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There are two ways to implement LED backlighting (see figure 1 ). In indirect or edge-lit backlighting, the LEDs are arranged at the edges of the screen. A light guide distributes the light uniformly across the display. This arrangement can be deployed with good optical uniformity in screen sizes up to 40”, and enables backlighting units with thickness of just 5-10 mm.

I’m pleased to learn that design and verification project groups have a new tool in the arsenal that will enable better hardware emulation results, greater efficiency, and increased productivity. SoC verification and hardware emulation are a great match.

— Dr. Lauro Rizzatti is a verification consultant. He was formerly General Manager of EVE-USA and its Vice President of Marketing before Synopsys’s acquisition of EVE. Previously, Lauro held positions in management, product marketing, technical marketing, and engineering. He can be reached at lauro@rizzatti.com.

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Testing of dual data-rate memory (DDR) devices and/or modules calls for careful application of some best practices for probing. There will also be cases where the use of chip interposers is called for. Heeding the advice provided in earlier posts on this topic will go a long way toward successful probing and testing.

With that said, there are also some things to watch out for. You can call them worst practices” if you like. These no-nos” can adversely impact measurement accuracy or even wreck your probing setup.

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The first item on the list is less of a worst practice and more of an item that should be carefully considered. Many solder-in probes are equipped with damping resistors (see Figure 1). The question is whether these damping resistors should be removed when accessing signal lines through a chip interposer.

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If the probes terminate into the interposer without the damping resistors, one benefit is slightly better signal fidelity. AC response accuracy should improve by about 3% and DC gain accuracy goes up by about 4%. A comparison of eye diagrams of a DDR interface done with and without the damping resistors shows the marginal improvement (see Figure 2).

Obviously, the world has changed, with many companies being bootstrapped, lacking the resources for this proven marketing strategy. Scarce funds are now reserved for product development and sales. Customer support, news releases, articles, whitepapers, and case studies are still valued.

The main motivation for rollout campaigns is no longer the articles they might generate in online publications, but the fresh information they bring to a company’s website and the boost they provide search engine optimization (SEO) results. Blogging and social media are now essential components of a balanced marketing strategy.

I contend, however, that the two-phase strategy still makes sense. In fact, there’s no reason not to implement it in a well-conceived, cost-effective marketing program employing a variety of elements including SEO, blogging, and social media.

Another important aspect of marketing is product marketing. In the early stages of a company’s development, this means product definition — in other words, helping the engineering team understand and solve the customer’s problem, and then succinctly articulating the company’s position.

Once again, the lack of funding has profoundly changed the dynamics of product marketing in startups. Technologists who witnessed the shortcomings of existing solutions now found most startups. They may have been on the user side or on the supply side, but they recognized the need and the opportunity to develop a better solution. Given its deep understanding of the target market, the founding team is unlikely to enlist the help of a marketing team.