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Manuel Sanchez
Interpreting manufacturers’ datasheets

Interpreting manufacturers’ datasheets

We’ve all heard the phrase that timing is everything. Nowadays, the buses that connect, for example, processors to main memory require very precise timing, in the order of tenths of nanoseconds. Manufacturers provide all this information in their datasheets, but it needs to be combined with the appropriate Input/output Buffer Information Specification (IBIS) models and PCB (printed circuit...

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Security holes in modern processor hardware

Security holes in modern processor hardware

A few months ago (January 2018), the media reported breaking news of alleged security failures for Intel and ARM processors. In order to understand these “weaknesses”, and before briefly describing the nature of these “security holes”, we need to list some of the common characteristics shared by modern processors. One of the features of present-day computers that provides security is the...

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Power electronics in telecommunication equipment

Power electronics in telecommunication equipment

The application of power electronics to communications devices has to do with the processing of the electrical input power using semiconductor devices and reactive elements. Thus, the raw input power is processed according to a control input that conditions the output power. This conditioning can be carried out by DC/DC converters - that convert the DC input voltage into another DC voltage with...

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The path has been cleared to make way for DRAM

The path has been cleared to make way for DRAM

Our analysis of the evolution of memory begins in the dynamic memory era, that is, with dynamic random access memory (DRAM). Without going into technology specifics such as the structure of a memory cell, the distinguishing characteristics of DRAM versus SRAM (static RAM) are basically twofold: (1) the full address is usually presented to SRAM just once, while it is multiplexed to DRAM, first...

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Control structures for modern microprocessors

Control structures for modern microprocessors

Since the advent of computers a large variety of processors with different instruction set architecture (ISA) have been developed. Their design commenced with the definition of the instruction set and culminated in the implementation of the microarchitecture that complied with the specification. During the eighties interest was centered on determining the most desirable features of that set. In...

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