Our blog focuses on sharing our experience and knowledge across a wide range of technologies and industries including hardware and software design, audio, video, internet of things, mobile application and signal processing technologies.

Minimizing Development Costs on Low- to Mid-Volume Products My last post suggested ways to reduce parts costs in a low- to mid-volume product. This post explores ways to keep development costs low while still creating a cost-effective product. You can’t escape the fact that it takes money to create a low-cost product. It is estimated that the first version of the iPhone had… View Article Details
Mike Perkins Thoughts on 3D After NAB I just returned from this year’s NAB show, where I was bombarded with 3D demos in virtually every booth. Most of the factors driving this 3D superabundance originate outside of the broadcast industry itself. First, TV manufacturers are hot on 3D as a way to get everyone who just bought an HDTV to upgrade to… View Article Details
Howdy Pierce Sniffing iPad Traffic Our engineering expert details how to capture and analyze all the network traffic flowing to and from a Wi-Fi-enabled device using a network sniffer. Details
Designing Low- to Mid-Volume Embedded Products Cost-Effectively I take it as a given that when a client approaches us with a new embedded product idea, they will require a very demanding set of features and a minimal price tag. The “minimal price tag” part always applies to the development effort required. For products with a hardware component, it also applies to the… View Article Details
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… View Article Details
World’s Smallest H.264 Encoder H.264 has a complicated specification with several options, many of which are not commonly used. So, I decided to write the simplest possible H.264 encoder. Details
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… View Article Details
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… View Article Details
Writing Defensive Code to Automatically Find Memory Leaks In an earlier post, I suggested making all your memory allocations go through a single routine, and deletions through another. When you centralize allocation and deallocation like this, you gain a couple of benefits. First of all, you make the memory allocation more explicit, which will tend to make programmers more careful. Second, you can… View Article Details
Mike Perkins Delta Sigma Converters: Filtering, Decimation and Simulations In my first post on ΔΣ converters I presented an intuitive way to derive the modulator portion of the converter. Now we need to look at what comes after the modulator — namely, the digital filter and the decimator. The high-level structure of the converter looks like this: The analog input voltage, v(t), is assumed… View Article Details
How To Find a Memory Leak Finding memory leaks and other problems in your code can be challenging, but there are tools available to help simplify that process. Remember to add time to your schedule so that you can apply the available tools for finding memory leaks and other problems. Details
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… View Article Details
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