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Ed Lee
Ed Lee
Ed Lee has been around EDA since before it was called EDA. He cut his teeth doing Public Relations with Valid, Cadence, Mentor, ECAD, VLSI, AMI and a host of others. And he has introduced more than three dozen EDA startups, ranging from the first commercial IP company to the latest statistical … More »

Predictions 2014: Sumit DasGupta on ensuring a vibrant semiconductor industry

February 26th, 2014 by Ed Lee

Retired senior vice president of Si2, Sumit DasGupta, imparts his sage view on what the semiconductor, EDA and IP industries should focus on to ensure a vibrant semiconductor industry for 2014. 

“As the new year rolls out, there are promises and associated challenges that the semiconductor industry faces that need attention to ensure the vibrancy of the industry, even as the industry struggles to stay on the Moore’s law trajectory.

First in my list is the area of 2.5D and 3D integration, an area of great promise but with significant challenges. Much has been touted about these approaches as ways to deliver “More than Moore” but it appears to this observer to be advancing at a pace that is slower than hoped for. It seems to be just another year away from full production. But now, enough said, 2014 needs to be the year when much greater focus must be applied to get at least 2.5D technology into mass production. This is not a transitory approach to 3D but rather should last longer in its own right as a very viable technology sitting alongside 3D as 2 approaches to semiconductor integration. 3D still has challenges to be addressed but here again, greater focus needs to be applied to ramp up to full production in 2015.

The second area of emphasis in this new year is in the development of system level design ecosystems that should be based on standard interfaces for the design software supporting these ecosystems and in the expression of the components needed for IC design. There must be particular emphasis here on low-power design and IP integration at system level, ensuring that all necessary details of the IP are expressed in a standard way for proper integration and analysis without revealing the secrets that its owner considers proprietary. Embedded systems are becoming ubiquitous, particularly in automotive electronics. The latter has unique requirements relating to security and safety and these must be accommodated in any design ecosystem that supports them.

Third, the semiconductor industry (and the EDA industry as well) needs to ensure that it does not get bogged down in just solving the problems of 2014 but has the wisdom and the wherewithal to look at the challenges that are potentially around the corner. So, it has to set aside sufficient resources, in partnership with academia and research institutions, to address some of the technological challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, such as, optical communication/interconnect for high performance computing, the “Internet of things,” safe and secure driver-assistance systems and in the not too distant future, autonomous cars. This additional effort must also include proper emphasis on standards that can enable world-class design flows using IP components that are well-calibrated and expressed, and yet protected to safeguard the interests of the IP owner.”

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