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 The Breker Trekker

Archive for September, 2013

Let’s Coin a New Phrase: There Is no “I” in “Startup”

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

I had planned to write today about the TrekBox module, an essential part of TrekSoC that links the code running in the embedded processors with the I/O pins of an SoC. But, in the course of reviewing my various daily news digests, I read the curiously titled blog post “Tightlipped Unicorns & Monochrome Rainbows” on the Electronic Engineering Times site. It moved my thoughts in other directions entirely, so here is the result.

In the post, Radfan CTO Simon Barker argues that startups should be more honest about the challenges they face in order to obtain help or advice from those who’ve already lived through such adventures. He maintains that company founders who automatically say “Great!” when asked how things are going are missing an opportunity to garner such assistance and are wasting their time at startup events. This position triggered three major lines of thought for me.


Sneak Preview of the Upcoming SoC Conference in Irvine

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

A notice about “early bird” registration for the 11th International System-on-Chip (SoC) Conference, Exhibit, and Workshops arrived in my inbox late last week. It reminded me that this event is coming up quickly (October 23-24) and that, among other things, I’d better get my slides done in time to make it into the Proceedings. My talk is called “The Search for a Truly Unified Verification Methodology” and it will be on the second day at 4:05pm.

If you look at the program, you’ll quickly see that this is one of the most diverse conferences of the year. A wide variety of experts from both academia and the commercial world considers SOC development from many different angles. One minute you may be listening to a talk on high-level system performance measurement, and the next on the silicon structures for a new type of on-chip memory array.


Two Peas in a Pod: Scenario Models and System Coverage

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

In our last technical blog post, we surveyed some of the existing forms of coverage, including their virtues and limitations, and their applicability to SoC designs. We also introduced a new type of metric, system coverage, based on application scenarios that reflect how an end user would actually run applications on the SoC. We closed by claiming that “Breker’s graph-based scenario models are ideal for establishing, measuring, and refining system coverage.” This is the next in a series of posts to explain why and how.

Another earlier post described the Breker approach of “beginning with the end in mind” using graph-based scenario models. In the graphs used by TrekSoC, outcomes appear on the left and inputs appear on the right, reflecting the way that the test case generator works from the desired result toward the setup conditions needed for a particular application scenario.


If the EDA Industry Has Zombies, What about Vampires?

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

In just a week, my last post has become the most-read since we launched The Breker Trekker blog. That’s fine with me; beneath the intentionally provocative title I had some serious observations on how the EDA industry has evolved over the last couple of decades. My thought for the week is “never underestimate the power of zombies to grab people’s interest.” Mentioning zombies make me think of vampires, since the two are so intertwined in popular culture. There are lots of articles on why we’re so fascinated with these two creatures, and what it means when one is more popular than the other.

I’ll bet that most of you are running ahead of me now and thinking, “Vampires? This must be Breker’s column about venture capitalists.” Indeed this is a post about investors and their role in the formation and fate of EDA companies. Sure, some venture capitalists (VCs) might be viewed as vampires or vultures. But in my personal experience I’ve seen a wide range of investors with very different motivations and methods of interacting with their startups, most of them quite positive.


S2C: FPGA Base prototyping- Download white paper

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