Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Tuesday, April 16th, 2013
If you have ever run a marathon, or supported a friend or family member on the day of the race, you know what it is like at the finish line. All eyes are on that finish line — and the clock. The runners have reached the end of their physical limits and the people who are trying to see them finish are crushed together in a constantly shifting mass of onlookers, standing on tip-toes trying to see over the heads of the crowds to get a photo of their friend or family member at the very moment the runner passes through the gate. Nobody, absolutely nobody, is looking for danger.
Then, in the moments after the finish, several things happen. The runner is in this strange, mixed condition of total elation and on the verge of total collapse. It’s hard to describe if you haven’t done it, but that’s how it is. No runner at the end of a marathon, not a single one, is looking for danger. They’re looking for water and energy bars, they’re looking for those metallic blankets, they’re looking for the people who will give them their shirt and their medal, they’re looking for their loved ones, they’re looking for a place to collapse. And, their loved ones are looking for them. Nobody’s looking for danger.
Thursday, April 11th, 2013
DAC is almost here and spring is in the air, so why would anybody dwell on the negative? Because although the truth often hurts, it can be cathartic to get it out in the open, especially on the eve of DAC.
And the truth is that despite all of the celebrations, PR, and instant-bazillionaire stories associated with one company being acquired by another, these acquisitions actually precipitate a world of hurt – today, tomorrow, next year, and sometimes even on into the next decade. Acquisitions are never easy and the reverberations for the people involved often last for a long, long time.
Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
As TSMC Chairman and Founder Dr. Morris Chang made his way up the steps and across the stage on Tuesday morning to keynote at the opening of his organization’s 19th annual global tech tour, the ballroom in the San Jose Convention Center was plunged into silence, one imbued with a palpable sense of both reverence and awe. There were easily a thousand people in the room, but nary a sound. It was astonishing.
Chang positioned himself at the microphone centered on the broad stage and then delivered an equally astonishing twenty-minute address, without notes and only one or two slides. First, he acknowledged his audience …
Thursday, April 4th, 2013
Let’s be honest about this. The reason the Electronic Design Process Symposium takes place every year in Monterey is because of the surf and sunshine. Otherwise, this conference would be so much more appropriately located in Silicon Valley.
Oh well, where’s the harm? Just hop into your favorite woodie, be it a hybrid or an EV, don’t forget the suncream, sandtoys, and surfboard, and head on down to Monterey Bay for two days of great talks, good food, and quiet-ish contemplation, with an emphasis on -ish. The 20th annual EDPS awaits.
Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
The EDA Consortium and the IEEE Council of EDA together announced today the recipient of this year’s Phil Kaufman Award for distinguished contributions to EDA – Chenming Hu, TSMC Distinguished Professor of the Graduate School at U.C. Berkeley.
Per the Press Release: “Dr. Chenming Hu is being recognized for his contributions in device physics, device modeling, and device reliability through BSIM and BERT models that have transformed the semiconductor manufacturing and EDA industries. Dr. Hu’s team invented the revolutionary 3D finFET transistor structure that simultaneously achieves size and power reduction to enable continued scaling of the microelectronic chips.”
Prof. Hu is a marvelous choice on the part of both EDAC and CEDA, but it is important to note that his contributions in EDA are the basis for the Phil Kaufman Award, not his work on the finFET – even though the latter is the hot topic in semiconductors today.
Monday, April 1st, 2013
EDAC’s Market Statistics Service today announced Q4 2012 revenue and happily reported a 4.6 percent increase, year over year, compared with Q4 2011. Per the press release: “Sequential EDA revenue for Q4 2012 increased 9.8 percent compared to Q3 2012, while the four-quarters moving average, which compares the most recent four quarters to the prior four quarters, increased by 6.7 percent.”
Mentor Graphics Chairman & CEO Wally Rhines confirmed the industry’s good news in a phone call to discuss the MSS numbers. “A 6.7 percent increase is good and continues a reasonable mid-single digit trend in growth rate,” he said.
“Also, growth in the industry was pretty uniform around the world, except for Japan which showed a little weakness. Surprisingly, Europe was the strongest, while from a product category point of view, things remain strong across the front end, particularly in printed circuit boards. And interestingly, the survey data showed that the IP sold by EDA companies was stronger [in the market] than that sold by IP companies.”
Thursday, March 28th, 2013
To say this is the year of the finFET is somewhat of an understatement, because everywhere you go somebody’s talking about going up instead of out – at ISSCC, at DesignCon, at DVCon, at ISQED, at SNUG, at EDPS, at DAC.
Among the talks so far, one of the best was given by the father of the finFET himself, U.C. Berkeley’s Chenming Hu. If you were at ISQED in Santa Clara on March 5th, you heard Prof. Hu describe how increasing leakage current in planar devices motivated radical new thinking in the late 1990s: Instead of a classic source, drain, gate structure, take a thin film of high-quality silicon material, place gate-dielectric above and below it such that the silicon is never very far from the gate, and then turn the thing 90 degrees so that the source is out the back, the drain’s in front, and the gate material is vertical.
Wednesday, March 27th, 2013
Companies like to be covered by The Press when The Press has something nice to say about them. When The Press doesn’t have nice things to say about them, companies don’t like The Press anymore and they close up inside themselves like a sea anemone at low tide on a sunny day. That’s why the whole concept of having a Press Corps in an industry is dumb.
Nonetheless, The Press continues to exist pretty much everywhere and that’s where the dumb thing gets even dumber. People who work in The Press think of themselves as important. I kid you not. They think the things they say, the pearls of wisdom they embed in endless streams of blogs, articles, and even tweets, somehow impact decision making inside of the companies The Press are blogging, opining, and tweeting about. But that’s not really true. It’s just plain dumb that The Press think that what they say actually matters.
So what does matter? What really does make a difference inside of a company? What really impacts the decision making and/or decision makers inside a company? It’s simple: The customers.
Wednesday, March 27th, 2013
Randy Royce died yesterday of cancer. You probably didn’t know him. I didn’t know him very well, but his wife and I went to high school together. The first time I met Randy, Yvette was sitting on his lap at our big noisy 10-year class reunion. I always remembered that, because you never saw two people who had more fun together, who loved each other more.
Randy was mayor of San Carlos in recent years, and worked for many years before that at HP and Agilent. A long time ago, we were with Randy and Yvette at a dinner party given by mutual friends. Randy mentioned that he knew Paul Otellini from college and I said, “Really? I’d like to meet Paul Otellini. I’d liked to interview him.”
Thursday, March 21st, 2013
It’s time to start exploring what’s coming up at DAC 2013 in Austin the first week in June, and one way to do that is to visit the conference website. There you’ll find a variety of interesting things including an interactive Exhibit Hall map, which allows you to run your mouse over any booth and see which company’s going to be located there. Maybe that feature’s been available in years past, but it’s still pretty cool.
Something that certainly is new this year at DAC, however, is Innovation Square. I’ve boldly cut-and-pasted the graphic from the DAC website into this blog so you can see what it entails, which is this: You pay the DAC organization $5500 and for that you get a kiosk-like space, a 24-inch computer monitor, an electrical hook-up for your other stuff, booth-unit graphics, a shared private meeting suite with a schedule that you’ll know in advance, and one paid-in-full conference registration.
In other words, you get a “turn key package” that allows you to have a foot on the ground at DAC without enduring the mystery of “What’s this all going to actually cost me?” True, it looks like any particular company in Innovation Square only has about 15 or 20 square feet of show floor, but if otherwise you couldn’t afford to be on the show floor at all in Austin, this is a great innovation indeed.