma modulation (also sometimes referred to as Sigma Delta modulation) in the context of Delta Sigma converters. Unfortunately, the ones I’ve looked at fail to intuitively motivate how the modulator works. Therefore, my goal in this post is to show how the structure of a first-order ΔΣ…

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