Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Thursday, September 22nd, 2016
Geoff Tate, founding CEO at Rambus, is busy – again. These days he’s leading the charge with a new FPGA-based enterprise that, per Tate, wants to be “the first to the party” – a party that’s all about providing FGPA-based IP to a market increasingly in need of these products.
When Tate and I spoke by phone recently, he offered the Flex Logix elevator pitch, and then focused on the company’s August press release.
“We are like the ARM of FPGA,” Tate said, and then laughed. “No, we are not expecting to be acquired by SoftBank anytime soon.”
“However, ARM was the first to successfully embed processors,” he said, “and at Flex Logic we are [doing that] with FPGAs.”
Thursday, September 15th, 2016
Synopsys has a problem. Per Norm Kelly, speaking at the ESD Alliance panel on September 14th in Silicon Valley, Synopsys loses fully a third of the revenue they’re owed each year for their vast catalog of IP because it’s stolen by Cheaters and used without paying any licensing or royalty fees.
Kelly said Synopsys earns about $200 million per year selling IP, and loses another $100 million to theft. Cheaters are a real problem, he lamented, and as Director of License Compliance for Synopsys he should know. Kelly did not have the floor to share these laments, however, until Warren Savage, GM of IP at Silvaco, opened the meeting.
Speaking from the podium as moderator of the evening’s discussion, Savage said the real problem is the bumblers, those designers and companies who lose track of licensing obligations for IP that was either purchased some time ago, or was brought into the design effort on a data stick fished out of the pocket of someone who’s joined the organization through a poorly managed M&A.
In other words, when Chuckles the Clown uses IP, often as not he doesn’t realize some monies are owed to the third-party IP vendor who created it in the first place. Savage offered this statistic: On an average SoC today, there are 150 to 200 blocks of IP, but only a small percentage of those blocks are actually paid for.
Thursday, September 8th, 2016
Over the last several weeks, the ESD Alliance has announced two more members, news of particular interest because both companies are IP vendors. C-Sky Microsystems provides 32-bit embedded CPU cores, and Silvaco provides EDA tools for development of analog/mixed-signal devices, power IC and memory design.
True, Silvaco doesn’t sound like an IP vendor until you remember that it just acquired IPextreme, a well-known player in the IP market headed up by Warren Savage. And Savage, now GM of Silvaco’s IP Division, has recently been named chair of the ESD Alliance Semiconductor IP Working Group, tasked with developing a common methodology, best practices for fingerprinting, and solutions for tracking and auditing IP.
Meanwhile, C-Sky Microsystems brings its own unique value proposition to ESD Alliance. Described in the Press Release as “the first IP company from China to join the ESD Alliance,” C-Sky says it intends to actively participate in Savages’ SIP Working Group. This second bit is admirable, but the first could prove complicated.
Thursday, August 25th, 2016
This week’s blog post is authored by Bill Finch, Senior VP at CAST, Inc., long-time provider of IP cores and platform IP products. The discussion below maps the evolution of technologies and strategies that produced today’s IoT to the critical road map needed to achieve tomorrow’s.
IoT: The Second Coming
The second wave of the IoT is about to start. In the first wave, there was little clarity about what functionality really mattered. Engineers were tasked with getting products out ASAP. Because of the uncertainty and rush, most first-wave products were built around off-the-shelf parts made by IDMs (Integrated Device Manufacturers). The emphasis was on getting things working, not on optimization.
This will not be true in the second wave.
Thursday, August 18th, 2016
This is Part 1 of a 5-part discussion of the International Workshop on Design Automation for Cyber-Physical Systems co-located with the Design Automation Conference in Austin in June. Attending this all-day event on Sunday, June 5th, required a commitment of 9 hours and a $200 registration fee, albeit it came with a generous box lunch.
Over the course of the day, 10 speakers expounded on everything from complexity to reliability, from resilience to resource management, from smart buildings to smart grids to smart cars, and threw in a large dollop, as well, of how to deal with those miscreants among us who see opportunities in the emerging world of CPS to do small, medium, and large amounts of harm to our fellow humans and institutions.
Now it’s true, the thought leaders who spoke at CPSDA were consistently articulate, intelligent and well-informed. Nonetheless – even after 9 hours of intense listening, and quite a bit of caffeine – I was still not exactly sure what a cyber-physical system is. So let’s be creative and make up our own definition.
Thursday, August 11th, 2016
It’s fantastic to see that the ESD Alliance is following through with its new-found commitment to promote discussion about the IP industry. On Wednesday, September 14th, the Alliance is hosting an evening panel at their headquarters in Santa Clara to discuss semiconductor IP issues that “Keep You Awake at Night”.
As background, consider that the massive amounts of IP involved in building a modern SoC may translate into IP vendors losing millions of dollars if their IP is used therein without proper licensing. At the same time, semiconductor companies also wrestle with troubling issues if their engineers accidentally reuse a core without proper licensing, possibly exposing their employers to huge liabilities. The ESD Alliance event in September promises to address these thorny problems.
Moderated by industry leader Warren Savage – formerly CEO of IPextreme, but now GM of IP at Silvaco with the acquisition announced just prior to DAC – the evening’s two panelists come from interesting backgrounds.
Saturday, July 23rd, 2016
The semiconductor IP industry is reeling at news of the tragic death of Mark Templeton while white water kayaking last weekend in Oregon. Well known, widely admired, and held in great esteem for both his intelligence and unassuming style, Templeton will be sorely missed, not just in the IP industry, but across the entire tech sector.
Per the Press Release: “Mark R. Templeton, 57, was a highly respected venture capitalist in Silicon Valley who used his background as an engineer to foster scientific advancement. In his capacity as a director and board member of numerous tech companies and organizations, he was instrumental in driving growth in the intellectual property market through a combination of technical and business innovation.”
Thursday, July 21st, 2016
Who better qualified to post reactions to this week’s astonishing news out of Tokyo and Cambridge – SoftBank is buying ARM in an all-cash deal for 24.3 billion British pounds – than the leaders of two highly regarded IP companies and an articulate Brit with total street cred in EDA.
Monday, July 18th, 2016
Yep, it’s happened. More astonishing than Brexit. Faster than a skyrocketing market cap. Stronger than any ties to Merry Old England, Apple, or ESDA. Able to leap over continents in a single bound.
Holy All-Cash-Deal, Sir Robin, ARM’s been bought by SoftBank!
For a mere 24.3 billion pounds.
Thursday, July 14th, 2016
Long-time EDA investor Lucio Lanza lead a fascinating, albeit mystifying, discussion in the DAC Pavilion on Monday, July 6th, in Austin. His panelists included IPextreme’s Warren Savage, Scientific Ventures’ Mark Templeton, and eFabless’ Michael Wishart, with the topic under discussion being open source.
The session was titled “Daring to Move to Open Source” and was described thusly: “The emerging Internet of Things market is destined to upend that time-tested ‘advanced-node’ model, as developers opt for older, less costly process technologies, using commodity design tools and selecting proven IP blocks to quickly and efficiently assemble chips. As demand for IoT devices grows exponentially, might open source EDA tools and IP become viable, or even the winning combination that enables the low-cost design of an IoT SoC?”
Here are some soundbites from the panelists.