February 02, 2004
High Priests & Gurus
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on EDACafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
Peggy Aycinena - Contributing Editor

by Peggy Aycinena - Contributing Editor
Posted anew every four weeks or so, the EDA WEEKLY delivers to its readers information concerning the latest happenings in the EDA industry, covering vendors, products, finances and new developments. Frequently, feature articles on selected public or private EDA companies are presented. Brought to you by EDACafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

ARM announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Triscend Corp. The completion of the acquisition is subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions including approval by the shareholders of Triscend. Triscend was founded in 1997 and is a privately held, venture capital-funded company with 41 employees. Warren East, CEO at ARM, is quoted in the Press Release: “Given the industry trend for upgrading 8- and 16-bit MCU designs, ARM believes the 32-bit MCU market will grow substantially over the next few years. By investing in this market now with the acquisition of Triscend, the ARM Partnership will be well positioned to take advantage of the anticipated
growth.” Reynette
Au, CEO at Triscend Corp., is also quoted: “ARM is widely recognized as the leading innovator in microprocessor IP and is the ideal company to move our technology forward. With the rise in costs of ASIC design at 90 nanometers, we believe configurable MCU platforms will become a key solution which will benefit our mutual customers.”

Elliptic Semiconductor announced the addition of Ivis Corp. as a member of its Elliptic Alliance Partner Program (EAPP). Elliptic says will make available to Ivis, through EAPP, its entire family of virtual components. Kazuhide Sai, President and CEO of Ivis, is quoted in the Press Release: “In Japan, our customers are always seeking leading edge technological solutions to enhance the performance of their products. With the growing mobile market, the need for security and network protocol processing is paramount while addressing high performance and low power being critical. Elliptic's security and network hardware accelerators address these market needs. This
partnership opens a
new era of addressing market demand with affordable and proven semiconductor IP.”

Elliptic Semiconductor also announced that Spinnaker Systems Inc. has become a member of EAPP, as well. Elliptic says it will make available to Spinnaker Systems, through EAPP, its entire family of virtual components. Kazuo Fukushima, President of Spinnaker Systems, is quoted: “Elliptic's TCP/IP and security silicon IP solution is quite appealing to Japanese IDMs and network system vendors due to the high performance and low-power consumption. We've been dealing with silicon IP for over eight years and are recognized as the number one IP distributor in Japan. We are excited to introduce Elliptic products to our wide range of customers."

VaST Systems Technology Corp. announced a new sales and support office in Munich, Germany, and that now both the Munich and U.K. offices will report to Dennis Heller, Vice President of Worldwide Sales. The company also announced that Franz Maidl has been named as Director of Sales in Europe. Maidl has 20+ years' experience in the semiconductor and automotive electronic design industry in Europe. Most recently, he was Vice President and General Manager of European operations for Innoveda, and previously was at i2 Technologies and Mentor Graphics. Maidl has a Diplom-Ingenieur (FH) in technical physics from the Fachhochschule in Munich.

Magma Design Automation Inc. has announced alliances with several large IP vendors to develop what the company calls “Magma-Ready” products. The company says the new alliance members and existing MagmaTies partners will provide synthesis and reference methodology support for soft IP products, and verification of industry-standard views for hard IP products. Currently, “Magma-Ready” IP is available from Artisan, Denali, Mentor Graphics, Qualcore Logic, Rambus, SuperH, TriCN, and Virage Logic.

Per the Press Release: “Magma has designed comprehensive soft and hard IP verification processes to enable fast deployment of partner IP products in IC designs. Through the MagmaTies program, partners are given access to Magma software, allowing them to meet the necessary requirements. Soft IP providers can support Blast Create with industry standard Verilog and VHDL formats and the most popular synthesis pragmas. They must also be able to import constraints and verify the quality of results (QoR), perform formal verification against a known good netlist, validate the timing using a static timing analyzer and create a script and documentation for the product. Hard IP providers must
import the
industry-standard views into the Magma design environment and check for logical and physical data consistency, check that the process rules are consistent, verify timing model compatibility, run routing feasibility analysis and run performance analysis to ensure QoR.”

The Press Release also includes testimonials from Michael Kaskowitz, General Manager for the Mentor Graphics Intellectual Property division, Jim Ensell, Vice President of Marketing of Virage Logic, and Ron Nikel, CTO of TriCN.

Also from Magma - The company announced that Wade Meyercord has joined the company's Board of Directors. Meyercord is President of Meyercord & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in board of directors and CEO compensation and evaluation, as well as in stock plan evaluation. Meyercord's previous experience includes positions with IBM, where he was general manager of the company's San Jose operations and was responsible for all disk drive operations; Memorex, where he was President of its Storage Equipment Group; and Read Rite Corp., where he was President and CEO. Meyercord also serves on the boards of California Micro Devices and Microchip. He has an MBA degree from Syracuse
University and a BSME from Purdue University.

Sonics, Inc. and Toshiba Corp. announced that the two companies have expanded their business relationship with a joint technology collaboration. The agreement extends the Sonics and Toshiba corporate-wide contract announced in 2003 to include collaboration on consumer electronics SoC IP “solutions.” The previous agreement had Toshiba using Sonics SMART Interconnect IP as an interconnect technology in Toshiba SoCs. The new agreement has Sonics collaborating with Toshiba to optimize Sonics IP for Toshiba's consumer SoCs using its 90 nanometer, and smaller, process technologies. The joint Sonics/Toshiba team says it will create new IP and tools to streamline the
SoC/ASIC design and
development process for Toshiba customers. Happily as well, Toshiba announced it has made an investment in privately held Sonics.

Takashi Yoshimori, Technology Executive, Semiconductor Company, at Toshiba, is quoted: “This agreement will enable Toshiba to develop advanced next-generation SoCs quickly and will promote the reusability of IP across multiple design teams and even business divisions. As we move from our market-leading 90-nanometer production capabilities to next generation 65-nanometer process technologies, Sonics IP will help us develop feature-rich, high-volume SoCs that will fuel future market growth.”

Tera Systems, Inc. announced that Pierre Lamond, Partner at Sequoia Capital, has been elected Chairman of the Board of Directors for the company. Lamond has served on the Board since June 2003. He is currently also serving as a Director of Barcelona Design, Santur, Turin Networks, Open Silicon, Luxim, and Mellanox. Additionally, he is working with Cast Iron Systems, Allocity, and T-Networks. He also has been the Chairman of Vitesse Semiconductor, Redback Networks, Plumtree Software, Verisity Design, Cypress Semiconductor, Microchip, Combichem (acquired by Dupont) and a Director of VitalSigns Software (acquired by International Network Services, LU), Convex Computer (acquired by HP),
and the MarchFirst (formerly USWeb/CKS). Before joining Sequoia Capital in 1981, Lamond was a Founder and Technical Director of National Semiconductor and General Manager of Fairchild's Integrated Circuit Division. He also served as President of Advent and Coherent, and was President of the Western Association of Venture Capitalists. You know, I'll bet he's also a scratch golfer, a concert pianist, and bowls 300 in his spare time.

Bits & Bytes

1 - David Stewart at CriticalBlue

David Stewart is Co-founder and CEO at CriticalBlue, a new EDA start-up announced last year. He was in the U.K. when we chatted by phone this week and, despite his lilting Glaswegian cadence, I was able to understand everything he said:

“CriticalBlue was announced last year at DAC. Our technology is co-processor synthesis, where we take an embedded software application - for instance on an ARM core - and use the compiled code for that application to produce a hardware accelerator that sits next to the main core and speeds up the whole application. Our tool allows our users to decide which software functions could benefit from hardware acceleration and enables them to set constraints, which point our algorithms to the optimum part of the solution space. The tool actually generates a hardware co-processor, which is optimized to execute the offloaded functions. We often get labeled and compared to behavioral synthesis
but once
you realize that we generate a hardware co-processor, it's obvious that this is a very different approach.”

“Why doesn't ARM provide this capability? Well, ARM's not an EDA tool vendor. Since they're an IP vendor, I would imagine that they are primarily interested in having customers use their portfolio of specific IP modules. What we offer is a much more specific solution to a very broad range of general-purpose situations. People tend to focus on off-loading functions for performance considerations. However, we find that people are, in fact, off-loading for other reasons - for instance, to free up application time on the main processor, or to conserve power, because if you're running a hardware
accelerator, you're using less power. There's really a range of different reasons that people are doing
this, and they can't all be solved by a family of specific application IP blocks.”

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-- Peggy Aycinena, EDACafe.com Contributing Editor.

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