City of High Technology

When I worked for Hughes Aircraft they considered themselves to be the City of High Technology because they employed something like 30,000 people in El Segundo, CA. Amazing. Anyway, I’ve been working on a board design which is to work with an FPGA board and we powered it up today. The circuits we’ve looked at are working so far, but I misnamed a net on an address line which goes to a psuedo-static RAM (PSRAM). Fortunately, it can be re-configured in the FPGA, however a the PROM-JET header needed a wire-fix. Argh! I expect my designs to be perfect, first time. So, dumb mistakes like this drive me bonkers. It won’t prevent us from using and shipping the boards.

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3 comments on “City of High Technology

  1. Diane L says:

    The difference between my brain and yours is that what you wrote in your entry actually makes sense to you and even though I read it several times, I’m still not sure what it is that you designed! That is the stuff that drives ME bonkers 🙂 (but see, I guess it wasn’t packed in my suitcase!)

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  2. Kathy C says:

    Sounds like you’re sending a rocket into space or something like that. Would you paraphase this paragraph in the english language!

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  3. Steven L says:

    All righty, then. Uhmmm…. The CPU in your home PC is a CPU, and the modem chip on your PC mother board is a modem chip. Nether can do the other’s job. An FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) is a chip which, generally speaking, could do either, or both. The problem is that they are extremely expensive and require an external configuration memory circuit to make them useful. One thing which they are really good for is prototyping integrated circuits before going to production spending perhaps a million dollars for mask costs, etc. Our IC design team uses them and I have been working on a board which compliments the features of such a device allowing the use of many interfaces, such as USB (just like on your PC) or Ethernet, RS-232 and RS-484 (these are slow serial interfaces), parallel Flash ROM, SRAM (in this case PSRAM) which you add more of this to your PC when you want to upgrade your memory to 256 meg or 512 meg. I designed my own power circuits on the board circumventing those availble on the FPGA board. I “turned” the board in in a big hurry making an error on one of the address lines for the memory. Bummer. Not trying to be cute here,just thought I’d share what I was doing at work.

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