EDACafe Weekly Review May 24th, 2012


At the center of the technical universe sits Silicon Valley. At the center of Silicon Valley sits the City of San Jose. At the center of the city sits San Jose State University, and at the center of the university sits the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering.

Currently, SJSU offers 12 undergraduate majors in engineering, 11 graduate majors, and a host of different inter-disciplinary programs at all levels. It’s a dynamic College of Engineering and a powerful magnet for study in Northern California.

Dr. Belle Wei (M.S.E. Harvard, Ph.D. U.C. Berkeley) has been Dean of the College of Engineering since 2002, and is now serving a second 6-year term. On Monday, June 4th, at the Design Automation Conference in San Francisco, Dean Wei will receive the 2012 Marie R. Pistilli Achievement Award.

Per the press announcement of her Marie R. Pistilli award: “Dr. Wei is the first person in the College of  Engineering’s history to hold an endowed deanship. During her tenure as dean, Dr. Wei has increased extramural grants and endowment gifts, strengthened industry partnerships, and tripled corporate master’s degree programs from five to 14.”

Dr. Wei – first interviewed here on EDACafe in 2006 – has a long, distinguished career at SJSU. Her contributions to engineering education, in particular, the promotion of under-served populations who seek careers in technology, are extremely significant.

It was an honor to speak with Dean Wei this week about engineering education, innovation, and everything in between. We spoke on May 22, 2012.


Get Real at the 49th DAC!

You are invited to visit the Real Intent booth at the 49th DAC. Real Intent is known for having the fastest, high-capacity verification tools for early functional analysis including Lint, and for advanced timing sign-off of designs with multiple clock domains (CDC).

By completing our quick survey at the booth, you will be entered into drawings for cool tech-gadgets like a SlingBox PRO-HD or Kindle Fire, and for tickets to a Bay Area national sports team. There’s More! Enjoy a frosty bottled beverage on Monday or Tuesday afternoon and try your hand at our new Foosball table! You can look forward to both fast verification and fun times at this year’s DAC.

Our technical presentations will bring you up to date with our new product releases that came out in May. Click on the links below to book your appointment at the Real Intent booth #926.

New Ascent Lint 1.5.1 Release with Advanced Debugging and Faster Analysis

New Meridian Clock Domain Crossing (CDC) 4.1 Release with Advanced Features and Deeper Analysis

Ascent XV: Complete Solution for X Sign-Off Verification

Meridian Constraints: Comprehensive SDC Management and Verification

Ascent IIV: Automatic Detection of Functional Bugs Without a TestBench

See you at the show!


Upgrading Your Verification with Jasper!
May 23, 2012  by Rob van Blommestein

The DAC frenzy has begun.  We at Jasper are excited to be going to DAC and showing the industry the latest in our leading Jasper formal technology.

We recently introduced our JasperGold Apps that help customers achieve substantial productivity gains in design and verification through individual Apps within a shared interactive environment that fit into existing verification flows.  The JasperGold Apps helps solve engineers’ toughest problems, addressing an array of design and verification functionality issues throughout the flow, such as:

  • End-to-end property verification,
  • Unexpected X detection and debugging,
  • Chip-level connectivity,
  • Automated assertion generation,
  • Identification of coverage holes,
  • Design trade-off analysis,
  • Absence of deadlock,
  • Cache coherency,
  • And many more.

You can see the JasperGold Apps in action in our booth.

Docea: the Power and the Story
May 22, 2012  by Peggy Aycinena


Docea Power, founded in 2006 in the Grenoble area of central France by brothers Ghislain and Sylvian Kaiser, now has an office headquartered in Silicon Valley. When CEO Ghislain Kaiser and I spoke by phone this morning, he talked about the company’s product offerings – in particular, those set to be showcased at DAC in San Francisco in early June.

Ghislain said, “AceThermalModeler is our new tool that is available for both architects and system designers [through which] they can create a compact thermal model for a proposed product.

“True, there are on the market today tools from Mentor [FloTHERM] and Ansys [Icepak] that do thermal analysis, but those tools need a lot of run time because they are not compact. The models they produce are accurate, but require hours and days of compute time.

“Docea’s AceThermalModeler, however, relies on fast computing – just seconds or minutes – so at the architectural and system level the design space can be explored quickly. [In fact], if we compare the models produced by our solution, we are within 5% of the models produced by Mentor or Ansys, so for a great deal of savings in time only a small amount of model accuracy is lost.

Article source: Cortus

Cortus extends its family of 32 bit modern RISC microcontroller IP cores with the energy efficient APS3R. The APS3R is aimed at low power embedded applications such as wireless sensor networks, touchscreen controllers, smart cards and systems using energy harvesting.

Cortus, a technology leader in ultra low power, silicon efficient 32-bit processor IP, announces the release of the latest member of their processor family: the energy efficient APS3R. The APS3R builds on experience with the earlier APS3 core but delivers improved computational performance. For more demanding embedded applications a dual core configuration is possible.

APS3R Dual Core

The Cortus APS3R is a 32-bit processor designed specifically for low power embedded systems featuring a 32-bit modern RISC architecture with sixteen 32-bit registers and a 5-7 stage pipeline. It is the second member of the Cortus microcontroller IP core family to be released in 2012 complementing the single precision floating point FPS6 core.

Thoughts on RTL Lint and a Poem
May 21, 2012  by Graham Bell

The following blog entry was written by Jim Foley, R&D Director at Real Intent

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about RTL lint.  This might be helpful to you, because if you’re tasked with solving multi-corner timing closure or characterizing activity for realistic power estimates, you know you don’t have much time left to think about lint.  Nor should you have to.  Granted, there are very many things that lint can check for – more about this in a bit — and there are as many different opinions about what constructs, conventions, and potential problems ought to be checked for and at which stage in the design process as there are individual design engineers.  I tend to put high value on lint rules that report on constructs that are legal but have suspicious modeling, that in Ascent Lint we categorize as “dubious”.  There’s also a lot of value to checking coding conventions to make code clear and readable – by whatever criteria meets that objective for you or your design group, as well as catching things that may simulate fine but may cost you time and trouble downstream in the design flow.

Spring Clean!

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