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Archive for January, 2013

NVM: Kilopass unplugged

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

 

Not surprisingly, Silicon Valley based Kilopass Technology continues to advocate for non-volatile memory, in particular the company’s VCM [Vertical Cross-point Memory] bit-cell technology. In a recent phone call with Andre Hassan, Field Marketing and Applications Director at the company, we discussed why Kilopass see the future going their way.

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WWJD: In 25 words or less, what is NVM?

Andre Hassan: Non Volatile Memory [NVM], at least the Kilopass version, is a one-time programmable standard CMOS process anti-fuse memory that maintains its contents through power down.

WWJD: When did volatile memory become King of the Hill?

Andre Hassan: With the introduction of SRAM and DRAM from companies like IBM and Intel in the late 1960’s.

WWJD: When will NVM mean just memory and not a special form of memory?

Andre Hassan: Actually it started out that way with magnetic core memory in the mid-1950s. Since then, the industry has tried to come back to it multiple times. It’s the holy grail that people have been chasing as long as I’ve been in the industry.

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CAST: feeling the DesignCon vibe

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

 

DesignCon’s unfolding in Silicon Valley all week. Among the many companies exhibiting there, IP provider CAST and its IP core development partner Beyond Semiconductor are enjoying a particularly excellent experience. When I stopped in at CAST’s booth on the DesignCon floor for a brief chat with company CEO Hal Barbour this afternoon, he told me his company’s revenue numbers for January 2013 alone are set to outpace CAST’s total first-quarter revenues from 2010, 2011, or 2012.

Given the energy and attendance swirling about us at DesignCon, Barbour’s impressive financials were not a complete surprise – Silicon Valley is back – but a revitalized revenue stream is not the only reason CAST is enjoying a lot of traffic in their booth this week. More it’s because CAST and Beyond Semiconductor have chosen this time and place to announce yet another member of their family of 32-bit processor cores targeting embedded applications.

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Xena: IPextreme’s Warrior Princess

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

 

Sometimes life gets away from you. You post a blog lamenting too little coverage of IP at DATE and DAC, receive in response a number of lively emails, and then sit on all of it because life’s gotten away from you. Among those emails is a telling note from the folks at IPextreme offering to send you some marketing materials they claim is relevant to your thesis about IP, EDA, and conference-coverage disconnects. You accept their offer, but because life is still getting away from you, when the big white envelope from IPextreme arrives, it sits in the InBox, ignored and unopened.

Finally the moment arrives when you can no longer allow life to get away. You open the envelope, examine the contents, stagger back in amazement, and after muttering omg several times, sit down to write this blog. Xena, IPextreme’s Warrior Princess, the Graphic Novel & Morality Play will be ignored no more. As you flip through the pages – all 36 of them – you take another sip of wine and wonder why other companies have been ignoring not just Xena, but all she represents.

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SIP: Neither DAC nor DATE meets the need

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

 

EDAC’s January 7th MSS release details EDA/SIP earnings in Q3_2012, and attributes $423 million to SIP companies out of a total $1,620 billion for the combined industries. The same document cites EDA/SIP earnings in Q3_2011, and attributes $410 million to SIP companies out of a total $1,544 billion for the combined EDA/IP industries that EDAC represents.

In other words, and ironically, more than 25% of the revenues reported by the EDA Consortium’s Market Statistics Service are attributed to SIP  companies, organizations who work in silicon intellectual property. And why is this ironic? Because if you thoroughly search both the DATE 2013 and DAC 2013 websites, you will find far less than 25% of the content there is dedicated to the topics of SIP, its development or utilization.

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Marvell’s Weili Dai: articulating Entrepreneurship at IEDM

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

For the first time ever, organizers of the International Electron Devices Meeting honored a member of their community by providing a platform for conversation about translating innovation into business success. The premier event on December 12th in San Francisco featured an hour-long, on-stage, lunch-time interview with Marvell Technology Group VP and GM of Communications and Consumer Business Weili Dai.

Ms. Dai co-founded Marvell in 1995 with her husband, Sehat Sutardja, and his brother, Pantas Sutardja. Together they have built an organization which now stands as the fifth largest fabless semiconductor company in the world, one with 7000 employees and an international clientele. If you wanted to know more about Marvell, the information’s out there in spades. If you wanted to know more about the personal story behind Marvell, however, you should have been at the IEDM Entrepreneurs Lunch on December 12th. Ms. Dai gave a compelling interview that day, providing as succinct a summary of what it takes to start and build a company as one could ever hope to hear.

The highlight was a description of how, with babe in arms, she was in the audience at the Greek Theater on the Berkeley campus watching her husband receive his PhD in EECS several decades ago. Now today, that child is himself a PhD candidate in the same school where his father earned a PhD and his mother a BS in Computer Science. Sehat Sutardja and Weili Dai have a younger son, as well, who is currently an undergraduate at Cal, also in the School of Engineering.

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