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Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Angst at EDPS: Private Lives (not) in the Technical Age

Thursday, May 5th, 2016


Luckily I arrived late to EDPS in Monterey on Friday, April 22
, because I did not hear the introduction of the first keynote speaker or hear his name. A good thing, as it turns out. The speaker was a technologist who doesn’t embrace technology when it’s used as a tool for intrusions into our lives. He’s concerned about how our private facts have become part of the public fabric, accessible to anyone who knows how to navigate the Cloud.

And so, in the spirit of Life imitating Art, I’m not going to list his name here. That detail is fully available on the EDPS website, but it will not be articulated here. What will be articulated here, however, is the audience reaction to the Keynoter’s comments. The audience became part of the presentation, with the keynote address quickly morphing into a round table discussion, a group therapy session for technology whiz-kids who worry about the increasingly public nature of our private lives in this digital, always-connected era.


Rutenbar’s Coursera: Grand & Crazy on a Planetary Scale

Thursday, April 21st, 2016


Just as Auguste Rodin revived the art of sculpture
at the end of the 19th century in Europe, and Wynton Marsalis rescued the art of jazz by the end of the 20th century in America, here in the 21st century University of Illinois CS professor Rob Rutenbar is resurrecting the art of teaching VLSI design around the world.

He’s doing that via his Coursera-based online class entitled VLSI CAD: Logic to Layout, a course with an enrollment that defies comprehension. Per Rutenbar’s own whimsy: “There are about 25,000 people working in the EDA industry today. About 55,000 of them have signed up for my class.”

I had a chance to speak by phone with Dr. Rutenbar earlier this week. He was sitting in his office in Urbana-Champaign, but looking out an academic landscape that encompasses the entire world.

[hint: a MOOC is a Massively Open Online Course.]


Herb Reiter at EDPS: Multi-Die IC Design and Application

Thursday, March 24th, 2016


To speak with Herb Reiter about the rationale for multi-die packaging
is a chance to follow a logical and energetic continuum from first principles to a final conclusion. Namely, that as the era of the ASIC subsides, the era of the multi-die package will arrive full force.

Reiter, President of eda 2 asic, will be reiterating this line of thinking, in conjunction with a panel of like-minded experts, at the upcoming EDPS conference in Monterey on April 21st. In anticipation of that session – “Multi-Die IC Design and Application” – we spoke by phone this week. The conversation was compelling.


EDA: Not so good in the ‘hood … or is it?

Thursday, December 10th, 2015


If Wednesday night’s EDAC event at their headquarters in San Jose
is any indication, things ain’t so good in the EDA ‘hood. There are no investors, no startups, no energy, no room for innovation, no luster, and ergo no young people.

Although, Jim Hogan – who shared the evening’s stage with Ansys/Apache VP & GM John Lee – said that if you think EDA’s bad, you should look at Google. According to Hogan, the luster’s gone at Google as well, buses transporting techies from Silicon Valley to their habitats elsewhere are running half empty, and nobody wants to be there anymore. The Google glam is gone, per Hogan, even though the overpaid youngsters he knows who work there are regularly pulling in salaries of $500k and holding an additional $500k in stock.

Hogan had no answer for how EDA was going to match those perks, but both he and Lee agreed that everything’s cyclical and therefore if everybody can just hold on for another 5 years, EDA will be back in fashion.

Meanwhile, it still ain’t so good in the EDA hood … or is it?


Synopsys hacked: Closes barn door, hires Mandiant

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015


It’s pretty hard to believe that Synopsys has been hacked. And not just any hack, but 4 months’ worth, per the company’s own announcement, of some unauthorized ‘somebody’ having access to everything that Synopsys sells. Seriously? How could Synopsys have left the barn door open?

Consider Google. Last year in response to North Korea’s gleeful mega-hack into Sony as punishment for producing the then-not-yet-released satire, “The Interview”, the entire entertainment industry fled into their caves trembling. Very few were willing to distribute the movie because of North Korea’s proven prowess as a cyber-bully.


Oski Technology: Formal celebrates its Place at the Table

Thursday, November 5th, 2015


Since initiating their Decoding Formal Club in October 2013, Oski Technology has hosted this much-needed get-together every quarter, most recently on October 21st of this year at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. I was fortunate to attend the debut meeting in 2013, so it was interesting to hear from Oski VP Jin Zhang that the support group is proving valuable to the growing numbers who attend.

“The first time we held the meeting,” Zhang said, “it was by invitation only, and we included about a dozen folks. Since that first event, we have continued to use the same room at the Computer History Museum, a room that can hold up to 40 people.

“The workshop, however, is continuing to grow very nicely, so we are faced with either finding a new venue or working with the museum to arrange for a bigger room for our next meeting in the first quarter of 2016.”

Zhang said interest in the event has increased to the point that people sign up to attend as soon as the date and time are announced. “They want to be sure they’ve got a spot,” she said.


Wild West: OneSpin’s Dave Kelf rides shotgun on SystemC

Monday, March 23rd, 2015


The last time I spoke at length with OneSpin’s Dave Kelf, the conversation was all about the Cloud. This week we picked up where we left off, talking about the Cloud, but then moved on to the Wild West. Dave is quite taken with the idea that the current situation in EDA is on par with the Wild West, that mythical place where a lack of structure and entrenched establishment allows true innovators to run wild free. First however, we caught up with OneSpin and the Cloud.

Dave said, “These days, engineers cannot afford to stick their necks out. Neither their managers nor their corporate leadership want to take risks, and the engineers know it. Although engineers realize moving design to the Cloud makes sense, when they try to explain that to their bosses or corporate lawyers it often leads to legal discussions around the problems of having [propriety] IP leave the company’s server.

“At OneSpin, however, we are able to eliminate these issues by generating abstract verification proof problems that go to the Cloud for computation without the transfer of IP or even [identifiable markers], assuring our customers that the process is very secure. Moving to the Cloud means design teams will have access to infinite computing, with huge verification jobs running simultaneously.”


Bosch Kibosh: Ask not what EDA can do for tomorrow’s cars

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014


Sometimes shocking news arrives quietly, like fog over the Bay. In the very first sentence of his glamorous November 3rd keynote at ICCAD in Silicon Valley, Bosch VP of Engineering Peter van Staa bluntly told his audience that EDA would “probably not” help solve the problems related to electronic designs for the cars of the future. He then spent the next 45 minutes explaining instead how Bosch would.

“Bosch is unique,” van Staa said. With 42,000 employees and 4.5 billion euros spent in 2013 alone for R&D across multiple silos – energy and building technologies, consumer goods, industrial controls, and mobile “solutions” [anything driven by an engine being a particular focus] – the Stuttgart-based company is spewing out “an invention every 25 minutes.” [Can any EDA company make such a claim?]


CTO & Visionary: A conversation with Real Intent’s Pranav Ashar

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014


Dr. Pranav Ashar embodies the best of what EDA is all about these days, serving as articulate spokesman for the company’s technology, while tracking the wider view as well, the trends and future of the industry. I spoke with Dr. Ashar in early October and was impressed with his willingness to participate in an unscripted interview.

Our conversation was precipitated by Real Intent’s recent announcement of the 2014 release of its Meridian CDC product for clock-domain crossing analysis, which per the press release, adds enhanced speed, analysis and debug support for SoC and FPGA design teams, introduces a new CDC interface approach, a new way of debugging CDC violations, and a unique way to handle flat and hierarchical designs comprehensively. Dr. Ashar started our conversation by talking about the announcement.


Smart Grid: DATE, DAC, IoT

Thursday, January 16th, 2014


With this week’s news of Google’s $3+ billion purchase of NEST, the connected home, the Internet of Things [IoT], and the Smart Grid are moving to an even higher level of public awareness. The European design automation community has showcased that awareness for some time at DATE, with multiple sessions each year addressing issues related to the optimization of power distribution and usage at all levels of abstraction within the digital ecosystem. This year is no different. Sessions in Dresden in late March at DATE 2014 include:

* Green Computing Systems: Design experiences in industrial or academic projects with high industrial relevance or high environmental impact, chaired by Boston University’s Ayse Coskun and University of Bologna’s Martino Ruggiero.

* Automotive Systems and Smart Energy Systems: Design experiences for automotive systems, smart energy systems, energy scavenging and harvesting for embedded systems, chaired by University of Trento’s Davide Brunelli and NXP’s Bart Vermeulen.

* Cyber-Physical Systems: Modeling, design, architecture, optimization and analysis of CPS — chaired by Braunschweig Technical University’s Rolf Ernst and MIT’s Anuradha Annaswamy


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