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New AI-Powered Platform Aids Telecom Product Designers

IEEE DiscoveryPoint offers access to millions of documents

2 min read
A man and woman in a data center. He holds a laptop while they confer.
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Engineers designing communications products need access to information—the latest research, lists of parts and components, and technical standards to help ensure that their design will work seamlessly with others. But tracking down resources across multiple websites can be time-consuming, and the material might not be relevant or the sources could be questionable.

The new IEEE DiscoveryPoint for Communications platform aims to solve those problems by providing one-stop access to searchable, curated content from trusted sources on just about any telecommunications topic. Its library contains more than 1 million full-text research documents; 10,000 technical standards; 8,000 online courses; 400 ebook titles; 18 million parts and various solutions from manufacturers and distributors; and 1,100 industry and product news bulletins, blogs, and white papers.


The documents come from reputable organizations including AT&T, the IEEE Xplore Digital Library, F5 Networks, the International Telecommunication Union, River Publishers, Qualcomm, Verizon, and SMPTE.

“There’s nothing on the market right now that fully supports the workflow of the design engineer and that delivers all the information needed in one place,” says Mark Barragry, senior product manager for corporate markets at IEEE Global Products and Marketing.

In designing IEEE DiscoveryPoint, Barragry says, “We reconstructed the work process of a product design engineer and put together a set of resources that meet all the information needs they would have during a standard product-development cycle.”

Significant Resources

IEEE has a wealth of content for telecom designers, Barragry says. IEEE publishes nine of the 10 most-cited journals in telecommunications. More than 40 percent of U.S. patents related to telecommunications cite an IEEE publication. The organization also sponsors more than 7,000 conferences that focus on communications, networking, and broadcast technologies. And the IEEE Standards Association has developed more than 900 standards related to communications, including the popular IEEE 802.11 WiFi standard.

Barragry adds that design engineers who tested the platform before launch said they liked that it came from IEEE, a trusted source.

Search Algorithm

The subscription-based product’s intuitive search engine saves users time because it zeroes in on key concepts related to the topic they’re searching for. To get started, the user types a word, phrase, concept, the name of an author or company, or another term into the search bar. The search engine’s ranking algorithm analyzes the full text and the metadata of the documents to find relevant material.

The results are organized into channels and categorized by type of material, such as research papers, standards, books, or industry news. For each search result, a machine-learning feature examines the document and generates a short summary of key points, which get highlighted in the document.

Search results can be sorted by relevance or by time period, starting with the previous 90 days and going as far back as 10 years for journals and five years for conferences. The results also can be grouped, for example, by a publication’s name. Searches can be saved, and users can bookmark documents.

IEEE DiscoveryPoint also recommends content based on an automated analysis of the user’s reading activity during the previous 30 days. Users can set up email alerts for new content that fits their search criteria.

In one testimonial about IEEE DiscoveryPoint, a director of technology development said, “I really appreciated the thought that went into this product. It’s an unmet need for people like me.”

The subscription price is based on the size of the organization and how many engineers and technical professionals will be using it. To request a demo, complete this form.

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The First Million-Transistor Chip: the Engineers’ Story

Intel’s i860 RISC chip was a graphics powerhouse

21 min read
Twenty people crowd into a cubicle, the man in the center seated holding a silicon wafer full of chips

Intel's million-transistor chip development team

In San Francisco on Feb. 27, 1989, Intel Corp., Santa Clara, Calif., startled the world of high technology by presenting the first ever 1-million-transistor microprocessor, which was also the company’s first such chip to use a reduced instruction set.

The number of transistors alone marks a huge leap upward: Intel’s previous microprocessor, the 80386, has only 275,000 of them. But this long-deferred move into the booming market in reduced-instruction-set computing (RISC) was more of a shock, in part because it broke with Intel’s tradition of compatibility with earlier processors—and not least because after three well-guarded years in development the chip came as a complete surprise. Now designated the i860, it entered development in 1986 about the same time as the 80486, the yet-to-be-introduced successor to Intel’s highly regarded 80286 and 80386. The two chips have about the same area and use the same 1-micrometer CMOS technology then under development at the company’s systems production and manufacturing plant in Hillsboro, Ore. But with the i860, then code-named the N10, the company planned a revolution.

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