EDACafe Weekly Review June 22nd, 2018

ESD Alliance Unveils itself as SEMI Strategic Association Partner at DAC
June 22, 2018  by Bob Smith, Executive Director

It’s hard to believe DAC is here already. We are excited to be back in San Francisco this year –– just up the road from Silicon Valley –– a great location. We look forward to seeing you there. 

We’re even more excited about our new life as a SEMI Strategic Association Partner. Our mission, name, activities and industry focus on the design ecosystem will continue on –– even stronger with our new association with SEMI.

The ESD Alliance membership will benefit by having access to SEMI’s global platform and many verticals, such as Smart Manufacturing, Smart Transportation and Smart Data. We are pleased to play a vital role in SEMI’s mission by bringing the experience, knowledge and thought leadership from the system design ecosystem, which is “Where Electronics Begins™.”

It’s really a misperception that some members of our community picture SEMI and its SEMICON trade shows as only targeting semiconductor manufacturing equipment –– an outdated view to be sure. SEMI’s expanded mission now spans the entire global electronics manufacturing chain, from concept and design through product manufacturing and end-market applications, and the reason for the natural fit between the ESD Alliance and SEMI.

Check out the program for SEMICON West 2018 and you’ll see a wide range of topics ––everything from IoT, AI, blockchain and smart transportation to smart data, flexible hybrid electronics, and MEMS and sensors. This is way more than just equipment and are topics that have our community buzzing. 

For many years our industry was “chip-centric.” Now chip design is changing in a fundamental way as we move into the system design era. We’re no longer supporting only the few companies who tailor their product designs to meet the next technology node for yet one more high-powered chip.

Instead, there are more designs than ever before. Chips will remain important, though as one, albeit key element of system design and manufacturing. IoT is transforming design techniques to get chips completed rapidly and affordably, while IP is driving system design through a higher level of abstraction. Both are adding complexity, but are huge, untapped opportunities for the system design ecosystem.

The other significant change is that, by necessity, design and manufacturing are now collaborative activities and increasingly closely tied. The good old days of separated design and manufacturing are receding into the past.

We’re moving from the provincial to the modern era. Design is happening everywhere. We have many more modes of communications and expanding chances to get creative. These changes beg for a new way of thinking about how the design ecosystem fits into the broader global electronics marketplace. Becoming a SEMI Strategic Association Partner gives us an opportunity to develop programs and initiatives that designers need, and tie that into the larger framework of the entire manufacturing chain.

Once we finalize our transition into SEMI, we will no longer be a sponsor of DAC. In considering the broader view of our community, we are bringing a new element to SEMICON West starting in 2019 in San Francisco. Our members will help plan, shape and drive the new Design Ecosystem Pavilion we are launching at next year’s show. This will be a dedicated platform with its own tracks, designed to showcase everything about design from IP to EDA to embedded software to design services and more. By holding this event as an integral part of SEMICON West, we bring together the entire electronics product chain at one large event.

Please stop by the ESD Alliance Booth (#1234) to see us and we’ll be happy to answer your questions and explain more about our expanded role by being part of SEMI.

The Making of a Standard
June 21, 2018  by Adnan Hamid, CEO of Breker

The industry waits with bated breath for the Accellera board to approve the Portable Stimulus 1.0 specification. It has been a long and arduous process over the past four years to get to this point, a process that most people never get to experience. This was my first standard, and to say it was an eye opener is somewhat of an understatement. In this blog, I am not going to dwell on the many bruises I suffered or the technical discussions that often seemed like personal attacks. Instead, I want to make the industry aware of some of the difficulties associated with bringing a new and somewhat revolutionary standard to market.

China accounted for 7 of top 10 leading smartphone suppliers in 2017, share grows to 42%.

IC Insights recently released its Update to its 2018 IC Market Drivers Report.  The Update includes IC Insights’ latest outlooks on the smartphone, automotive, PC/tablet and Internet of Things (IoT) markets.

The Update shows a final 2017 ranking of the top smartphone leaders in terms of unit shipments.  As shown in Figure 1, 9 of the top 12 smartphone suppliers were headquartered in China.  Two South Korean companies (Samsung and LG) and one U.S. supplier (Apple) were the other leaders.

Figure 1

Samsung and Apple dominated the smartphone market from 2015 through 2017.  In total, these two companies shipped 526 million smartphones and held a combined 35% share of the total smartphone market in 2016. Moreover, these two companies shipped over one-half billion smartphones (533 million) in 2017 with their combined smartphone unit marketshare increasing one point to 36%.

Intel and Ecosystem Partners Introduce New Solutions to Secure Data in Emerging Technologies

rick echevarriaBy Rick Echevarria

The future of a trusted and secure computing environment hinges on our collective ability to deliver solutions that improve the performance across a variety of workloads, while also optimizing security.

This week, at Cyber Week in Israel, I am joined by partners, customers, and cybersecurity industry and policy leaders from across the globe. Intel is committed to providing silicon-based security solutions that address the most pressing issues. There are three key themes at the conference, highlighting the challenges and opportunities facing our industry.

Emerging Workloads Deliver More Data to Analyze and Secure

Incoming data is increasingly difficult to effectively leverage without the computing power to process and learn from its growing volume and complexity. Machine learning (ML) algorithms, and other artificial intelligence (AI) applications and capabilities, have achieved remarkable results and are being extensively used in different domains. ML algorithms often require access to sensitive data, especially as the focus on data privacy increases around the world. Limiting access to the right data may limit the outcomes that can be achieved with the use of AI. In the case of blockchain, the security and privacy of data join transaction scalability as key technical considerations.

Write-only ports in C++
June 18, 2018  by Colin Walls

I recently wrote about write-only ports and discussed how they worked and the challenges presented to software developers who need to program them. The solutions proposed were quite straightforward, but the challenge remained to ensure that all the code utilizing the ports complied with the requirements.

I commented at the time that there are several ways to mandate the correct handing of write-only ports, but an approach that interested me was the use of C++ …

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