Algotronix offers wireless "design tag" for IP cores
May 25, 2007 //
Algotronix Ltd. (Edinburgh, Scotland), a consultancy spun out of Xilinx in 1998, is offering DesignTag, an active digital circuit element that can be designed-in to ICs and FPGAs and detected through-package by an external scanner.
LONDON Algotronix Ltd. (Edinburgh, Scotland), a consultancy spun out of Xilinx in 1998, is offering DesignTag, an active digital circuit element that can be designed-in to ICs and FPGAs and detected through-package by an external scanner.
The scanner detects the presence of tagged intellectual property within an operating integrated circuit, providing a mechanism to identify falsely labeled chips and supporting enforcement of IP core and CAD tool license agreements.
Single or multiple tags can be present in a single chip and the scanner can read the serial number of each tag and use a separate web-based database to find out about a tagged chip. Security mechanisms allow DesignTag users to control who can detect their tag or to restrict elements of the information stored in the web database.
According to Algotronix the use of wirelessly readable tags would allow providers of IP cores to increase recognition for their work and increase the value of their cores and businesses. At present chip labeling is done in ink at the final stages of manufacture and recognizes the IDM that physically makes the system-chip (SOC) or the maker of the FPGA, but not the IP contributors.
"Sometimes, even the IC supplier goes without credit as powerful customers insist on marking key chips with their own logo. FPGA chip packages are marked by the FPGA vendors not the creators of the circuit they implement," Algotronix states in a brochure produced to promote DesignTag.
Algotronix is also offering DesignTag as a way to transcend other inherent problems in human-readable ink marking of chip packages, such as fraudulent marking, faded marking, lack of space and the fact that FPGAs can change their contents and function in the field.
The Algotronix' "Red Tag" product is intended primarily for product identification and version control. The "Black Tag" is a hardened version of the DesignTag intended for covert use and detection of intellectual property misuse. Multiple Black tags can be associated with a single chip.
The tag is digital and requires no special analog components, Algotronix said. Already small and low power the tag can be configured to switch off a few minutes after the chip is powered on, to save additional power. The sensor is an off-the-shelf component and data can be collected using a digital multimeter with datalogging capability or, more conveniently, using a data logging unit supplied by Algotronix which connects directly to a computer running the Algotronix software via a USB cable.
Algotronix is developing a web database that integrates the tag scanning software to deliver additional information on tagged products.
Customers will have the option to associate datasheets or marketing materials with tagged chips or to provide background information on the design. Alternatively such information can be withheld to keep the design information private and secret.
DesignTag is due to be demonstrated at the Design Automation Conference in San Diego on booth 885.
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Internet of Things (IoT) manufacturer Ciseco has launched the Raspberry Pi ‘Wireless Inventors Kit’ (RasWIK), featuring 88 pieces to provide everything a Pi owner needs to follow a series of step-by-step projects or to create their own wireless devices, without the need for configuration or even writing code.
RasWIK has been designed to be highly accessible, demystifying the dark art of wireless and enabling anyone with basic computing skills to begin building wireless devices with a Raspberry Pi. You can create anything from a simple traffic light, to a battery monitor, or even a temperature gauge that sends data to the Xively IoT cloud so billions can access the data.This month, Ciseco is giving away twelve Raspberry Pi Wireless Inventors kits, worth £49.99 each for EETimes Europe's readers to win.
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In our previous reader offer, Farsens was giving away five kits for EEtimes Europe readers to evaluate its FenixVortex, Kineo and X1 wireless, battery free sensor tags.
Lucky winners include Mr A. Neil from the UK, Mr. E. Delvaux from Belgium, Mr Lengal from the Czech Republic, Mr H. Bijlsma from the Netherlands, and Mr G. Pfaff from Germany. All should be receiving their packages soon. Lets wish them some interesting findings with their projects.
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