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Posts Tagged ‘semiconductors’

Real RTL Signoff™ is a Comprehensive Signoff

Monday, March 17th, 2014

RTL Signoff is certainly one of the hot topics in chip design circles lately, and one that is garnering great interest and concern.  I chatted recently with Piyush Sancheti, VP of Marketing at Atrenta, on what it is, why it’s a design imperative, and how it should be done.

Liz:  Piyush, thanks for taking the time out to chat with me today on this vital topic…RTL Signoff.

Piyush:  No problem, Liz

Liz:  So, to start out, what is RTL Signoff?

Piyush:  “RTL Signoff” gained momentum as an established concept in 2013. While the concept is not new, a commonly-accepted definition did not exist in the past, which is now beginning to emerge.  Here’s what I think RTL Signoff is: a comprehensive series of well-defined MUST-pass requirements for your RTL before you commit the design to downstream implementation such as synthesis and physical layout. In addition to this complete set of RTL Signoff requirements, you need tools and methodologies to meet the requirement, along with tangible metrics to measure your pass/fail criteria.

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HOW will EDA/IP get beyond the horizon?

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

Brian Fuller -­ editor in chief of the now-lamented EE Times during its best years ­- and I were talking about it being great that there are these predictions about where EDA/IP is going in 2014. Chris Rowen’s wrap up prediction talked about EDA’s need to move beyond component – level focus. Chris isn’t alone in this idea.

The question is:  HOW will EDA/IP get beyond the component level and start looking at what’s beyond the 25-year EDA horizon and how EDA can and must add value.

Brian and I would love to hear what readers out there think…..

Does EDA & IP need to go beyond?

Where does it need to go?

And how will it get there?

How do software and hardware come together?

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Software is beginning to take on a bigger role in the SoC design world.  How do we get to SW-HW co-verification? This topic was the center of discussion at a private event last week co-located with DVCon.  The event, hosted by Jim Hogan and sponsored by Vayavya Labs Pvt. Ltd., included a panel discussion with Frank Schirrmeister (Cadence), Tomas Evensen (Xilinx) and Parag Naik (Saankhya).  George Lotridge of VMware and Michael Bair of Intel also gave presentations. Click here for the presentations. (more…)

Predictions 2014: Chris Rowen talks EDA and IP….and Beyond

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

For our final entry to this series, let me just reiterate our original question…..

What do EDA and IP (as an industry) need to do in 2014 to serve its user base better?

Chris Rowen, Cadence Fellow and Tensilica Founder, will wrap it up with his word on the subject.

“What does the EDA and IP industry need to do in 2014? Simply put, we need to move past EDA.

Let me explain. As an industry, we’re not just about ‘how’ you design something; we’re increasingly about ‘what’ you design.

This comes amid the relentless march of design complexity. It also comes as companies reconsider their position in the electronics ecosystem to try to deliver more value for customers.

For instance, semiconductor vendors are considering where they best fit into the design spectrum and they’re also looking farther upstream to understand market requirements of their customers’ customers. IP providers, for their part, are looking upstream to understand marketing technology requirements better and re-engineering their business models.

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Predictions 2014: Sumit DasGupta on ensuring a vibrant semiconductor industry

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Retired senior vice president of Si2, Sumit DasGupta, imparts his sage view on what the semiconductor, EDA and IP industries should focus on to ensure a vibrant semiconductor industry for 2014. 

“As the new year rolls out, there are promises and associated challenges that the semiconductor industry faces that need attention to ensure the vibrancy of the industry, even as the industry struggles to stay on the Moore’s law trajectory.

First in my list is the area of 2.5D and 3D integration, an area of great promise but with significant challenges. Much has been touted about these approaches as ways to deliver “More than Moore” but it appears to this observer to be advancing at a pace that is slower than hoped for. It seems to be just another year away from full production. But now, enough said, 2014 needs to be the year when much greater focus must be applied to get at least 2.5D technology into mass production. This is not a transitory approach to 3D but rather should last longer in its own right as a very viable technology sitting alongside 3D as 2 approaches to semiconductor integration. 3D still has challenges to be addressed but here again, greater focus needs to be applied to ramp up to full production in 2015.

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Predictions for 2014: Warren Savage on the IoT era

Monday, February 24th, 2014

 

Next up in our series of predictions Warren Savage, President and CEO of IPextreme, shares with us what he sees in his crystal ball for 2014.  

“As the door closes on a successful 2013 for most companies in the semiconductor industry, the outlook for 2014 is bright as we see an explosion of new devices in the so-called “Internet of Things” era.  Google’s recent $3.2B acquisition of Nest is indicative that this market will soon eclipse the smart phone/tablet era (aka the post-PC era).  The IoT era will bring with it a range of new opportunities for semiconductor companies to exploit that are not mega-devices, but small, specialized technologies that enable opportunities in adjacent markets, like software and data analysis. There may be at least one semiconductor company that exploits this secondary and/or tertiary source of revenue. (more…)

Predictions 2014: Bob Smith on the watchword for the semiconductor industry

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Bob Smith, Senior VP Marketing & Business Development at Uniquify, shared with us his predictions for semiconductor IP in 2014.

“If 2014 has a watchword for the Semiconductor Industry, it would be momentum and that would be a result of the rapidly increasing use of IP in SoC designs. Add on the mushrooming need for ‘adaptive’ IP to mitigate timing and variation challenges in complex SoCs as performance issues multiply and process geometries shrink.

Moves within the DDR memory space continue to rock the industry and create momentum. Designers are heading directly to the latest JEDEC standard LPDDR4 (low-power DDR4) and moving beyond (or even skipping) LPDDR3 because they’re getting greater gains in performance and low power, an important consideration for mobile applications.

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Predictions 2014: Mike Demler on the ecosystem triad

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Next up in our series of predictions is the astute insight of Mike Demler, Senior Analyst with The Linley Group & MICROPROCESSOR report, and former EDA & Chip Design news analyst.  

“It’s all about the ecosystem triad: EDA + foundry + IP.  Cadence and Synopsys continue to evolve more in the IP direction, and there is really not much to say about the tools that hasn’t been said for a long time —just make it all work together!  Redundant “standards” and artificial barriers to interoperability cost the semiconductor industry by lowering productivity.  This is the problem with the disaggregated model. Back in the days when “real men” had fabs, companies could develop complete design flows without such obstacles.

The triad needs to work together to get over the stall inMoore’s Law at 28nm.  Foundries are incurring delays in getting to 16/14nm FinFETS, and almost nobody is going to use 20nm. The chip industry needs an overall lower-cost solution in order to make sub-28nm processes economically viable.  Forget 3D ICs, those will be niche products for a long time, about as popular as 3D TV.

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Predictions 2014: Bryon Moyer on what’s needed from IP and EDA

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

 

Bryon Moyer, Technology Editor at EE Journal, weighs in on what the chip industry needs from EDA and IP in 2014. 

“At the low level, this is going to be the year where the push and pull between EDA companies and users determines how easy FinFETs are to design with.

At the high level, it feels to me like IP and EDA need to come closer together. For years, logic design has been done using text because higher-level languages allow better design abstraction and productivity for hand-crafted designs than prior schematic approaches did. When IP entered the scene, designs were mostly hand-done, with occasional bits farmed out to IP. But now IP dominates, whether internal or third-party. Rather than having a custom-logic paradigm that accommodates IP, it feels like we need to move more to an IP paradigm that accommodates custom logic. And it’s not just about logic either: mixed signal is everywhere, and should be included more seamlessly.”

 

Predictions 2014: Brian Bailey on a new opportunity for EDA

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

 

Next up is Brian Bailey, Technology Editor/EDA, for Semiconductor Engineering, who has shared his forecast for EDA in 2014. 

“Over the next couple of years there will be an increase in ASIC starts, but not all of these will be for the latest technology nodes or be the massive chips we have come to expect. The new starts will be smaller chips that form the leaves of the Internet of Things, things such as sensors with small amounts of processing and communications. They will be targeting older processes, such as 90nm. Margins on these devices will be slim but volumes high. I see the designers of these products requiring a different mix of capabilities in their EDA tools and different price points. It may create an interesting opportunity for the second tier EDA companies to become significantly bigger.”

Kilopass



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