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Posts Tagged ‘Uniquify’

Vietnam, the Franchise: Asia’s newest Tier 1 Outsourcing Destination

Thursday, July 30th, 2015


If you had told me in 1975 that 40 years later Silicon Valley would be hosting an informational meeting to advertise an upcoming tech conference in Vietnam, I would have said you were crazy.

Like millions of others in April 1975, I watched apocryphal images on the nightly news of thousands of refuges being airlifted off rooftops in Saigon and military helicopters being pushed off the decks of aircraft carriers to make room for the human detritus of the final throes of decades of war, the last 10 of which included overwhelming American involvement and a death toll far in excess of a million lives.

Even today, that war, its architects and aftermath, are proving themselves to be contentious, divisive topics in American homes and in our national arenas of political mud-slinging.

Yet this blog is not about all of that; it’s about the aforementioned tech conference. But to start without a brief mention of 1975 is to write about a small brochure lying on the tabletop while a massive elephant stands muddy and mute in the middle of the room. At least for people of my generation.

In Vietnam today, however, folks of my generation are no longer the norm. The population now stands at 93 million-plus, the median age is 30, the country is young and optimistic, and looking to its future as an admired destination for tourists and international business interests alike.


Uniquify & Samsung: Success and mystery abound

Thursday, April 30th, 2015


It’s the kind of announcement that regularly emanates from IP companies: “Uniquify today announced it developed a DDR3 IP solution for Samsung Electronics’ power-efficient 28nm LPP foundry process that is now in volume production for multiple product lines, including consumer and mobile applications.”

The thing is, there are two bigger take-aways from this announcement than the specifics of the news. One is that news about 28 nanometers is still making news. The way marketing bravado in the industry runs, one would think 10 nanometers is upon us completely.

The other thing is that we’re not talking here about Samsung planning to adopt Uniquify’s DDR3; we’re talking about Samsung using these things in volume production. A very different kettle of fish, and something that IP companies often have so much trouble getting their customers to acknowledge. [Same holds true, of course, for EDA vendors as well.]


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.”


Respect the customer: Uniquify’s Bob Smith offers rational advice

Thursday, July 24th, 2014


The rumors are flying fast this week about Apple’s next product announcement. Many believe it will be a wearable, possibly a watch-like device. Happily, I’m one step ahead of that Silicon Valley-based behemoth with months of research into my own wearable, which will undoubtedly swamp the market and outsell Apple’s wearable by orders of magnitude.

I had a chance to discuss my project with Uniquify SVP Bob Smith in a recent phone call and started by asking how he felt about the IoT, the Internet of Things. Is it simply a trendy phrase emanating from tech sector marketeers?

Bob said no, and recounted the delight of a friend of his who owns an IoT-enabled crock pot. “The thing has WiFi connectivity,” Bob said, “which allows the guy to turn on the crock pot remotely, and at the appropriate hour, so dinner’s ready on time, but not overcooked.”

“Sounds like you’re okay with the whole IoT thing,” I responded, “so how about some feedback on my Dick Tracy keychain. It’s going to allow me to have keyless entry and ignition for my car, to open and close the garage door, to know if there’s sufficient milk in the fridge, and to also tell the time. In other words, it’s got a limited feature set, but importantly nobody will ever get locked out of their car again because the keychain will be strapped to their wrist.”

Bob commended the designated feature set, noted its simplicity and usefulness, and then agreed with one of my conclusions: After many months of conversation with IP companies about developing my product, the Product versus Services & Products is a legitimate topic when discussing the IP business model with vendors.


Using SIP: How they know what they know

Thursday, February 14th, 2013


After the euphoniously monikered IP provider, Uniquify, announced several weeks ago that the more whimsically monikered organization, Pixelworks, is using Uniquify’s DDR memory controller subsystem IP for multiple distinct processors that Pixelworks is, in turn, providing to TV makers who make 4Kx2K ultra high-def systems, one question still remained: How did Pixelworks know to use Uniquify’s offering?

According to a January 2013 article in IEEE Spectrum, knowing what IP to use in a project here in the 21st century is fairly easy knowledge to come by. I don’t know what planet the author of the op-ed piece, “Other People’s Knowledge”, lives on but it doesn’t seem to be the one that I hear about from the folks who make or buy third-party IP.

In fact, those people seem to indicate that knowing what IP to use in a particular project continues to be far more art than science. In particular, because until a system, or sub-system, is fully defined, modeled and simulated – let alone, manufactured and deployed in the field – one can never really know how a piece of IP is going to work in the environment into which it’s been placed.


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