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Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena
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.

IP Theft: Cheaters & Chuckles vs. Chalk & Cheese

 
September 15th, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena


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.

Read the rest of IP Theft: Cheaters & Chuckles vs. Chalk & Cheese

ESD Alliance: New members bring opportunities, concerns

 
September 8th, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena


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.

Read the rest of ESD Alliance: New members bring opportunities, concerns

IoT: The Second Coming

 
August 25th, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena


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.

Read the rest of IoT: The Second Coming

CPSDA 2016: Part 1, Creationists Rejoice

 
August 18th, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena


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.

Read the rest of CPSDA 2016: Part 1, Creationists Rejoice

IP Panel: What keeps you awake at night?

 
August 11th, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena


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.

Read the rest of IP Panel: What keeps you awake at night?

Remembering Mark Templeton: One of the Greats of IP

 
July 23rd, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena


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.”

Read the rest of Remembering Mark Templeton: One of the Greats of IP

Reaction to ARM’s Deal: W.Savage, D.Kelf, H.Barbour

 
July 21st, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena


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.

Read the rest of Reaction to ARM’s Deal: W.Savage, D.Kelf, H.Barbour

Kapow Wham Boom: Holy Acquisition, Sir Robin!

 
July 18th, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena


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.

Read the rest of Kapow Wham Boom: Holy Acquisition, Sir Robin!

Lanza Panel at DAC: Democratization is not Open Source

 
July 14th, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena


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.

Read the rest of Lanza Panel at DAC: Democratization is not Open Source

UK’s ARM: We are all in this Alone together

 
June 23rd, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena


At this writing, midnight is approaching here in California
, it’s June 23rd, and highly anticipated news is arriving out of the UK. It’s Friday morning there and the results of the Should I stay or Should I go referendum have been announced. To the astonishment of some subset of the world, and undoubtedly their stock markets, the UK is leaving the European Union.

And so a page turns, another chapter begins, and now there’s a twist in the plot line that few saw coming. Although it’s a dark and starry night here, the sun is up in the UK and the future looks suddenly different, no matter if you’re standing on the streets of London, York, Edinburgh – or Cambridge.

The very same Cambridge where ARM Ltd. is headquartered.

Read the rest of UK’s ARM: We are all in this Alone together

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