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DVCon Munich: IP Integration, Automotive, Smart Cities, System Design

Thursday, October 13th, 2016


Next week, DVCon is once again in Europe, October 19-20 in Munich
. A marvelous agenda has been laid out for this year’s 2-day conference, including three keynoters that pretty much sum up the state of things in the industry here in 2016. If you want to know where to apply your resources – both human and material – over the next decade, look no farther than these three talks.

It’s a tiring trip from Silicon Valley to Bavaria, but the quality of these presentations, combined with the rest of the content at DVCon Europe, will make the trip well worth the effort. Hope you’re going.


The Tate Effect: Confidence in Flex Logix Team & Technology

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016


Geoff Tate, founding CEO at Rambus, is busy – again.
 These days he’s leading the charge with a new FPGA-based enterprise that, per Tate, wants to be “the first to the party” – a party that’s all about providing FGPA-based IP to a market increasingly in need of these products.

When Tate and I spoke by phone recently, he offered the Flex Logix elevator pitch, and then focused on the company’s August press release.

“We are like the ARM of FPGA,” Tate said, and then laughed. “No, we are not expecting to be acquired by SoftBank anytime soon.”

“However, ARM was the first to successfully embed processors,” he said, “and at Flex Logic we are [doing that] with FPGAs.”


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

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016


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.


CEDA Panel: Covering new ground at DAC 2016

Thursday, June 9th, 2016


When SRC’s Bill Joyner took the podium this past Sunday evening at the 53rd DAC in Austin
, he did something that’s never been done before: Present a panel about careers that wasn’t part of a Workshop for Women in EDA.

Up until 7 o’clock on June 5, 2016, a conversation about career perspectives was such a non-technical topic, it could only be found in Marie Pistilli’s beloved workshop, a venue where work/life balance, Academia vs. Industry, and how to promote your brand within the organization were thoroughly discussed every year for 15 years at DAC.

Now IEEE’s Council on EDA, CEDA, has made the bold decision to pick up where Marie’s workshop left off, sponsoring this week’s event and broadening the audience and the appeal.

Joyner had four people on his panel, a generous two hours to hash out various universal questions, and enough of a sense of humor to offer to wear the necktie he’d brought with him to add gravitas, or not to wear the tie to appear hipster and cool. He quickly decided to go without the tie, and the ensuing conversation went something like this.


Mac on DAC: IP is critical, and so is everything else

Thursday, May 12th, 2016


IP will be well represented at DAC
 according to Adapt IP Michael “Mac” McNamara, and he should know. He’s helped build the IP Track at the show and is concerned that everyone understand the IP-related content in Austin this year will be deep and wide.

Mac and I spoke by phone recently. He’d read a blog a posted here in April expressing skepticism about IP coverage at DAC. Therein, I suggested the content set for Austin in June was inadequate, given the important role IP plays in chip design today.

A thoughtful McNamara wanted to respond to this critique; he wanted to evangelize for the quality of the content at DAC – particularly as he is Vice Chair of the conference this year and will be General Chair in 2017. [Cadence’s Chuck Alpert is General Chair here in 2016.]


Emulation Apps: Mentor Graphics enhances Veloce

Thursday, February 25th, 2016


Mentor Graphics announced new applications this week
for the company’s Veloce emulation platform. These new apps, per the company, are added to Mentor’s “arsenal of software innovations” for Veloce. The three new apps include:

* Veloce Deterministic ICE: Designed to overcome unpredictability in ICE environments by adding 100-percent visibility and repeatability for debug; provides access to other ‘virtual-based’ use models.

* Veloce DFT: Designed to accelerate DFT verification prior to tape-out to minimize the risk of catastrophic failure; significantly reduces run times when verifying designs after DFT insertion.

* Veloce FastPath: Designed to optimize emulation performance when verifying large multi-clock SoC designs by enabling faster model execution speed.


Emulation: DVCon invites Rizzatti to Expound

Thursday, February 18th, 2016


The folks at DVCon have done a brilliant thing.
They’ve invited Lauro Rizzatti to present at their upcoming conference on a topic that Rizzatti knows better than anybody, emulation. Last year alone, he wrote 40 articles on the subject.

More importantly, of course, Rizzatti helped guide EVE, the high-flying European EDA company that led the field in emulation from their base in France before being acquired by Synopsys in 2012. I spoke with Rizzatti this week about emulation, his talk at DVCon, and his recent endeavors writing about a technology that’s taking the world of verification by storm.

He started by establishing the importance of emulation today: “This technology is here to stay. It’s been around for 30 years, and [historically] was something only the big companies could afford to buy and use. They needed an army of engineers. Today it’s no longer a niche technology, however; it’s mainstream.”


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.”


Mentor CEO: a Shout-out to Marketing

Thursday, January 7th, 2016


If you ask Wally Rhines, CEO at Mentor Graphics
, about concerns that there has been too little disruptive change and, therefore, too little high-profile investment in the EDA industry over the last several years, he says: “It true that startups always like to see a spike up in growth.

“However, the biggest companies would like to see something closer to steady growth. Volatility is not as good for the bigger companies as it is for the smaller companies.”

If you ask: “But how viable is a high-tech industry when there’s no increase expected in VC funding for the foreseeable future?”

Rhines replies: “Yes, it’s true. VC funding in EDA has declined over the last 10 years, with the money often going instead into social networking. There is still ongoing investment today in EDA, however, but it’s angel funding, not VC funding.”


SmartFlow Compliance Solutions: Taking the offensive on Software Piracy

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015


This week Synopsys announced “unauthorized third-party access to Synopsys EDA, IP and optical products
and product license files through its customer-facing license and product delivery system. The unauthorized access, which began in July 2015, was discovered by Synopsys in October 2015.”

The fact that the company needs to make this announcement is indicative of a new attitude towards an old problem: Software companies who lose their products to theft and piracy no longer want to just buck up and get past it, particularly in EDA. Instead, they want tools and strategies to go after their adversaries. The newly launched startup SmartFlow Compliance Solutions, just announced last week, is planning to offer such tools.

Launched by Ted Miracco – one of the founders of EDA vendor AWR Corp. – SmartFlow is based on his experience dealing with pirated AWR product software, including tracking down and forcing restitution from companies who were proven culpable. In a phone call last week discussing his new company, Miracco said pirated software is more than just an occasional nuisance, it’s resulting in billions of dollars in lost revenue to the companies whose products are being used without licenses.

More profound than lost profits, however, is the ’tilting’ of the playing field. When companies who use pirated software to design chips or systems are able to undercut their competition by underpaying for the tools they need, or by not paying at all, the competition is hobbled.

In response, SmartFlow has engineered a complex set of tools and protocols that will allow companies to unearth pirated instantiations of their software across a variety of customer profiles. To begin their effort to build those tools, Miracco and his team looked closely at software non-compliance around the globe, parsed the different types of pirates and examined their principal strategies.


DownStream: Solutions for Post Processing PCB Designs
S2C: FPGA Base prototyping- Download white paper

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