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Posts Tagged ‘EDA & IP’

Predictions 2012 – Power Optimization at EDA Forefront, Radiation Tolerance at 28nm

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

On the ASIC/SoC side of the fence: Reducing power consumption is becoming increasingly important — I anticipate that this is the year that power will finally come to the forefront of EDA tools — I know that they optimize for power now, but largely as a second thought — like synthesis, for example, optimizes first for area and timing and then for power – I think we’ll see a move to optimize for power as a primary consideration.

On the FPGA side of the fence: As we move to the 28nm node and below, radiation is increasingly of concern with regard to electronic devices. It’s no longer just of interest for aerospace applications — at these low device geometries, radiation can affect chips in terrestrial applications. FPGAs are particularly susceptible because in addition to their normal logic and registers and memory cells they also have configuration cells. In the past, the only radiation-tolerant FPGAs were antifuse based — but these are only one-time-programmable (OTP) and trail the leading edge technology node by one or two generations. SRAM-based FPGAs offer many advantages in terms of reconfigurability and being at the leading edge of technology, but they are more susceptible to radiation events in their configuration cells. My prediction is that we will see more and more efforts from FPGA chip vendors and EDA tool vendors with regard to creating radiation-tolerant designs.

On the personal side of the fence: I predict that people will come to realize that what the world needs is a book about creating radiation-tolerant electronic designs that can be read and understood by folks who DO NOT have a PhD in nuclear physics – a book that is of interest to the people who design silicon chips (both analog and digital), the people who create EDA tools, the companies who manufacture the chips, and even software engineers (have you heard of “radiation tolerant software”?). I further predict that someone will finally realize that I am the best person to write this book and will approach me with a really great sponsorship deal that will bring tears of delight to my eyes :-)

Clive “Max” Maxfield
Maxfield High-Tech Consulting
Editor, Programmable Logic DesignLine, EE Times
www.CliveMaxfield.com

 

Predictions 2012 – 2.5D

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

A number of 2.5D IC designs will hit the market and demonstrate both the value of 2.5/3D technology as well as the importance of powerful and user-friendly tools for “Pathfinding”, to quickly identify the best (lowest cost) implementation alternative.

Herb Reiter
President
eda 2 asic Consulting, Inc.
www.eda2asic.com

 

Predictions 2012 – Synopsys and Magma

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

I believe that 2012 will be a challenging, but very interesting year. The pressure on the big EDA companies will definitely increase. Pressure coming from the shareholders, and from the users, who can play one against each other due to comparable offerings. From a technical point of view, the challenges keep rising at an even faster pace and less solutions are provided. I expect that the Synopsys/Magma merger will go through, which will take away an important piece of variety in the community. Consequently, this will increase the consideration of alternative solutions. This in return will help to improve or establish collaboration between EDA companies, leaders and smaller ones, and we might see teaming ups of some of the smaller ones to assemble packaged solutions to well-defined problems instead of proposing point tools. Despite this optimism, I expect that a lot of the smaller EDA tool providers will need to think out of the box in the future to survive.

Mathias Silvant
CEO
EdXact SA
www.edxact.com

 

Predictions 2012 – 3D a-coming

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Industry pressure is growing to deliver more mainstream 2.5D and 3D stacked die semiconductor products within the next 1-2 years, driven by the need to improve I/O bandwidth, reduce power consumption, and optimized choice of process technologies for different portions of a complex SoC.  It is therefore quite possible that 2012 will see one of the large mainline EDA vendors broadly announce a full “platform” product suite targeting the design of 2.5D and 3D stacked die making use of through-silicon-vias (TSV’s).  This design platform would likely incorporate tools from value-added niche vendors, and be endorsed in a large foundry reference flow.  Open standards will later expand the range of choice and interoperability over time.

Steve Schulz
President and CEO
Si2
www.si2.org

 

Predictions 2012 – Wither Magma?

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

One lingering question for 2012 is what will become of the Magma back-end platform?  I predict that Synopsys will phase out the Magma Talus platform in favor of ICC.  Why? It makes no sense for Synopsys to continue to field and support two different systems although it is likely that there will be some transfer of technology into ICC.  Converting the existing Talus user base over to ICC is no small task and will likely take several years to complete as well as require incentives and utilities to move the existing base over to the Synopsys platform.

Timing verification is another story. Synopsys will capitalize on the acquisitions of Extreme and Magma to leverage the technologies in those products to develop and deliver the next generation PrimeTime platform. Once they complete this, they will have re-solidified their position as the industry golden standard in static timing verification.

It will be very interesting to see how the consumer-driven SoC market will evolve.  SoCs used to be comprised of a processor, memory, various IP blocks, and the on-chip infrastructure needed to support them such as clock, power and communications channels.  Now SoCs have multiple processors, large numbers of IP blocks, multiple on-chip communications channels and multiple memories. In essence, today’s SoCs are comprised of multiple SoCs as we used to define them.

The 2012 SoC will beget big challenges in design and even more so in verification. IP will become more important.  And even though hardware performance and power will matter, system design and software will become the differentiating items.

SoC system design and verification will be especially active, because it is what the system does that really counts.   (After all, the point of building an SoC is to deliver a winning end product.) To a great extent that will require a huge software and verification effort — under the schedule pressures that come from a hugely competitive consumer products market.

Bob Smith
Industry Consultant
rpsmith1403@comcast.net

 

Predictions 2012 – Ansys, Dassault in EDA?

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

In 2012, we will see a bigger presence from companies like Ansys and Dassault giving much competition to the big three.  Cases in point are the Ansoft and Apache acquisitions by Ansys. We thus might see further consolidation among the top EDA companies. To handle some of the pressure, I do believe the big three will once again realize the need for new ideas and begin to look further into acquiring new and cool technology earlier.

Jens C. Andersen
CEO
Invarian, Inc.
www.invarian.com

 

Predictions 2012 – Consolidation

Monday, January 16th, 2012

I think that there will continue to be consolidation in the EDA industry. At each process node, fewer and fewer designs ship in high enough volume to recover the enormous investment in bringing them to market, which is a bad trend for EDA. Several companies in the ecosystem will go public if the market conditions remain favorable: eSilicon, Tensilica, Atrenta. Although, as with Apache, they may get acquired at the last minute (at high valuations). Mentor may get acquired, or sell off some business lines.

Paul McLellan
Blogger, semiwiki.com
www.semiwiki.com

 

Predictions 2012 – Standards and Social Media

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

This year, we’ll see an old standards battle get resolved. Now that all the players are participating in the IEEE Standard 1801 project (IEEE Standard for Design and Verification of Low Power Integrated Circuits), we can finally put the UPF-CPF debate to rest. Let’s hope that peace will reign and the temptation to fight one more time about a single low power standard will be overcome.

Social media will become less of a curiosity or a perceived waste of time for engineers. We’ll see more EDA customers helping answer each other’s questions and sharing more information (nothing proprietary, of course). LinkedIn discussions will have more depth, not simply people posting “read my blog”.

Facebook will remain more of a social vehicle, and for many engineers of our generation, a misunderstood channel. YouTube videos that provide good content – “how-to” and learning opportunities – will become popular. Twitter will remain a mystery for most, while a minority will find it of much value (include me in the minority). Marketers who spam social media channels with marketing-speak will be shunned. And, we’ll have some great guests on Conversation Central radio.

Karen Bartleson
Sr. Director, Community Marketing
Synopsys, Inc.
@karenbartleson
www.synopsys.com/blogs/thestandardsgame
President-Elect, IEEE Standards Association

 

Predictions 2012 – Mergers and 3D

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

And the predictions begin……

 

With regard to “Events” – 2012 will be a year of further acquisition and consolidation for both the EDA and IP industries.  Some new faces will join the dance, with significant resources at their disposal. It is likely the “Big 3″ will have at least one new name in a year’s time.

With regard to “Breakthroughs” – it’s a different story.  3D stacked-die design still won’t be mainstream in a year’s time.  True hardware/software co-design will still be a developmental area and verification will still be as hard as ever.  Many panels, blogs, seminars and special conference sessions will debate these topics throughout the year with great hope and excitement, however.

Mike Gianfagna
Vice President of Marketing
Atrenta Inc.

http://www.atrenta.com/


 

 

Will it be the end of the world or just shrinking EDA? Mystics Muse about Money, Mergers and Multiple SoCs

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

 

Step aside Nostradamus and Mayans.  The real earth-shattering events of 2012 could take place in the EDA & IP industries.  We asked industry friends, associates, clients and media folks to ponder what industry-shattering events or breakthroughs we might see in EDA & IP this coming year.

So what topics came up?  Consolidation of the industry; standards; various technologies, 3D being the most discussed; even one man’s blatant personal goal.  :-)

We heard the word “challenge” a lot, for the big vendors and the smaller companies.  So will two foundry-led EDA mega-companies duke it out with a third mega-company, as one diviner foretold?   Tough to tell how tongue-in-cheek his prophesy was.

So we’ll post the visionary comments of one individual at a time, in the order they came into us.  We found them enlightening and even entertaining!  We hope you do too.

 

Liz and Ed

 

DownStream: Solutions for Post Processing PCB Designs
Verific: SystemVerilog & VHDL Parsers
TrueCircuits: UltraPLL



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