November 17, 2008
The Best of Times, The Worst of Time: Part 2
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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!

Tensilica announced it has ported the
RealVideo codec from digital entertainment services company
RealNetworks, Inc. to the 388VDO Video Engine. Per the Press Release: “The RealVideo codec expands the applicability of Tensilica's 388VDO video processor to products that efficiently display Internet content on everything from mobile devices to extended standard definition DTV.”

TSMC announced volume production of its 40-nanometer semiconductor manufacturing process with the ramp of its 40-nanometer General Purpose (G) and Low Power (LP) versions, first announced in March 2008. Per the Press Release: A comprehensive design infrastructure including
library, IP, design flow, engineering service, and monthly CyberShuttle prototyping vehicles is also ready for these two processes.

In conjunction with the announcement, I had a chance to speak by phone with Di Ma, TSMC Vice President for Field Technical Support. Ma told me, Because the technology comes in two versions, general purpose and low power, we can cover a wide range of markets. We have quite a few early adopters for this new node, including Altera, AMD, Broadcom, PSI, Marvell, Nvidia, NXP, ST, and Sun

all working at various stages of adoption.

I asked Ma to compare the adoption of 65-nanometer technology to 45. He said, “The adoption rate at 40 is as good, if not better, than that at 65. [Of course], we are grateful for the collaboration of our customers, as we have migrated from 90, to 80, to 65, 55 and now 40 nanometers. Foundry customers have great design capabilities, and they help push us as they take advantage of our newest technology offerings. We see the design-enablement part of our role in the ecosystem as [more than just] our technology per se – it’s a total solution, where our approach is one of true collaboration.”

ViASIC announced that
Achronix Semiconductor Corp. used ViASIC’s ViaPath place and route software in Achronix CAD environment (ACE). ViASIC says, “ViaPath is the only commercially available tool that can perform optimization, placement and routing for standard metal (one-mask or two-mask) programmable designs. The principles used in ViaPath are equally effective for structured ASICs and synchronous or asynchronous RAM-based FPGAs.”

Xilinx announced the Xilinx Automotive Optical Flow FPGA implementation for vision-based driver assistance systems. The company says the new release “integrates high-performance image processing capabilities from
Digital Design Corp. (DDC) into a cost-effective, programmable platform that can be customized to support a variety of advanced applications, including pedestrian detection, collision warning, sign recognition, blind spot detection, back-up and parking aid.”

ZMD AG announced a new device that’s a “multifunction temperature logger and smart” RFID that allows users to “precisely monitor and record temperature and humidity throughout the shipping process … and avoid the necessity of discarding products that may only have been briefly exposed to temperatures outside the permitted range.” Very cool, but then that’s exactly the point, isn’t it.


Worst of Times …

For the EDA industry, the ongoing Cadence saga has been disturbing, to say the least. In the following articles, basically two different options are laid out. Take all of the bad news of late, internalize it, solve the pressing need for leadership and vision, and move forward, or continue to 'function' without leadership because the best option is to prepare to be sold to the most appropriate bidder.

My article,

, looks at the public face of the company over the last few weeks, including a list of possible candidates for CEO gleaned from suggestions that have come my way.

is a contributed article, with a far different tone and conclusion. If the author of this article is correct, the Board of Directors at Cadence is not looking for a new CEO at all.

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-- Peggy Aycinena, Contributing Editor.


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