EDACafe Weekly Review April 27th, 2018

By Valeria Bertacco, 55th DAC Conference Program Chair


This June at DAC, we will have the opportunity to discuss and learn about key topics that are emerging in the system design and automation community.


To start, we have the challenge of designing at the end of silicon scaling and beyond: devices, design complexity and verification. On Monday, there will be a tutorial on designing at advanced technology nodes, followed by an invited session on the same topic on Tuesday in the Designer Track.


We will also begin to discuss modern challenges in verification in the face of today’s design complexities. This hot topic will pick up throughout the week with panels, special sessions and reviewed paper presentations, ranging from automating away the complexity of the design process (“the road to no human in the loop” on Tuesday), design productivity (“design productivity in SoC,”  “mind the gap”), verification challenges (“black art of verification”) and new emerging devices (“the zoo of emerging devices”) to design tomorrow’s computing systems.


For those of you  interested in emerging storage and storage technologies, there is also abundant coverage:  From solid-state storage devices (“how solid is your storage,” “solid ideas”), to the storage-centric system solutions (“memory-centric architectures,” “emerging storage,” “memory that never forgets”), complemented by a thorough discussion of the leeway of approximation techniques, in particular in relation to their impact on storage, system reliability and application accuracy (“watch your bits,” “good enough is enough”).


For the researchers, both from industry and academia, we will have a two-hours panel on research funding. Wednesday after lunch we can discuss trends and directions in funding with a slate of panelists from around the globe. This topic is becoming a strong DAC tradition, in light of the interest it has attracted in the recent past.


Moreover, this year at DAC we will begin the conversation about diversity in our industry: what is its value, how do we attain a diverse work environment and what changes do we need to pursue for it to be effective. This discussion will start with an all-day Monday tutorial and will continue with a panel on Wednesday afternoon (“making your team high performing,” “diverse engineering teams are better”).


And then, we have of course the two topics that have been gaining the strongest momentum in the past few DAC events: security and deep learning. On the security front, the program offers two tutorials on “IoT security” and “verification for security.” Once we have built the background knowledge, the program offers multiple sessions each day, discussing software and hardware security, ranging from “best practices” in the designer track, to innovative solutions, both at the architectural and logic levels, in the context of general and embedded systems, particularly the highly exposed IoT world.


As you probably guessed, deep learning is pervasive throughout the program, and I cannot even begin to list all the sessions that tackle this topic. Just know that we will offer several research presentations, invited sessions and panels, both in the research and designer/IP tracks, presenting how to design for deep learning application systems, and how to leverage deep learning in our design processes; deep learning for security and security in deep learning applications. If you are not a deep learning expert, I strongly recommend the broad offering of tutorials (“ML for EDA,” “ML in IoT,” “data science for verification”) to get you up to speed by Monday night.


As you can see, it’s a packed conference program! I hope you will enjoy it, and find some time for the always important networking, too — at the sessions or at the research lounge. I will be there, walking the hallways and attending the talks, and I am very much looking forward to reconnect with old friends and meet the new faces of DAC!


only eight companies held 88% of global foundry market last year.

Research included in the recently released 50-page April Update to the 2018 edition of IC Insights’ McClean Report shows that in 2017, the top eight major foundry leaders (i.e., sales of ≥$1.0 billion) held 88% of the $62.3 billion worldwide foundry market (Figure 1).  The 2017 share was the same level as in 2016 and one point higher than the share the top eight foundries represented in 2015.  With the barriers to entry (e.g., fab costs, access to leading edge technology, etc.) into the foundry business being so high and rising, IC Insights expects this “major” marketshare figure to remain at or near this elevated level in the future.TSMC, by far, was the leader with $32.2 billion in sales last year.  In fact, TSMC’s 2017 sales were over 5x that of second-ranked GlobalFoundries and more than 10x the sales of the fifth-ranked foundry SMIC.

Figure 1

China-based Huahong Group, which includes Huahong Grace and Shanghai Huali, displayed the highest growth rate of the major foundries last year with an 18% jump.  Overall, 2017 was a good year for many of the major foundries with four of the eight registering double-digit sales increases.Of the eight major foundries, six of them are headquartered in the Asia-Pacific region. As shown, Samsung was the only IDM foundry in the ranking.  IBM, a former major IDM foundry, was acquired by GlobalFoundries in mid-2015 while IDM foundries Fujitsu and Intel fell short of the $1.0 billion sales threshold last year. Although growing only 4% last year, Samsung easily remained the largest IDM foundry in 2017, with over 5x the foundry sales of Fujitsu, the second-largest IDM foundry.

Report Details: The 2018 McClean Report
Additional details on sales rankings for the top 50 semiconductor, top 50 IC, and leading IC suppliers by product type (e.g., DRAM, flash memory, MPUs, MCUs, etc.) are provided in the 50-page April Update  to The McClean Report—A Complete Analysis and Forecast of the Integrated Circuit Industry. A subscription to The McClean Report includes free monthly updates from March through November (including a 250+ page Mid-Year Update, and free access to subscriber-only webinars throughout the year. An individual-user license to the 2018 edition of The McClean Report is priced at $4,290 and includes an Internet access password.  A multi-user worldwide corporate license is available for $7,290.

To review additional information about IC Insights’ new and existing market research reports and services please visit our website: www.icinsights.com.
System Functionality Includes Software
April 23, 2018  by Adnan Hamid, CEO of Breker

Listening to users is never a bad thing. Users are the people who set Breker along its current direction and during the process of standardizing Portable Stimulus (PS), the ability to talk to an expanded group of users allowed Breker to see a larger portion of the total available market. We learned a lot.

DownStream: Solutions for Post Processing PCB Designs
TrueCircuits: UltraPLL

You are registered as: [jaehyun.kim@skhynix.com].

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