December 16, 2002
Tick Talk at Tau
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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 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!

Although transistor-level tools such as SPICE and its fast-SPICE variants have been around for years, these traditional tools lack the performance and capacity to deal with large post-layout designs that include hundreds of thousand of critical nets with clock networks in excess of 100,000 transistors - all compounded by parasitic elements that can number in the millions. Nassda says that Critic provides the features needed to address growing challenges to accurate timing analysis in nanometer circuits.

National Semiconductor Corp. introduced the first of a new family of modules to simplify the design of systems using Bluetooth wireless technology to exchange information between a wide range of computer and communication systems. The first module is the LMX9820 Serial Port Module, which enables Bluetooth data connectivity via a UART serial port to support applications such as access points, digital cameras, set-top boxes, printers, and scanners. Additional members of the Simply Blue family will be introduced throughout 2003. All of National's Simply Blue products will include an embedded Bluetooth protocol stack, application-specific profiles, and a high-level command interpreter.
The LMX9820 module is compliant with the Bluetooth V1.1 specification.

Silicon Canvas, Inc. (SCI) announced that TSMC has selected SCI's Laker T1 as TSMC's automation platform for test chips development. TSMC has built a production flow using Laker T1 as a platform for increasing productivity by defining reusable parameterized test structures and test lines. The user-defined parameterized test structures cover process, reliability, and SPICE test devices. Laker T1 also generates a user-configurable test chip document and links to test equipment to help ensure consistency across concept, layout, documentation and test programs.

Symbian Ltd and ARM Ltd. announced Symbian's native support for the ARMv6 architecture in Symbian OS. Symbian and ARM have a long-term, strategic partnership for working towards product development for mobile devices. The companies collaborated for more than a year to enable concurrent development of the ARMv6 architecture and future versions of Symbian OS. Utilizing the physically addressed caches in the ARM1136J-S core reduces Symbian OS context switch times, which in turn provides improved memory management performance and reduced power consumption through eliminating forced cache flushing by the OS. Both memory management and power consumption are critical considerations
for the design of mobile devices.

Synopsys, Inc. announced the availability of new third-party verification intellectual property (IP) offerings based on OpenVera Assertions (OVA). Designed for checking compliance with widely adopted and emerging protocols, OVA verification IP are reusable modules that accelerate development of a complete verification environment to improve overall efficiency and productivity for design and verification engineers. An increasing number of verification and service providers are supporting OVA for customers who need an assertion-based methodology to help overcome today's widely documented verification bottleneck.

OpenVera is an open-source hardware verification language developed to meet the requirements of functional verification. OVA is a high-level language that contains declarative constructs for capturing design specifications and is useful in both dynamic and formal verification environments. Using these languages, design and verification engineers describe the target application environment, including complex protocols and data objects, at a high level of abstraction. New OVA verification IP modules are available from multiple vendors including Cold Spring Engineering, Netsys Software (nSys), and Silicon Interfaces.

Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC) announced a new member of its TX49 family of MIPS-based RISC microprocessors. The new 64-bit microprocessor, designated TMPR4955BFG-300, is based on the Toshiba Corp. TX49/H3 core and is fabricated with .13-micron CMOS process technology. Power consumption is 0.6 watt when operating at its maximum frequency of 300 megahertz. Running 1.5 times faster than the previous generation 200-megahertz product and utilizing a 32-bit SysAD bus, it is targeted at embedded applications such as color laser printers, high-performance set top boxes, and networking devices that handle large amounts of graphics data.

Coming soon to a theater near you

IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference - If you've mastered the physics at IEDM, you can take it one step further at ISSCC 2003. Companion piece to IEDM, ISSCC is the foremost global forum for presentation of advances in solid-state circuits and systems-on-a-chip. Running from February 9th through the 13th at the San Francisco Marriott Hotel, the conference offers an opportunity for those working at the cutting edge of IC design to listen to the latest and greatest in the world of solid state circuits.

PCB West and HDI Expo - The folks at UP Media Group, Inc. report that 2003 is the first year that PCB West and HDI Expo will be co-located, offering a combined conference program with more than 80 courses across eight different tracks and two exhibition halls open to attendees of both shows. Within the ranks of dedicated board designers, these shows - running concurrently from March 10th to 14th at the San Jose Convention Center - still stand tall after all these years as the premier conferences and exhibitions for PCB engineering and design professionals.


Also from Axis Systems - Gary Kiaski has been named Vice President of North American Sales. Kiaski was most recently Vice President Worldwide Sales for Innoveda. He had been with the company since 1988, known then as Viewlogic, where he was heavily involved in growing the organization throughout the 1990's. Kiaski was responsible for sales staffs through three mergers and a spin-off from Synopsys in 1998.

Additionally, Paul Scannell has been chosen by Axis Systems to manage a new Irvine, CA, sales office. Scannell joins Axis from Aprisma Management Technologies in Irvine where he served as an account executive, responsible for the sale of infrastructure management software. He also has 10 years of sales experience in several EDA players including Synopsys and Viewlogic.

CoWare Inc. announced that Mark Milligan has joined the company as Vice President of Marketing. He reports to Alan Naumann, CoWare's president and CEO, and has responsibility for all corporate and product marketing, as well as business development. Milligan has more than 15 years in the EDA and semiconductor industries. His previous experience includes executive roles at Synopsys, where he was Vice President of Marketing for various product divisions, including the simulation and high-level verification groups. Milligan joined Synopsys after its acquisition of Viewlogic, where he served as Vice President/General Manager of the Sunrise Test Systems division. Earlier in his career,
Milligan was with Teradyne, Inc. and also served as Vice President/General Manager of the design-for-yield division at HPL Technologies Inc.

In the category of ...

The Sun Also Rises

Hewlett Packard reports that it has taken the lead in total worldwide Unix server revenue, while maintaining its position as numero uno in standard Intel architecture servers revenue for the third quarter of calendar year 2002. The figures were provided by the research firm IDC. HP is similarly joy-filled in reporting a leading position in total worldwide server shipments (30.3 percent), shipping more than twice as many servers as IBM. In addition, HP holds an 80-percent market share in the emerging Itanium-based server market. Where does all of this leave Sun? In HP's words, “HP took the No. 1 spot over a dropping Sun in total worldwide UNIX servers with 32.9-percent market

Sun Microsystems is not riding off into the sunset quietly, however. As recently reported by Paul Krill in InfoWorld, “Despite the industry's economic downturn and strong competition from Intel-based rivals, Sun Microsystems nonetheless is moving ahead with multiple products based on both Sparc and Intel chips and is entering new markets.” Krill quotes Clark Masters, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Enterprise Systems Products at Sun, as saying, “We believe our competitive advantage is we're a systems company. We own the processor, the interconnect, and the operating system. We can build better system solutions by owning all the intellectual

All boasting and bravado aside, the two high-profile commanders at HP and Sun - Carly and Scott - have got their work cut out proving the viability of their respective business strategies in the uncertain economic landscape looming in 2003.

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-- Peggy Aycinena, Contributing Editor.

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