EDACafe Weekly Review December 13th, 2012

GSS: a spirited defense of FDSOI
December 13, 2012  by Peggy Aycinena


When it comes to stimulating, it doesn’t get better than stepping out of a session at IEDM in San Francisco to take a conference call from Glasgow. On Tuesday, December 11th, I stepped out of Session 9 and a presentation on spintronics to speak with Dr. Asen Asenov about a different device technology.

Asenov is a 20-year veteran of the University of Glasgow, where he serves as James Watt Professor of Electrical Engineering and heads up the Glasgow Device Modeling Group. He is also founder of Glasgow-based Gold Standard Simulations (GSS), a company that specializes in simulating statistical variability in nano-CMOS devices.

We spoke on December 11th because GSS announced that day the results of research “comparing the differentiation between metal gate first and metal gate last FDSOI [fully-depleted silicon-on-insulation] approaches, and comparing it to equivalent bulk MOSFETs.” Based on that work, the company announced that gate-last technology “offers significant advantages” over gate-first technology for devices built on 32- or 28-nanometer FDSOI, and noted that both nodes “significantly outpace equivalent bulk MOSFETS with respect to low-power SRAM design.”

I had the pleasure of attending the luncheon organized by the Design Verification Club of Austin on the mystical date 12/12/12.  It was the concluding event at the Microprocessor Test and Verification Workshop which is held every year at this time.  DVClub lunch-time talks are designed to share knowledge among the verification community and happen several times per year. Real Intent is a new sponsor for DVClub and we join sponsors such as Cadence, Oracle and Breker.

Eric Hennenhoefer, Director of Verification Enablement at ARM, who is a founder and organizer for DVClub generously participated in a video interview which can be seen below.  I think these events are a good idea and look forward to sponsoring the next one in Silicon Valley at Dave & Busters in Milpitas on Feb. 7.  The talk will be given by Dean Drako, CEO & President, IC Manage.

At the Austin event, Zihno Jusufovic from AMD spoke on “Processor Verification of AMD’s  ‘Jaguar': A next generation low power x86 core.”  While Zihno declined to speak on camera about his talk (something about review by pesky lawyers), I was able to glean a few points.  Zhino led what he described as a small verification team and they needed to use several strategies to use their resources efficiently.   Here is what I learned:

Reflex CES: Linking IP, FPGAs, and IEDM
December 13, 2012  by Peggy Aycinena


France-based Reflex CES [Custom Embedded Systems] announced this week what the company calls “the industry’s first release of the Reflex CES Aurora-like IP core based on Altera FPGAs. The core enables interoperability between Xilinx Virtex-6 LXT and Altera Stratix IV and Stratix V GX FPGAs.”

Sylvain Neveu, Reflex CES Co-founder and CEO, is quoted: “With our Reflex CES Aurora-like IP core, designers can easily migrate to new FPGA families with minimum risks, reuse their previous designs, and choose the best FPGA technology for their boards and systems using the Aurora protocol.”

So if that’s an Aurora-like IP core, what’s an Aurora IP core? The answer is, it’s from Xilinx:

Last year we had a BILLION DOLLAR Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) year with some incredible acquisitions.  2012 has been no different.  While it will be almost impossible to replicate the mergers of 2011, 2012 stands as a close contender and a reminder that EDA IS MORE ALIVE AND WELL than in a heck of a long time.

Not only did we have some surprising acquisitions, we also had a record year in hiring.  In addition, sales for EDA seem to be at levels perhaps never seen before or if so, certainly not for a while.  In late 2010, early 2011, I predicted that we were entering the period where the countering of the axiom was beginning…the complete pendulum shift on hiring was starting to occur.  During that time it was a complete hiring dream for companies…too many job seekers, with not enough jobs.  As hiring in 2011 continued its growth and 2012 cemented it,  The polar opposite happened exactly as I predicted…too many jobs and not enough qualified candidates.  Understand, there will always be candidates looking, some having more success than others, but that does not negate the fact that hiring is clearly happening and quite strong in EDA.

APEX EXPO Feb19-21,2013

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