EDACafe Weekly Review July 22nd, 2018

This was an intriguing DAC. Hardware-Software Interface (HSI) is increasingly emerging as an area of importance, and because of this Agnisys has begun to emerge as a must-have toolset in the system development toolchain.

It still surprises me that some are just now waking up to this critical area of design. Teams are realizing that the chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and a design is only as robust as the weakest automation script. They are replacing their internal scripts with off-the-shelf professional tools. Agnisys, I’m proud to say, provides just that – professional products to replace register automation scripts.

One thing I did hear many times from attendees is that they are no longer satisfied with just creating register models. They want a test suite that automatically verifies the IP/SoC registers using a variety of techniques including C, UVM, and Formal. We nearly ran out of brochures for ARV-Sim™ARV-Formal™, and ISequenceSpec™, as these products are intentionally built for exactly that.

Functional Safety driven by the ISO 26262 standard continues to be another hot area. Designers are looking for certified tools that can help them create autonomous vehicles and embedded electronics for automobiles. We shared our solution that fits in the intersection of Functional Safety and Electronic Design.

Semi content to surpass 30% this year, smashing the previous record high set just last year.
In its upcoming Mid-Year Update to The McClean Report 2018 (to be released at the end of July), IC Insights forecasts that the 2018 global electronic systems market will grow 5% to $1,622 billion while the worldwide semiconductor market is expected to surge by 14% this year to $509.1 billion, exceeding the $500.0 billion level for the first time.  If the 2018 forecasts come to fruition, the average semiconductor content in an electronic system will reach 31.4%, breaking the all-time record of 28.8% that was set in 2017 (Figure 1).

Figure 1

Historically, the driving force behind the higher average annual growth rate of the semiconductor industry as compared to the electronic systems market is the increasing value or content of semiconductors used in electronic systems.  With global unit shipments of cellphones (-1%), automobiles (3%), and PCs (-1%) forecast to be weak in 2018, the disparity between the moderate growth in the electronic systems market and high growth of the semiconductor market is directly due to the increasing content of semiconductors in electronic systems.

While the trend of increasing semiconductor content has been evident for the past 30 years, the big jump in the average semiconductor content in electronic systems in 2018 is expected to be primarily due to the huge surge in DRAM and NAND flash ASPs and average electronic system sales growth this year. After slipping to 30.2% in 2020, the semiconductor content percentage is expected to climb to a new high of 31.5% in 2022.  IC Insights does not anticipate the percentage will fall below 30% any year through the forecast period.

Intel’s partnership with the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation (CFCHC) to protect and preserve the Jiankou section of the Great Wall of China is underway. And experts from Wuhan University LIESMARS have been added to the project, leveraging Intel technologies to preserve the wall more efficiently and safely than before.

An Intel Falcon 8+ drone is prepared for aerial inspection of the Great Wall of China. In 2018, Intel Corporation announced a partnership with the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation to protect and restore the Great Wall of China. (Credit: Intel Corporation

This is the next step in Intel’s recently announced commitment to inspect and preserve the Jiankou section of the Great Wall. By incorporating advanced technologies into this partnership, Intel is giving conservationists new tools to protect history and help preserve one of the great architectural wonders of the world.

DownStream: Solutions for Post Processing PCB Designs
TrueCircuits: IoTPLL

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