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.
September 27th, 2012 by Peggy Aycinena
Over the last several months, Synopsys has made multiple announcements aggressively proving their ongoing presence in the burgeoning IP market: Silicon IP, Verification IP, and ARM-based design. Meanwhile, through community outreach, Synopsys has also continued to enhance the most important category of intellectual property: students in local schools.
September 27th, 2012 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: DCD
Digital Core Design, an IP Core provider and System-on-Chip design house from Poland, has introduced a USB [IP Core] combo pack, which consists of Audio, Human Interface Device and Mass Storage platforms. It’s only up to the project criteria, if either a standalone USB Device Controller or a complete set of USB solutions will be implemented in silicon.
The Universal Serial Bus (USB) connects more than computers and peripherals. Some say, that it has the power to connect the whole new digital world. That’s why, a trusted and safe connection is crucial. – Nowadays it’s hard to imagine a digital device without a USB port – no matter if it’s a standard, mini, micro or even a converter – says Jacek Hanke, CEO of Digital Core Design – And for that reason, we introduced the USB [IP Core] combo pack, which is a complete solution for almost all Universal Serial Bus related designs.
September 18th, 2012 by Peggy Aycinena
Chris Rowen is Founder and CTO of Tensilica, an IP company based in Silicon Valley. We spoke last week by phone to discuss how an IP company decides what and when to introduce new products.
I first asked to Chris for a brief history of the RISC [Reduced Instruction Set Computing] architecture he is closely associated with, and how that history segued into the founding of Tensilica.
From RISC to Tensilica …
Q: Can you give me a quick overview of the origins of RISC architecture?
People saw machines with really high hardware costs being built for assembly [language applications]. However, as compiler technology got better, people said: If I want a compiler to run well, I don’t need fancy instructions. I only need a common set of instructions that run really fast. All other complex operations could be composed by the compiler out of these fast, simple operations.
RISC grew out of these compiler technology advances, and a recognition in the VLSI era that there was an opportunity to rethink the process of how the architecture could be put together. Read the rest of Chris Rowen: Tensilica’s rational trajectory
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