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April, 2018 - Vol 11, Issue 2
CEPD Broomfield and CEPD Loveland Offices
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In This Issue
IEEE Denver
IEEE High Plains Meeting
Spectre and Meldown
Quick Links

IEEE Denver Dine and Learn
by Ernest Worthman
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are two hot buzzwords today. Often they are used interchangeably but, under the covers, they are different. As they evolve, the differences will become more obvious.
The perception that they are often lead to some confusion. This presentation takes a look at these platforms, what they are, and how they differ.
Ernest Worthman is the Executive Editor of Applied Wireless Technology, a cutting-edge wireless digital magazine. Ernest has over 25 years of experience in high-tech print and online publishing as an Editorial Director, Technical Editor and high-tech writer. He has held several editorial positions across a number of high-tech publications including: Semiconductor Engineering's cybersecurity and Internet of Everything/ Everyone (IoX) channels, Editor of RF Design, Editorial director or Reed's Wireless group which included Wireless Design and Development and Fiber Optic Technology and several other editorial positions.
April 10, 2018
6:00-7:30 Appetizers, Networking and Dinner
7:30-9:00 Presentation
Rock Bottom Brewery,
Promenade Room
10633 Westminster Blvd #900
Westminster, CO 80020

Please register as space is limited.
Website IEEE Denver Events

IEEE High Plains Technical Meeting
Beginning with the inclusion of simple multiplier blocks at the 130nM process node, FPGA compute hardware solutions have continually evolved becoming more capable, flexible, and scalable with each generation. These embedded compute elements, together with high density RAM elements, flexible logic modules, and ubiquitous interconnect support implementation of extremely compute intensive algorithms in a power efficient manner.
Growing FPGA compute capabilities provide more options for implementation and more options to manage data flow and for partitioning complex compute operations between hardware and software. Algorithm Developers, Software Programmers, Embedded Programmers and FPGA Hardware Engineers can all contribute to this process and tool chains are evolving to support this collaboration. Complex systems also must be verified which drives the need for a more unified flow that supports all phases of the development process. Higher level tools have evolved to the point where there are several alternatives from which to choose.
Date May 17, 2018
Time 6:00-8:30
Rialto Center
Deveraux Room 2nd Floor
228 East 4th St.
Loveland, CO 80526

Please register as space is limited.
Website IEEE High Plains

Spectre and Meltdown Hardware Fixes Coming
Processor speeds have been improved over the years by reading ahead and then caching the code into fast memory. Further improvements were made by loading even likely branch code paths into cache memory.
On many processors, the speculative execution resulting from branch prediction may leave observable side effects in the cache, and execution timing may reveal private data such as passwords and keys to attackers (Spectre). There is also a race condition, which allows a process to bypass the normal privilege checks that isolate a process from caching data belonging to the operating system and other protected running processes (Meltdown).
Although these exploits had not yet appeared in viruses and malware, preemptive changes were made earlier this year to reduce the possibility. Operating system, application, and mother board providers are patching their programs to mitigate the vulnerabilities including:
  • Hardening browsers to prevent bounds check bypassing
  • Updating compilers to work around vulnerabilities, then recompile of OS and applications
  • Isolation of kernel and user mode page tables
  • Elimination of Branch Speculation by updating Motherboard Firmware
Unfortunately, these changes remove many of the speed advantages gained by predictive caching and branching and will significantly reduce the performance of your PC and phone.
Last month Intel announced that it will redesign its CPUs to help protect against the Spectre and related Meltdown vulnerabilities, for release later this year. It is possible that even if you upgrade, your performance won't be optimum until the software work around patches are removed by an update to sense the newer hardware. -DF
Reference Wikipedia
If you would like help developing a new product or if your projects are understaffed, CEPD can help. Our staff draws on years of diverse product design experience to provide creative and timely solutions for your product needs. Some of our specialties include:
  • Technical Project Management
  • Embedded Systems Hardware and Software
  • Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
  • Data Acquisition
  • Wireless Sensor and Telemetry Systems (Zigbee, Cellular, VHF, Bluetooth, ANT+, etc.)
  • IOT
  • Control Systems
  • Programmable Logic: FPGA / PLD
  • Analog Circuit Design
  • Switching Power Supply Design
  • Battery Charging (all Chemistries)
  • PCB Design and Layout
  • Analysis, Test and Documentation
We provide cost effective and expedient design options for our clients, regardless of the project's complexity.  Our detailed proposals, accurate estimates and time schedules will help you manage each phase of the project. 
The Staff of CEPD, Inc.
© 2018, CEPD, Inc.

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