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

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.


ARM: The Musical, at last

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016


The book that Sir Robin Saxby has been waiting for
has finally been written: “Mobile Unleashed: The Origin and Evolution of ARM Processors in Our Devices”.

Authored by SemiWiki’s Dan Nenni and Don Dingee, the book “delivers an informative look at events and technology that powered the mobile device industry to worldwide adoption.”

When I spoke with Dingee by phone this week, he said the book represents an enormous amount of work: “Sixteen months of intense research, 270 pages and over 800 footnotes.”

Other books have been written about ARM, he acknowledged, but this one is different: “People ask if this is a technology book or the story of ARM and I say, in truth it’s a little bit of both.”


DOCEA Power: What’s the scoop?

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015


When it comes to Docea Power, there’s no scoop.
There’s no news at all. Except of course that they’ve been bought by Intel, which in itself is pretty big news for any company. Except apparently Docea. There was/is no press release and was/is no access to details on the deal. Nothing.

There is proof, however, that the acquisition took place. Right on the front of the Docea website. But that’s it.

Having interviewed the brothers who founded Docea, Ghislain and Sylvain Kaiser, multiple times over the years – at DATE in Europe and at various conferences here in the U.S. — I certainly hoped to know more, and I tried. But their people — the ones who reached out to journalists in June asking for meetings with the company at DAC, back when Docea still existed — were candid: “There is no press release available. And there will be no talk with Docea founders”

And that’s it. Except for this …

Lucky Intel!


IoT: the A-to-Z of TechTalk at ARM TechCon

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014


This blog requires a long, tall cup of coffee: Go get one, put your feet up, and plow on through. ARM TechCon 2014 took place this week at the Santa Clara Convention Center, and as an indication of what the industry feels is important right now, the following is a complex snapshot of press releases issued by various TechCon exhibitors highlighting their progress in the days leading up to and including the show. Listed first are the three main ARM press releases, then the other exhibitors are showcased.

By the way, the answer to what the industry thinks is important today? If the following is any indication, it’s IoT all the way down, with a dollop of FinFET and low-power thrown in for good measure. And if you don’t know IoT means Internet of Things, you haven’t been listening – particularly as Freescale says in their Press Release: “Analyst research firm Gartner estimates that the IoT will include 26 billion units installed by 2020, and by that time, IoT product and service suppliers will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion, mostly in services.”

Another possible conclusion from the following: If you’re still holding out hope the Design Automation Conference is anchor tenant of the conference year, you should let that go. The amount of news these companies are releasing around ARM TechCon far out weighs what they’re releasing around DAC.

** ARM announced on October 1st “two new physical IP implementation solutions for its silicon partners to help simplify the path to implementation for their FinFET physical designs. ARM Artisan Power Grid Architect will reduce overall design time by creating optimal SoC power grid layouts, while ARM Artisan Signoff Architect increases accuracy and precision in managing on-chip variation over existing methodologies. These new physical IP implementation solutions strengthen the commitment from ARM to enable delivery of real silicon with the speed consumers are demanding.”

** ARM announced on October 1st, mbed OS, a free operating system for ARM Cortex-M processor based devices that consolidates the fundamental building blocks of the IoT in one integrated set of software components; mbed Device Server, a licensable software product that provides the required server-side technologies to connect and manage devices in a secure way, that also provides a bridge between the protocols designed for use on IoT devices and the APIs that are used by web developers; and, the focus point for a community of more than 70,000 developers around mbed. The website provides a comprehensive database of hardware development kits, a repository for reusable software components, reference applications, documentation and web-based development tools.

** ARM and TSMC announced on October 2nd a new multi-year agreement that will deliver up ARMv8-A processor IP optimized for TSMC 10FinFET process technology. Per the Press Release: “Because of the success in scaling from 20SoC to 16FinFET, ARM and TSMC have decided to collaborate again for 10FinFET. This early path-finding work will provide valuable learning to enable physical design IP and methodologies in support of customers to tape-out 10FinFET designs as early as Q4 2015.”


Fabulous Fabless: Nenni & McLellan offer cure for common clutter

Monday, July 28th, 2014


There are three kinds of written word in the world today: books, newspapers/magazines, and all of the rest of it which now lives on the shifting sands of an ever-evolving electronic substrate. Even today, however, even as those ‘effervescent electrons’ garner more and more readers, it’s books-on-paper that continue to hold the most caché, the most gravitas-laden sense of permanence, and the most awe-inspring-for-the-ages kind of wow factor: Really? You wrote a book? Wow!

Hence, when a 220-page book-on-paper called Fabless: The Transformation of the Semiconductor Industry was made available to the EDA community at the 51st annual Design Automation Conference this past month in San Francisco, it was worth noting for several reasons: For the gravitas of the offering; For the permanence of the tome; And for the price, which thanks to eSilicon Corp. was free to all for the taking.

Written by gurus Daniel Nenni and Paul McLellan, this Fabulous Fabless book-on-paper was handed out during a buzzy networking event on the spacious East Side of Moscone Center early one evening during the week of DAC in June. At that noisy, ebullient reception, the libations were flowing liberally and so was the printed word.

Anyone milling about in the crowd quickly became the proud owner of Nenni/McLellan’s cheery, well-written history of the world  that special world consisting of everything termed “technology” since 1947  and could even get signed copies, if they were able to elbow their way across the room to where the authors were perched side-by-side at a table with the express purpose of applying ink-to-paper on the front piece of their book.


MIPI Alliance: specifications for the external interface

Thursday, October 18th, 2012


The MIPI Alliance was founded in 2003 by STMicro, ARM, Nokia and TI. In 2004, Intel, Motorola, Samsung and Philips joined. Today, there are over 240 companies in the Alliance, 18 working groups, and over 5000 participating individuals. Following his presentation during the general session at SAME Forum in Sophia Antipolis, I had a chance to speak with STMicro’s Joel Huloux, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the MIPI Alliance.

Huloux differentiated between the work of the MIPI Alliance and OCP-IP: “OCP-IP is more related to the inside of the chip. It is very useful for interconnect when you buy IP to put in your design. If you look at MIPI Alliance, however, we do not deal with internal bus processors, or networks. We deal with the interface which is external to the chip, particularly in a mobile device, the interface between the chip and the display, camera, and so on. There is no competition at all between OCP-IP and MIPI Alliance.”


Warren Savage: the revolutionary in our midst

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012


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.


S2C: FPGA Base prototyping- Download white paper

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