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.
August 30th, 2012 by Peggy Aycinena
Hal Barbour is President of CAST, an IP company based on the East Coast. Hal has a tremendous ability to explain the many facets of the industry, and it was a great pleasure to sit down and talk with him this week. When we spoke by phone on August 29th, he had just wrapped up an earlier call with a customer.
Q: How do you make yourself known to customers?
Hal Barbour: We have always put a lot of information in the hands of our customers, but the delivery mechanism today is quite a bit different. We’ve learned to leverage most of the contemporary tools – blogs, online meetings, webinars, shows and press releases. Press releases are just as important as ever, but where we used to send them to a central distribution center and a group of editors, now there are about 15 or 20 various people and outlets who disseminate the information to a much larger population.
Q: And how do working engineers hear about the products?
Hal Barbour: That’s the really interesting thing. Engineers today can easily see press releases directly, plus they have at their disposal a powerful set of search tools to help them get the information they need, so whatever information you’re putting out there, it better be right and it better be credible. If it’s not, engineers have got plenty of other sources to turn to.
And if you’re going to be out there, you better be able to respond to inquiries quickly and rapidly. Ultimately, however, it’s your name and your reputation that sells products. I can’t tell you the number of people who contact us based on our name and reputation.
Q: Isn’t that called ‘word of mouth’?
Hal Barbour: That’s exactly what it is, only it’s even faster today. Spreading the word used to be limited by who you knew, but today with social media and blogs, word of mouth moves at lighting speed and is more important than ever. Even today, though, nothing substitutes for face-to-face contact with the customer.
August 23rd, 2012 by Peggy Aycinena
Behind Warren Savage’s calm and courteous demeanor beats the heart of a revolutionary: A guy who not only talks the talk, but walks the walk of growing his beloved IP industry through the most radical of ideas – cooperation.
Warren is the founder and CEO of IPextreme, a Silicon-Valley based company helping other companies commercialize their IP, small nuggets of pure gold that would otherwise enjoy only internal use. With the assist of Warren & Co, that gold is beefed up, intensely documented, and then licensed to users outside the firewall who then have access to robust 3rd-party design blocks, yielding revenue back to the IP developers they would not otherwise enjoy.
So that’s Warren’s business, but what’s really impressive about Warren is the other half of his professional involvement: working through the GSA [Global Semiconductor Alliance] to enhance the well-being of all players in the IP industry, not just his customers. Warren chairs GSA’s Working Group on IP, and leads the Leadership Group subset within that Working Group.
Warren also founded and continues to lead Constellations, a consortium-like group of IP vendors who meet regularly to discuss business issues, develop joint solutions, and host invitation-only events for their customers. The next Constellations event is coming up in early October.
Clearly, Warren Savage is a revolutionary, someone who believes a rising tide raises all boats in the IP industry and acts vigorously on that belief. Warren and I spoke by phone on August 22nd.
July 10th, 2012 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Cosmic Circuits
Cosmic Circuits, a leading provider of differentiated Analog, Mixed-Signal and Connectivity IP cores, today announced the silicon availability of its MIPI M-PHY solution in 28nm.
Cosmic Circuits offers a broad portfolio of differentiated Analog IP cores in nanometer technology nodes covering Data-Converters, Analog-Front-End platforms for Wireless and Audio, Power-Management, Clocking and MIPI Interfaces.
Cosmic Circuits M-PHY solution supports both the HS-G1 (1.5Gbps) and HS-G2 (3Gbps) modes and is available in multiple process technologies ranging from 85nm to 28nm. The silicon has been characterized across supply, temperature and process corners and detailed characterization reports will be available very soon. Here is a video showcasing Cosmic Circuits validation platform and methodology for the MIPI M-PHY:
July 2nd, 2012 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: S2C
Prototype-Ready IP jump starts complex SoC Integration with 3D Graphics
S2C announces that TAKUMI Corporation, a Japan-based advanced Graphics Intellectual Properties (IP) provider, has implemented a series of Graphics IP cores on S2C’s rapid FPGA-based prototyping systems including GS3000 and GSV3000 cores. These TAKUMI IP cores have been fully validated in FPGAs and can be easily demonstrated to and evaluated by customers; thereby significantly reduce system-on-chip (SoC) integration time.
TAKUMI’s GSHARK family of IP is the graphics solution to accelerate display rendering on a variety of embedded systems including mobile devices, digital home appliances and in-car information systems. Uniquely designed and customized to support embedded systems, GSHARK-TAKUMI family extensively lines up graphics IP cores addressing different embedded system use models, for the best IP selection.
Toshio Nakama, S2C’s Chief Executive Officer, said,” Integrating a complex IP core, such as a 3D graphics IP, in a SoC design often requires tremendous amount of verification effort such as verifying the correctness of all hardware functions, evaluating SoC bus efficiency and testing software compatibilities. And, the best methodology today for performing these tasks is by using FPGA-based prototypes that closely resemble the entire design operating at or close to actual speed, many months before actual silicon is available. We are very pleased to work with TAKUMI to provide SoC developers a series of advanced graphics IP cores already mapped on FPGA-based prototypes that can significantly shorten IP integration into SoC design and allow early start of software development and testing.”
June 28th, 2012 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Digital Core Design
Digital Core Design, IP Core and SoC design laboratories from Poland have introduced the newest version of the Motorola’s 68000 16/32-bit microprocessor. D68000 is the industry’s low cost 32-bit MCU, offering not only a low cost entry point but also effective performance. Improved architecture enables this IP Core to run with uCLinux, so it can be easily used as HTTP server or FTP client.
The D68000 is 100% compatible with original Motorola’s 68000 and as a proof, just to mention, that a test run on classic Amiga 500+ computer showed clearly that DCD’s CPU can be 1:1 replacement for original chip. But classic computers are not the target destination for the product, cause improved architecture, creates new possibilities. D68000 runs with uCLinux Operating System, which makes this IP Core interesting solution for embedded servers, certified to be used only with m68k processors. The BOA application is used as HTTP server and effective communication could be established through FTP protocol. uCLinux is a MMU‐less derivative of Linux Operating System adopted for embedded solutions. It provides all of the Linux benefits including superior stability, Common Linux Kernel API, multitasking, full featured TCP/IP networking, Virtual File System and reduces the amount of memory needed by its kernel and running applications [it utilizes just 400kB].
May 22nd, 2012 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Cortus
Cortus extends its family of 32 bit modern RISC microcontroller IP cores with the energy efficient APS3R. The APS3R is aimed at low power embedded applications such as wireless sensor networks, touchscreen controllers, smart cards and systems using energy harvesting.
Cortus, a technology leader in ultra low power, silicon efficient 32-bit processor IP, announces the release of the latest member of their processor family: the energy efficient APS3R. The APS3R builds on experience with the earlier APS3 core but delivers improved computational performance. For more demanding embedded applications a dual core configuration is possible.
The Cortus APS3R is a 32-bit processor designed specifically for low power embedded systems featuring a 32-bit modern RISC architecture with sixteen 32-bit registers and a 5-7 stage pipeline. It is the second member of the Cortus microcontroller IP core family to be released in 2012 complementing the single precision floating point FPS6 core.
March 27th, 2012 by Graham Bell
I came across Peter Rohr’s book on Hard IP, an introduction to increasing ROI for VLSI Chip designs and thought it would be a good addition to the online books we have at EDACafe.com. With help from Colby Zelnik, at Sagantec, I contacted Peter and he generously agreed to let the entire book be scanned and published on EDACafe.com. Here below is a copy of the Preface to the book and introduces the material. I hope you find it interesting and useful.
A clear indication of the pervasiveness of electronics in today’s world was the concern over impending worldwide disasters caused by breakdowns in interlinked electronic systems, due to a one digit change in the calendar from 1999 to 2000. Today’s complex VLSI chips are at the heart of this extreme level of dependence.
In terms of the requirements for electronic systems, whose uses range from communications to air traffic control, from security to consumer goods, there are constant demands for more speed, more functionality, more sophistication. Almost all of these demands are linked to faster, more complex VLSI chips.
Of course, this tremendous need for more complex chips can not be easily met. In fact, there is a great deal of talk about the necessity for a significant increase in productivity to design chips faster and inexpensively enough to meet the needs of hi-tech industries. Considering current consumers’ love affair with any kind of hi-tech gadgets, there is only one way for these demands to go – up! Read the rest of Hard IP, an introduction to increasing ROI for VLSI Chip designs
March 23rd, 2012 by Graham Bell
Eric Huang demonstrates a Synopsys USB 3.0 Host, Device, and PHY IP running real USB 3.0 traffic at the fastest speeds ever recorded.
The demonstration runs on HAPS FPGA-Based Prototying platform (HAPS51) with a USB 3.0 xHCI Host on Windows 7 with MCCI drivers. The Device uses Linux to implement a mass storage design. It’s super fast, because we use a RAM disk (not an SSD or HDD) for storing the data so it shows the USB 3.0 Digital IP and PHYs can really move data. It’s the fastest USB IP in the universe according to Synopsys.
March 12th, 2012 by Graham Bell
Badawi Dweik, Director of Product Marketing, Memoir Systems discusses how new memory technology can ease the transition to the next generation silicon process node.
Next-generation performance means different things for different applications. For high performance computing, faster processor clock speeds may be the ticket. For mobile computing, energy efficiency is paramount. For feature-rich consumer electronics, size matters and packing more functionality into a smaller form factor is the order of the day. SoC architects use a wide variety of techniques to increase application performance. However, the ultimate route to breakthrough performance, by any measure, is next-generation semiconductor process technology. Many designers would like to take advantage of the latest process node technology, but are forced to wait 6 to 12 months until the memory IP portfolio is fully developed and validated for the new process node. A new memory technology called Algorithmic Memory® can greatly ease the burden of migration and enable a broad memory portfolio much earlier.
February 27th, 2012 by Graham Bell
The following article is by Ms. Linh Hong, vice president of marketing at Kilopass Technology, Santa Clara, CA, and first appeared in the Jan. 9 issue of EDA Weekly.
Starting its second decade in business under current CEO Charlie Cheng, Kilopass Technology Inc. continues its successful growth driven by two major movements. The first comprises market forces where consumers are demanding greater functionality from their mobile smart devices beyond audio and video to include environmental data that will eventually provide life care for the consumer. The second involves technology forces that continue to deliver more transistors per silicon area for each new semiconductor process generation, now at 28nm going to 20nm.
The widespread adoption of Kilopass’ unique standard logic CMOS anti-fuse, one-time programmable (OTP), non-volatile memory (NVM) intellectual property (IP) is reflected in the growing number of Kilopass foundry and IDM partners. Among foundries signing new agreements are UMC, SMIC, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Dongbu and TowerJazz, that join long-standing Kilopass partner TSMC, the first to offer Kilopass IP at 28nm. The key to success for an IP company is silicon enablement and Kilopass IP is available on process nodes from 180nm down to 28nm at its major foundry partners to provide solutions to customers across many markets. Among major Integrated Device Manufacturers (IDMs) inking deals with Kilopass are the major suppliers of image sensors, display drivers, and gaming chips.
To understand how this successful start-up is being driven by evolutionary technical and market forces, an explanation of the company’s patented anti-fuse NVM IP and how it compares with alternative NVM solutions is the place to begin. Next, a description of how this anti-fuse NVM IP has symbiotically evolved with the steady progression of each new generation of standard logic CMOS processes, currently at 28nm and moving to 20nm and beyond, is in order. Finally, a discussion of how the anti-fuse NVM IP uniquely serves the four high-volume applications where it is being incorporated will detail how market forces are driving the company’s ongoing success.