[time-nuts] Generating a solid PPS from 10Mhz source

Bob Camp kb8tq at n1k.org
Sat Jan 16 14:03:39 UTC 2016


> On Jan 16, 2016, at 3:00 AM, Hal Murray <hmurray at megapathdsl.net> wrote:
> kb8tq at n1k.org said:
>> The astonishing part of this “new world” is that a very complex chip that is
>> made in high volume is cheaper than a handful of less popular (but far less
>> complex) chips. 
> It would be interesting to see the die sizes.

Unlike the world of lithography, the dicing process has not made a lot of progress. 
Decades ago a 1mm x 1 mm die was about as small as you could get. From what 
I can see that has not dropped by more than a factor of two in 40 years (if at all).
Yes, there’s a lot more to it than just a dicing saw. Things like bond wire attach 
also figure in. It still takes a certain size bond wire to carry a practical amount 
of current …

The net result *could* be a process that does a gate or function  in < 1% of the available 
area. Everything else is just empty space along for the ride (or to provide attach 


> Another advantage of the CPU solution is that you can make a large class of 
> changes by just tweaking the software.  For example changing the input from 
> 10 MHz to 5 MHz or 1 MHz.  That's also a disadvantage - somebody has to write 
> the software.
> Adding software to a project adds another layer of management problems.  If 
> the software is really simple that's not much of a problem, you write it once 
> and debug it and then you don't have to fix any bugs.  But software easily 
> gets complicated which means bugs, and hardware guys are often poor at 
> software engineering and/or project management when software is involved.  
> (Software geeks are usually bad at it too.)
> -- 
> These are my opinions.  I hate spam.
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