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.
January 15th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena
In any marketplace, it’s the buyer’s problem to know in advance of a purchase whether the product is worth the money. In the IP marketplace, the problem’s particularly intense, because until the block is operating within the target environment, it’s close to impossible to know if it’s worth the money.
Today eSilicon is offering what appears to be a reasonable solution to the dilemma. Per the company, “now you can get immediate answers to your power, performance or area questions with pre-loaded data for eSilicon memory compilers and I/Os using the eSilicon IP Marketplace environment.”
Read the rest of eSilicon: Kick the IP before you buy
January 8th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena
In October, IPextreme hosted a day-long meeting in San Jose to “Unlock the Mysteries of IP”. The morning started off with an hour-long panel discussion that touched at times on security. Not the security having to do with elusive and dangerous elements in this treacherous world, but that related to the more banal dangers of insurance companies.
In the emerging era of an IoT a’glitter with wearable gadgets for tracking our blood pressure, heartbeat, temperature, calorie consumption, steps per day, hours sleeping, and brain waves – those trendy connected devices pursued and celebrated by technologists on panels everywhere – three problems have emerged.
First, where in heck is all of this data going to be stored? Second, how is it going to be processed and determined to be normal or not? And finally, how can we be guaranteed that all of this data, particularly the abnormal stuff, will not be presented to our insurance companies, or other bureaucracies, without our permissions?
Read the rest of Security: The future is dark?
January 1st, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena
The New Year is upon us and it’s time for resolutions. Here’s an interesting one: Find the answers to 10 simple questions related to the business and technology of IP. The questions may be simple, but the answers probably are not, if they are available at all.
* How many IP vendors are needed on average today to provide blocks for a typical chip?
* How does one learn how to buy and integrate IP into a design?
* What is a fair price for a block of IP?
Read the rest of New Year’s Resolution: Solve 10 Mysteries of IP
December 10th, 2014 by Peggy Aycinena
The powers-that-be at DAC want to hear from you if you’re involved in the IP industry in any way: IP providers, IP tool vendors, IP methodology experts, and IP users of all kinds.
They want all of you and the good news is, it doesn’t matter in which technical niche you play: low-power IP, IP implementation, IP subsystems and integration, verification IP, or IP strategies and management.
Also, because the last few years at DAC have provided powerful proof-of-concept validation that the Design Automation Conference community really wants to talk about IP, the IP Track is clearly now a critical plank in the infrastructure of the conference.
But don’t believe me; believe the DAC Executive Committee: “The IP Track provides an opportunity for experts in the field to deliver presentations and/or poster sessions on IP-related topics, and to host panels and invited talks on timely IP related issues.”
Read the rest of IP Ecosystem: DAC wants You!
November 20th, 2014 by Peggy Aycinena
Randy Smith bring a lot of humanity to his role as Vice President of Marketing at Sonics, and a lot of frequent flier miles. The day after we spoke by phone last week, he was set to fly to Japan for a week on business. When I asked if Japan was a new destination for him, he laughed.
“I’ve been to Japan over 150 times,” he said, “and because of that, I have lifelong business relationships there, having worked closely with customers, EDA vendors, design services and IP providers. That’s why my business card used to say ‘Randysan Marketing’. I always look forward to going to Japan, because it gives me the opportunity to touch bases with customers there and to [reconnect] with colleagues.”
Read the rest of Sonics’ Randy Smith: Why Integrity makes IP tick
November 6th, 2014 by Peggy Aycinena
It was impossible not to be in a celebratory mood if you attended the exuberant Kaufman Award dinner at the San Jose Marriott on Tuesday, November 4th, honoring this year’s nominee, Dr. Lucio Lanza. Next door to the Kaufman ballroom, where at least 250 well-dressed pillars of the EDA industry were eating, drinking, and reconnecting with old friends, was another ballroom where hundreds and hundreds more were celebrating early election results for one of the two mayoral candidates for San Jose, elections having been held that day. Combining the energies emanating from the two ballrooms, the whole hotel was really rocking.
Read the rest of Kaufman Dinner: Philosophy redefined
October 30th, 2014 by Peggy Aycinena
This week Synopsys added even more fire-power to the arsenal that makes them one of the biggest IP vendors in the world. This time it’s USB 3.1, which the company says consists of a …
“DesignWare USB 3.1 Device Controller, an IP Virtual Development Kit and verification IP to accelerate the development of high-performance storage, digital office and mobile SoC applications. [The new product] supports 10 Gbps data transfer rates, power-down capabilities and compatibility with existing USB 3.0 software stacks and device protocols. Based on the DesignWare USB 3.0 Controller IP architecture, which has shipped in more than 100 million SoCs, the DesignWare USB 3.1 Device Controller IP enables designers to integrate USB 3.1 functionality with significantly less risk and faster time-to-market.”
As always, Synopsys delivers in a big way, which is why interviewing their people is always so much fun. These guys enjoy their work and know they’re on top, and not necessarily in that order. My phone call around the USB 3.1 announcement was with Eric Huang, Senior Product Marketing Manager for USB Digital IP at Synopsys, and was lively from start to finish.
Read the rest of USB 3.1: Synopsys still King of the Hill
October 2nd, 2014 by Peggy Aycinena
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 mbed.org, 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.”
Read the rest of IoT: the A-to-Z of TechTalk at ARM TechCon
September 18th, 2014 by Peggy Aycinena
Tuesday October 14th is coming up fast, and if you’re not yet signed up for the Constellations IP day-long event at San Jose’s Winchester Mystery House, you risk missing the chance to meet the ghost of Sarah Winchester. However if you are signed up for the event, thanks to IPextreme you’re going to have a fascinating and eerie time.
As all locals know, Sarah Winchester inherited tens of millions when her husband William Winchester died in 1881. He had founded the rifle company of the same name, and what with the Civil War and the Wild West proving massive markets to sell into, the fortune was vast when he died. By 1884, Sarah had run from New England to San Jose carrying her millions, and had begun to build and build and build her proto-Victorian wedding cake of a clapboard house. By the time she died almost 40 years later, the house had 40 bedrooms, multiple staircases that lead to nowhere, 47 fireplaces, almost 20 chimneys, and two ballrooms.
So you can understand why a tour of the Winchester Mystery House more than warrants signing up to attend the Constellations IP event. The tours will be interlaced with the technical program, and the whole thing will last from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm, including breakfast, lunch, an end-of day reception and a series of substantive talks from folks like IPextreme CEO Warren Savage, Semico President Jim Feldhan, Adapt IP CEO Mac McNamara, JB Systems President John Blyler, IPextreme SVP/GM Kands Manickam, Sonics VP Randy Smith, Extension Media’s Gabe Moretti, and Certus Co-Director Stephen Fairbanks.
Read the rest of Mystery House: Constellations IP unlock hidden secrets
September 11th, 2014 by Peggy Aycinena
My father died in April 2001 after a long fight with cancer. He had led a good life of personal and professional integrity, and the family grieved his passing intensely. Later that year, just 5 months after my father died, the attacks happened on 9/11.
The enormity of those events and their aftermath really defy description, but I had a particular response that was quite odd. Suddenly, I felt that the grief my family had experienced earlier that year had been way out of proportion to our loss. After all, we knew my father was ill, we knew he had little time left, we had time to say goodbye. Those who lost loved ones on 9/11 did not have that luxury, and they had to comes to terms with a level of hatred that had savaged their entire existence.
Fast forward to July of 2006. The Design Automation Conference was in San Francisco for the first time in many years. I live in the Bay Area, was able to commute from home to DAC on public transportation, and was able to enjoy walking each morning from the Caltrain station at 4th and King to Moscone Center at 3rd and Howard.
On one of the days at DAC, I was moderating a panel on the Pavilion Stage in the Exhibit Hall and arrived in the area during the last few minutes of the previous panel. Jim Hogan was just wrapping up at the podium, as he was the moderator. After he finished and people in the audience began milling around, I stepped up onto the stage to prepare my own materials at the podium. Jim and I exchanged pleasantries and then he happened to look down at my shoes. Now I’m not claiming to be a fashionista, particularly in that hard-bitten world of EDA conferences, but what Jim said at that moment really caught me by surprise.
Read the rest of 9/11: Jim Hogan and My father’s shoes