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 The Breker Trekker

Archive for July, 2015

Using Scenario Models to Capture Use Cases

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

One of the signs that a technological domain is still fairly young is frequently evolving terminology as the pioneers attempt to explain to the mainstream what problem needs to be solved and what solutions can be brought to bear on the problem. Such is the case with SoC verification. At Breker we used to start explaining what we do by talking about graphs, but shifted to “graph-based scenario models” to emphasize that graphs are perfect for expressing scenarios of real-world behavior.

Our friends at Mentor, also strong advocates for graphs, began using the term “software-driven verification” to describe their approach. We rather like this description, but feel that it can only be applied accurately when embedded test code is being generated and when the embedded processors are in charge of the test case. Now our friends at Cadence have been sprinkling the term “use case” throughout their discussions on SoC and system verification. Let’s try to sort out what all this means.

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Congratulations to Richard Goering for a Great Career

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

The recent death of EDA analyst Gary Smith overshadowed another major transition in our industry: the retirement of longtime EDA journalist Richard Goering at the end of June. Both of these men contributed an extraordinary amount to EDA, and today I’d like to say a bit about Richard and his accomplishments. He is best remembered as the CAD/CAE/EDA editor for Electronic Engineering Times, for many years the newspaper of record for electronics.

It would be hard for today’s young engineers to imagine how influential EE Times was at its peak. It stood out on everyone’s desk with its distinctive tabloid format. Most buyers turned to its pages first. All vendors wanted to achieve editorial coverage for their companies and products, in addition to advertising there. The EE Times journalists and editors were some of the best and brightest. Landing an interview with one of them was a goal for every PR campaign. When it came to EDA, Richard Goering was the man.

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Guest Post: Rain or Shine for the EDA Cloud?

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

Recent announcements from IBM and others about supporting EDA tools in the cloud have spurred renewed discussion on this topic, including here at The Breker Trekker. As expected, the recent posts have been very popular with our readers. Those of you who have been following this topic for a while may recall that, almost exactly two years ago, EDA vendor OneSpin announced cloud support for their formal tools. We invited their VP of Marketing, Dave Kelf, to fill us in their experiences since then:

Two years ago OneSpin introduced the cloud version of it’s Design Verification (DV) formal-based products. Some commentators pointed at other failed EDA attempts to make the same move, suggesting more of the same. Others hailed the announcement as a bold move whose time had come. So… did it work out and what have we learned? The results are surprising, and suggest trends that make some EDA solutions a natural fit for the cloud, whereas others are questionable.

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Some Fond Memories of EDA Analyst Gary Smith

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

This week began on a very bad note in the EDA world: news of the death of longtime industry analyst Gary Smith. In an industry that has been largely ignored by Wall Street and big market analysis firms in recent years, Gary has played a critical role in continuing to carry the torch for EDA and providing both hard data and thoughtful commentary on business-related and technological topics. It is difficult to imagine our world without him.

Beyond his contributions to the industry, Gary was loved and admired by many of his fellow EDA and semiconductor professionals. I’m writing this post in the first person since the memories herein are mostly mine, but I know that I speak for my colleagues at Breker when I say that we always enjoyed meeting with Gary and that we will miss both his humor and his wisdom. We hope that we can all provide a measure of support to help his family get through this terrible time.

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