Peggy Aycinena is a freelance journalist and Editor of EDA Confidential at www.aycinena.com. She can be reached at peggy at aycinena dot com.
January 27th, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena
The book that Sir Robin Saxby has been waiting for has finally been written: “Mobile Unleashed: The Origin and Evolution of ARM Processors in Our Devices”.
Authored by SemiWiki’s Dan Nenni and Don Dingee, the book “delivers an informative look at events and technology that powered the mobile device industry to worldwide adoption.”
When I spoke with Dingee by phone this week, he said the book represents an enormous amount of work: “Sixteen months of intense research, 270 pages and over 800 footnotes.”
Other books have been written about ARM, he acknowledged, but this one is different: “People ask if this is a technology book or the story of ARM and I say, in truth it’s a little bit of both.”
January 7th, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena
If you ask Wally Rhines, CEO at Mentor Graphics, about concerns that there has been too little disruptive change and, therefore, too little high-profile investment in the EDA industry over the last several years, he says: “It true that startups always like to see a spike up in growth.
“However, the biggest companies would like to see something closer to steady growth. Volatility is not as good for the bigger companies as it is for the smaller companies.”
If you ask: “But how viable is a high-tech industry when there’s no increase expected in VC funding for the foreseeable future?”
Rhines replies: “Yes, it’s true. VC funding in EDA has declined over the last 10 years, with the money often going instead into social networking. There is still ongoing investment today in EDA, however, but it’s angel funding, not VC funding.”
December 17th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena
The calendar year draws to a close, but not the momentum of technology as evidenced by the roadmap of conferences set to unfold over the next several months. There are so many opportunities to network, learn, and develop sales leads.
* CES2016: Consumer Electronics Show – January 4-9 – Las Vegas
No one need tell you what CES encompasses: Simply everything. The 2016 edition includes keynotes from the CEOs of Intel, VW, CTA, Netflix, GM, IBM, and execs from Samsung, NBCUniversal, and YouTube. The future is always showcased at CES.
November 18th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena
This week Synopsys announced “unauthorized third-party access to Synopsys EDA, IP and optical products and product license files through its customer-facing license and product delivery system. The unauthorized access, which began in July 2015, was discovered by Synopsys in October 2015.”
The fact that the company needs to make this announcement is indicative of a new attitude towards an old problem: Software companies who lose their products to theft and piracy no longer want to just buck up and get past it, particularly in EDA. Instead, they want tools and strategies to go after their adversaries. The newly launched startup SmartFlow Compliance Solutions, just announced last week, is planning to offer such tools.
Launched by Ted Miracco – one of the founders of EDA vendor AWR Corp. – SmartFlow is based on his experience dealing with pirated AWR product software, including tracking down and forcing restitution from companies who were proven culpable. In a phone call last week discussing his new company, Miracco said pirated software is more than just an occasional nuisance, it’s resulting in billions of dollars in lost revenue to the companies whose products are being used without licenses.
More profound than lost profits, however, is the ’tilting’ of the playing field. When companies who use pirated software to design chips or systems are able to undercut their competition by underpaying for the tools they need, or by not paying at all, the competition is hobbled.
In response, SmartFlow has engineered a complex set of tools and protocols that will allow companies to unearth pirated instantiations of their software across a variety of customer profiles. To begin their effort to build those tools, Miracco and his team looked closely at software non-compliance around the globe, parsed the different types of pirates and examined their principal strategies.
November 5th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena
When it comes to conferences about IP, or design for that matter, it sure seems like ARM TechCon has become the 800-pound gorilla. With over 100 exhibitors and folks coming in from all over the world to present or attend presentations, it’s huge.
Topics du jour at the Santa Clara Convention Center on November 10th to 12th are set to include security, IoT, connected cars, innovation, investments, embedded software, mobile devices, entertainment, low power, and more security. Not to mention things that can see for you, drive for you, sense for you, feel for you, and scare the hell out of you. In other words, everything that defines life here in 2015. Or so they tell us.
But let’s look at what won’t be on the menu at ARM TechCon. International dismay over downed aircraft. International dismay over automobiles that lie when they’re tested for emissions. International dismay over cyberhacking orchestrated by one nation-state against another. And the UK’s decision to prohibit encryption of online communication to the level that nation states cannot break the code. In other words, everything the defines life here in 2015.
The other thing that won’t be on the menu? My own recent consumer history.
October 29th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena
It’s the gospel truth that if you want to know what went down this evening at the first event in EDAC’s newly launched legal series, you can just wait a sec and see the video when it’s posted to the consortium’s website. But then, as they say, why let the truth get in the way of a good story.
I sat in the back of the room at 3801 Zanker Road in San Jose, imbibing a bit of La Crema Chardonnay and enjoying way too much shrimp and cocktail sauce. Best place if you want to relax, enjoy the evening, and count heads. There were 75 in the room, by the way, all there to enjoy the 2-hour gab fest. And gab fest it was.
October 15th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena
There’s a term for engineering solutions that are simple, necessary and sufficient. The term is elegant. And that’s the term that must be applied to the latest announcement out of IPextreme.
The company has come up with a simple, elegant process whereby IP blocks can be assigned a fingerprint, an unalterable bit of code that can be attached to the block and stays with it as that IP passes along into a chip design. The fingerprint then allows that IP to be detected, using IPextreme’s DNA analysis tool, by everyone involved with that chip going forward. Where everyone includes not just the engineers, but the lawyers and accountants in semiconductor companies who need to verify that a particular IP block in a commercial design has been legally procured and paid for.
Because, ultimately IPextreme’s fingerprinting scheme is about above-board licensing of IP, and guaranteeing legitimate revenue for the companies that make third-party IP and design reuse a reality. It’s that simple and elegant.
October 8th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena
October 20th is just around the corner, so please click here to register for the 2015 Silicon Valley IP Users Conference. It’s hard to see anything about this event not to like: wine, excellent speakers, conversations very specific to the technology and business of IP, and did we mention wine? It’s being held at the Testarossa Winery in Los Gatos.
Of course, it’s hats off to IPextreme’s Constellations consortium for hosting the day-long event, plus special kudos to EDAC for an innovative outlook allowing that consortium to sponsor the 4 pm end-of-day networking reception even though not a single EDA company is on the speaker list. But what’s especially impressive about the October 20th event is the suggestion that various stake-holders in the IP industry can come together in this manner.
IP is still having to fight for full representation at DAC and even to a certain extent within EDAC, despite the ARM CEO being on the Board of Directors, so an enthusiastic conference and rounds of conversation arranged for and by the IP industry is pretty damn cool stuff.
September 30th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena
The news is good out of EDA this week: The industry continues up and to the right.
EDAC’s Market Statistic Services produced the numbers: “The EDA industry revenue increased 8.5 percent for Q2 2015 to $1906.5 million, compared to $1757.9 million in Q2 2014. The four-quarters moving average, which compares the most recent four quarters to the prior four quarters, also increased by 8.5 percent. Companies that were tracked employed a record 32,806 professionals in Q2 2015, an increase of 4.9 percent compared to the 31,259 people employed in Q2 2014, and up 2.1 percent compared to Q1 2015.”
Mentor CEO Walden C. Rhines provided the commentary: “The industry’s strong, and exceptionally good in CAE, where the concentration is emulation, functional verification, and test, [while] IC physical design also reported solid growth. Geographically, all regions except Japan saw revenue increases, especially Asia/Pacific. The PacRim was strong in Q2, North America was strong, and Europe was pure gold.”
“The numbers are also very good in IP,” he continued, “especially in EDA combined with IP. The external companies, dominated by ARM, showed unusually large growth in Q2, and the internal IP companies are also showing excellent growth.”
September 9th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena
ARM must be doing something right when among the eight corporate sponsors for their upcoming Silicon Valley users conference in November, the top three companies in EDA are listed as Diamond or Platinum.
Cadence is Diamond, undoubtedly, because company President & CEO Lip-Bu Tan is co-chair of EDAC, and ARM CEO Simon Segars is on the EDAC Board. But why would Mentor and Synposys spend good money being Platinum sponsors of ARM’s show when they could put that particular chunk of disposable income into their own user conferences, or even DAC? Particularly since Mentor and Synopsys sell IP, as does Cadence, so in some ways the three EDA companies may actually be competing with ARM.
There are three possible answers: A) Mentor, Synopsys, and Cadence serve as channels for ARM products. B) Mentor, Synopsys, and Cadence want to see, and be seen by, ARM’s enormous worldwide customer base. C) ARM has the winning hand in today’s semiconductor supply chain, so either the Big Three in EDA pony up to help sponsor ARM TechCon, or the UK-based IP behemoth won’t cooperate in the EDA world; they won’t offer pointers or tool-development advice for the third-party design software that EDA vendors sell and ARM customers [might] buy.