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Posts Tagged ‘semiconductors’

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

 

Frying Fish with Amelia Dalton

Monday, September 19th, 2011

I (Liz Massingill) recently had a chance to chat with Amelia Dalton, News Editor at EE Journal and host of the weekly webcast, Fish Fry.  She shared her thoughts on the future of EE Publishing and EDA.


Liz: You must have the most unique feature in EE publishing – your weekly webcast on EE Journal.   How did you come up with the idea of Fish Fry?

Amelia: I’ve been hosting an engineering webcast series called Chalk Talk for about five years now.  Chalk Talk has been really successful and has grown a huge fan base, but it is a commercial series where a company sponsors each episode, and I wanted to do something more editorial that had the same sense of humor and spirit as Chalk Talk.  I’m the news editor for EE Journal, so every press release in the electronic industry comes across my desk.  As you know – a few of these press releases are interesting and useful, and some are completely ridiculous and quite funny.

Liz: But I’m sure you’ve never gotten one of those from us, right?  ;-)

Amelia: I came up with the idea for an engineering news-related podcast as a fun-finale to our editorial week.  I wanted to report the interesting real news, and to make fun of some of the…  less useful stuff.

Liz: Your irreverent humor has certainly appealed to me.

Amelia: I wanted to capture some of the engineering culture and something about the lifestyle and the more human side of engineers.  I envisioned something for electronic engineers that was like a combination of “The Daily Show” and “This American Life.”  I also wanted to build in a good measure of nerd appeal.  I’ve kept pretty true to that concept for the first year of Fish Fry.

Liz: So who is your target audience?

Amelia: My target audience is definitely the career electronic engineer, but as it is with the rest of our editorial content at EE Journal, I want my Fish Fry broadcasts to be approachable for anyone who works in EE and maybe even those ultra-nerdy friends of mine!  One of the things we’ve always worked to do is make complex technology accessible for less technical people and to put the deep-nerd stuff in perspective for the hard-core engineering brain.  I think Fish Fry captures that. 

Liz: Indeed it does.  How have they reacted to your on-air persona?  For me, that’s the draw that keeps me coming back!

Amelia: The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.  I think my on-air persona is a big part of that, as well as the slightly irreverent take we have on technology news! I very diligently try to put myself in the place of the “average” engineer and investigate each topic I pursue from that angle.  It doesn’t hurt to throw in the occasional Star Trek reference either.

Liz: Beam me up, Scotty.  Tell us about your background before Fish Fry?

Amelia: Not many people know this, but my father was a voice over talent and radio DJ for many years when I was a child.  I heard “Member FDIC” more times than I could count!  Before we launched Fish Fry, I had been News Editor and Chalk Talk webcast host for 5 years at Techfocus Media, which I continue to do to this day and that experience has been absolutely invaluable.

Liz: What interests you most about EDA?  Or does it?

Amelia: EDA is a very unique industry and I definitely think it doesn’t get the credit it deserves – or it’s share of the electronics industry pie.  It is really the backbone of the modern electronics industry, but your average consumer may not even know EDA exists and your average engineer may not know much about it, other than the tools he or she is already familiar with.

Liz: I know one of those engineers.  What can we do about that?

Amelia: One of the things I try to do is to help the average engineer – who is the customer of the EDA industry – better understand the companies and people behind the tools they are using every day.  I think it’s easy to expect EDA tools to cost and behave just like mass-market commercial software, but EDA tools are a completely different thing.  I can’t give EDA the revenue share it deserves – they need to figure that out on their own, but I can at least raise the awareness of the importance of EDA and the challenges that industry faces among their target customers.

Liz: And believe me, we all appreciate that. What is your opinion of the social media craze and its influence on the EDA industry or the EE industry?   How has social media influenced or altered editorial and communications in general in EDA and the EE industry?

Amelia: Engineers have been using social media for a lot longer than this most recent craze, truth be told. If you think about it – Usenet was the first social media, and engineers were using that voraciously before the web even existed.  I think a large community of engineers are still rooted in those venues and haven’t been so fast to make the move to newer properties like Facebook and Twitter.

Liz: What do you think is holding them back?

Amelia: I think most EDA companies think they should be involved in some level of social media, but they are not sure how to start.  There are some intrinsic problems with EE and social media, and the biggest is the lack of information that companies (and the engineers who work for them) are allowed to divulge.  The center of social media is about sharing information, and since NDAs, project secrecy, IP protection, and paranoia rule the roost at most companies, I’m not sure the EE community at large is able to take advantage of a lot of the community power of social media – at least for direct work-related content.  To make things even more complicated, a lot of companies still block social media sites on their company networks.  Engineers will still find ways to share information, though, whether it includes personal Facebook accounts or anonymous posts like what is found at John Cooley’s Deep Chip…But overall, I believe that social media as we see it today will have an altogether different role within EE than it does to the rest of the world.  Our philosophy on social media has been to be all-inclusive.  When I post a new Fish Fry, for example, we generally put it on the front page of EE Journal, in the e-mail newsletters, on facebook, on twitter, on RSS, and we provide a mobile version.  We want to cover all the bases.  I think we dropped the 2-cans and a string version just a couple of weeks ago.

Liz: What about the pigeon and the message in a bottle? ;-)  What does the future hold for EDA?

Amelia: Well, that’s a very good question!  I believe that the business model for EDA as a whole needs to see some serious changes in the future…when that will happen, well, I’m not sure I can predict that.  I can see how more smaller niche tool companies will be snatched up by the bigger fish, so they can have more robust tool offerings, but I think we need to see more real innovation from inside the big EDA companies as well.

Liz: Do you see other types of companies gobbling up small EDA vendors?

Amelia: I also see chip companies snatching up smaller tool companies as well, to add to their tool suites, so that is providing some competition for commercial EDA companies that they haven’t seen much in a few decades – in-house tools competing with commercial ones…  Who will be left when the dust settles, who knows?…it will be very interesting to watch it all unfold.

Liz: Along with a plethora of editorial material.  Speaking of editorial, what’s your 2 cents on EE publishing.  Where’s it going?

Amelia: I believe EE publishing is going to be an online only endeavor in the near future.  As we have made our mission from the start here at Techfocus Media, I think the electronics industry trade press needs to continuously find new avenues to reach the EE community of the world.  Publishers must be flexible with content delivery as they maintain editorial intergity.  I am deeply concerned by the number of publications that have fallen back re-writing press releases, relying on contributed articles, and the “pay for play” mode of editorial and I am very proud that EE Journal has never and will never go that way.  I believe that we, as the trade press need to report the truth wherever it may lay, and to be loyal to our audience.  Publishers need to find ways to make a viable business for themselves without violating those underlying principles of responsible and ethical journalism.  It’s possible, and taking the easy short cuts is just plain lazy.

Liz: I like the way you think, Amelia.  And I think I’ve just been…….fried.

 

If you want to be fried, you can catch Amelia every week on Fish Fry at:

http://www.eejournal.com/archives/fish-fry/


 

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