August 22, 2005
Power Reduction wth Golden Gate Technology
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Gold Gate Technology is a small venture backed startup offering power reduction products and services for IC designers. Last May they introduced two new software products -- Power Optimize Gold and Power Plan Gold. On August 11th they announced the appointment of William Ruby as VP of Marketing. I had an opportunity to interview him shortly thereafter.
Tell me a little about your background.
larger place, basically a safer place to be than Sequence. I went to Cadence for a year and a half. I didn't have much to do with power at Cadence. I was running Cadence Virtuoso physical design product.
Golden Gate was a company that Sequence was trying to do a partnership with and I was engaged in that effort. They originally started out doing a full blown place and route technology and later the company focused on power reduction specifically and that's where my background fits very well. I was brought on board. I'm responsible for Marketing and actually application engineering as well; custom support pre-sales and post sales.
What attracted you to Golden Gate?
front line being able to make a direct contribution to the company's success.
The focus on power reduction as well as the small company atmosphere, that's what attracted me.
In your role as head of Marketing what is the main challenge?
that Golden Gate has and getting the value which is power reduction quantified and show to the customer.
Why is power reduction so important?
There are at least three reasons why power reduction is important. One good reason is that that everything is going wireless, everything is going portable these days, everything runs on batteries. The longer the battery lasts, the more competitive the product is, the better consumers like it and the more visible a particular end product is from our end customer. Cellphones, PDAs, wireless game systems like the Sony PSP, anything that runs on batteries. For them power reduction is absolutely critical because of the longer battery life requirement. There is never enough talk time on cellphones, never enough play time on a gaming system. Battery life is absolutely critical.
high performance design but nowadays they do power constrained high performance design. This means in the past it was all about clock speed and how fast you could go while nowadays it is how fast you can go under a particular power budget. This is a very interesting area where power reduction can potentially lead to higher functionality and higher clock speed.
The third reason is sheer reliability. We talked about packaging costs. What happens is that you consume too much power for the package you have designed the chip for. I've seen a processor chip putting out the system and begin to smoke at the same time. Short term and long term reliability is a direct function of heat and therefore power consumption. Reducing power will improve the reliability of the device. A typical failure of a part in a system, particularly one in the hands of the customer in the field, can be enormously expensive to correct. It's better to catch these problems early. Make sure the design is done properly and avoid the chip blowing up.
Pat Gelsinger now Intel CTO said in an article “Chipmakers Face Power Struggles” in the San Francisco Chronicle said that “Business as usual is not an option” What he meant is that you can't ignore power consumption in your design, you have to actively find ways of reducing it in your design flow. You must deal with it every step of the way.
What do you see as the mission of Golden Gate?
Our mission is to be the gold standard for power reduction. It really means we want to build up the franchise of the company by looking at all aspects and all elements of power consumption focused on reducing all of these components and all these elements of power including dynamic and switching power, heat power and leakage power. Looking at how power is distributed on the chip. Looking at ways to optimize and reduce power consumption.
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-- Jack Horgan, EDACafe.com Contributing Editor.
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