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Technical Book Sale: Is $5 Cheap Enough?

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Jay Littlefield, Director of Product Strategy and Business Development at Real Intent sent me an email last night about a $5 book and video sale going on at PACKT Publishing books.  Their titles are normally $30 to $50 and cover all the latest software technologies that are popular in the web, internet, database, big data and hobby communities.  Sorry, no EDA software titles.

So if you are interested in knowing more about Python machine learning, React.js essentials, mastering Swift 2, cooking with Spark, diving into ECMAScript 6, or learning Docker, visit the PACKT web-site.   The $5 titles are PDFs and also come in your favorite e-reader and Kindle formats.

At DAC, in 2014, we were giving away BeagleBone Black embedded computers for hobby projects.  I checked and PACKT has 16 different titles for BeagleBone enthusiasts including “Building a BeagleBone Black Super Cluster.”  Imagine configuring your own parallel computing Beowulf cluster!

Jay bought the following titles:

  • Learning Joomla! 3 Extension Development
  • Joomla! 3 Beginner’s Guide
  • WordPress 4.0 Site Blueprints
  • Learning ELK Stack
  • Kibana Essentials

The sales ends on Friday Jan. 8.

Happy New Year!

+Graham Survey: “Real Intent to possibly replace SpyGlass?”

Thursday, December 17th, 2015


It’s not a BUG, it’s a FEATURE!

John Cooley at does an annual survey of visitors to the Design Automation Conference to find out what was interesting, and the biggest lie.

In one of his roll-up articles he looked at Real Intent, Atrenta (acquired by Synopsys), and One Spin.

With acquisitions, customers get nervous and for good reason.  The support and responsiveness they get changes.  Five respondents said they were considering possibly replacing SpyGlass with Real Intent.  One user reported the following conversation:

“Your SpyGlass customer support won’t change as a result of the SNPS acquisition.” They actually said that to me with a straight face.

The article also reported a customer evaluation of our Ascent Lint and Meridian CDC (clock-domain crossing) tools. Here is a quick snippet: (more…)

Best of “Real Talk”, Q4 Summary and Latest Videos

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

Real Intent has had an exciting 2015!  In the last few months we had a new release of Meridian CDC, a new distribution partner in Israel, and seen many of you at trade shows in China, Israel, Japan, and Germany.  Our YouTube video channel keeps you up to date on all the latest developments at Real Intent, with our most recent on Why A New Gate-level Physical CDC Verification Solution is Needed and X-pessimism: Why do We Care, and What are the Wrong and Right Fixes for it?.  I also discussed “New Physical CDC Sign-off and iDebug analysis” with Sanjay Gangal in an ARM TechCon video interview.

There have been over 50 postings on the Real Talk blog this year, and I have selected the most popular ones read by the EDACafe audience. Here are the top seven:

Is SystemVerilog the COBOL of Electronic Design?
Good news! The Next Big Thing in Verification is Already Here
A Personal History of Transaction Interfaces to Hardware Emulation
In fond Memory of Gary Smith
The Many Tentacled Monster Under My House (with pictures)
Taking Control of Constraints Verification
Billion Dollar Unicorns

Look for more postings on requirements for RTL sign-off in the coming year.

Happy Holidays!

Exposing and Eliminating X-optimism Bugs in RTL

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

X-optimism occurs when an unknown X value is incorrectly resolved to a known value in RTL simulation. Optimism issues can be difficult to detect and debug because the X is no longer visible once the optimism occurs. The functional issue may not show up at an output for many, many clock cycles after the optimism. X-optimism issues also show up in a gate-level netlist or FPGA-based prototypes, but debug is difficult due to limited visibility in FPGAs, and netlist designs are less familiar post-synthesis. Trying to find an X-optimism bug in an FPGA model is like looking for a needle in a haystack due to limited visibility. In netlist simulations the design hierarchy is flattened, signal names changed, and there is a danger that the X under consideration will be mistaken for a pessimistic node and forced to a known value that hides a functional issue.

Real Intent’s Ascent XV uses static analysis to identify potential X-optimism issues at RTL so they can be fixed prior to simulation, ensuring efficient and accurate simulations. Fixing optimism issues in RTL streamlines getting netlist simulations or FPGA-based prototypes, up and running faster and reduces costly iterations. (more…)

Happy Thanksgiving and 2 Political Cartoons!

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Just in case you have never read a Presidential proclamation, here is the text for Thanksgiving Day, 2015.  I learned something when I read it.  Following this are two political cartoons for your amusement.  Happy Thanksgiving to All!



- – – – – – -


Rooted in a story of generosity and partnership, Thanksgiving offers an opportunity for us to express our gratitude for the gifts we have and to show our appreciation for all we hold dear.  Today, as we give of ourselves in service to others and spend cherished time with family and friends, we give thanks for the many blessings bestowed upon us.  We also honor the men and women in uniform who fight to safeguard our country and our freedoms so we can share occasions like this with loved ones, and we thank our selfless military families who stand beside and support them each and every day.

Video: “Why A New Gate-level CDC Verification Solution?”

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

Recently, I interviewed Vikas Sachdeva, Sr. Technical Marketing Manager at Real Intent where we discusse why gate-level CDC verification is necessary, what are some of the failure modes that can occur, and why Meridian Physical CDC is the right tool to do gate-level sign-off. You can see the video below.  You can also find more information about Meridian Physical CDC here.

Click here to watch other Real Intent videos on our YouTube Channel.

Is SystemVerilog the COBOL of Electronic Design?

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

A few weeks ago I attended the “10 Years of IEEE 1800™ SystemVerilog Celebration” lunch at an IEEE Standard Association symposium.  One of the Verilog/SystemVerilog world’s luminaries sat next to me, and he started talking to other luminaries about how his son, as part of a general engineering degree, was using SystemVerilog.

I had to ask: “With more of a software background, what’s his reaction to SystemVerilog?  It must seem like a godawful mess.”

He said, “He used those same words.”

Several months ago, I wondered whether SystemVerilog was the most complex computer language yet invented, and I found this page on StackOverflow.  The number of keywords may not be the best metric of language complexity, but it is simple and easy to calculate.  According to this answer, COBOL (the Common Business-Oriented Language invented in 1959) has 357.  SystemVerilog has 323.  C#, Microsoft’s answer to C++ and JAVA, is a distant third with 102.  If this answer is complete, nothing competes with COBOL and SystemVerilog. (more…)

Google Designing Its Own Next-Generation Smartphone SoCs?

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

Courtesy Ron Amadeo and Intel

Google is starting to push to have more say in the design and architecture of the chips that run the Android system in smart phones.  They are also apparently making major investments into virtual reality, where some of the chip design effort is expected. And hiring staff from major SoC companies.

Ron Amadeo from the tech publication Ars Technica has published the following online report:  According to a pair of reports from The Information (subscription required), Google has big ambitions for the inside of Android phones. The report says the search giant has sent a long list of requests to chip manufacturers for future SoC designs and that Google is even planning to build its own processors.

The report says that during discussions that happened this fall, “Google representatives put forward designs of chips it was interested in co-developing, including a phone’s main processor.” The new chips are reportedly needed for future Android features that Google hopes to release “in the next few years.” By designing its own chips, Google can make sure the right amount of horsepower gets assigned to all the right places and remove bottlenecks that would slow down these new features.

The report specifically calls out “virtual and augmented reality” as use cases for the new chips. Publicly, only Google Cardboard has surfaced from Google’s VR initiative, but internally, it seems like the company is gearing up for a huge VR push. Some of Google’s biggest names have left their posts on flagship products to go work on the virtual reality team: Jon Wiley, the lead designer of Google Search, and Alex Faaborg, the former lead designer for Firefox, Google Now, and Android Wear. An earlier report from The Wall Street Journal claimed Google was building a version of Android that would become a virtual reality operating system.

Read the rest of Ron Amadeo’s article here and learn who Google is hiring.

The Many Tentacled Monster Under My House (with Pictures)

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

Many years ago, my wife and I bought our first home. At that time, a coworker said to me, “Congratulations! You now have a home project to do every weekend for the rest of your life!” How right he was, though his prediction only covered our first 6 years, since we had sold that early house and moved into an apartment in San Francisco.

Fast forwarding to this past summer, our family made the decision to move back to the south bay. We located a nice house near a good elementary school within our budget, and moved in over the Independence Day weekend. Part of the move involved pulling my old woodworking tools out of storage. (Back when we first moved to the City, I’d tried with no success to convince my wife that a table saw sitting in the middle of our living room in our small apartment really wouldn’t be an inconvenience.) For me, setting up the tools once more was like seeing long absent friends. As they took their new places in our garage, my thoughts turned to how to use them to make “improvements” in our new home.


Is Silicon the New Fabric for Our Lives?

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

The following CEO Insight was published in the October 2015 issue of SiliconIndia.

This year we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Moore’s Law. On April 19, 1965, Electronics magazine published an article that profoundly impacted the world. It was authored by a Fairchild Semiconductor R&D Director, Gordon Moore, who forecast that transistors would decrease in cost and increase in performance at an exponential rate. The article predicted the availability of personal computers and mobile communications. Moore’s seminal observation became known as ‘Moore’s Law’, a prediction that established the path the semiconductor industry would take for the next 50 years or more and, in doing so would dramatically change our lives. Three years later Gordon Moore co-founded Intel, the number one semiconductor company in the world.

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