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Sherlock Ohms

Itís Not Us, Said the Hardware Hacks

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tekochip
User Rank
Platinum
Difficult to determine
tekochip   9/6/2013 8:57:40 AM
NO RATINGS
It's very often difficult to determine if a problem is caused by hardware or software.  I had a problem with an NXP processor that would crash whenever the I2C interface was turned on.  It sounds like software, but when all other tasks were halted and only the I2C ran, everything was fine.  OK, maybe I'm running out of execution time?  No, no problem there either.  NXP eventually sent out an errata that the Vdd bond wire in the chip had too large of a voltage drop and would crash when the processor was pulling a great deal of current.


laser_scientist
User Rank
Iron
Human nature
laser_scientist   9/6/2013 8:43:53 AM
NO RATINGS
Actually, I have seen this phenomenon in various other development situations, as well, except that you could replace "firmware team" and "hardware team" with "hardware module 1 team" and "hardware module 2 team". I think it's human nature (at least for the engineer/scientist humans) to make up your mind what the problem is, and then proceed as though your notion is the truth -- until proven otherwise. Which is exactly what the hardware engineers did in this case.

 

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Configuration Control
naperlou   9/5/2013 8:52:59 AM
NO RATINGS
Jason, configuration control and documentation are critical to ensuring that a design is correct and can pass from prototype to production.  When "patches" go undocumented, as you discovered with the evaluation board, then it becomes impossible to correctly configure the system.  Software has dealt with this situation for some time.  Frankly, I always thought hardware did as well.  Just goes to show...

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