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Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena is a freelance journalist and Editor of EDA Confidential at She can be reached at peggy at aycinena dot com.

IP for Cars: Lawsuits are like Sandstorms

April 20th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena

There’s two kinds of conversations
when it comes to electrical systems and cars. One is about the power train and the other one is about the advanced driver-assistance system, ADAS. Distinct as they may be, both of these systems can benefit from the optimizations associated with design automation, and both of these systems today are mashed up against the complexities of using third-party IP.

Chips in cars today need to manage the power train, or they need to provide safety and security for the driver – but either way, they need to work perfectly every time, all the time, and in some pretty hellish conditions. It’s hot under the hood and the road today is unforgiving. So are the lawyers.

So what’s a third-party IP provider supposed to do? Turn tail and run? Never sell into the automotive market where litigation looms larger than a sandstorm in April on the Texas Panhandle? Or try to man-up and work with the automotive market to provide IP that fits well into the chips that such customers need?

If you fall into this latter category – if you make IP and wants to sell to people who make cars – you best be coming to the Design Automation Conference in June in Austin. There you’ll find an IP-for-automotive focused session where the speakers will talk these things through, and possibly address your specific concerns.

Moderated by Silvaco’s Warren Savage of IPextreme fame, the session’s called: “Unique Requirements Facing IP Providers for the Automotive Market.”

NXP’s Anis Jarrar will talk about “Automotive IP Design Challenges in the FinFET Era.”

ARM’s Neil Stroud will talk about “How to Solve the Conundrum of Higher Computer Performance Coupled with Integrated Functional Safety.”

And NetSpeed Systems’ Rajesh Ramanujam will talk about “Architecting Safety and Performance in Automotive SoCs.”

The good news is these guys will cover all of this richly interesting material in just 90 minutes on Tuesday morning, June 20th in Austin.

The bad news is these guys will cover all of this profoundly interesting material in just 90 minutes on the 20th. That’s simply not enough time by anybody’s estimate, but you should attend this session anyway.

There’s a lot of good content relevant to IP at other sessions at DAC, but given as how everybody’s saying that cars are “the thing” and the wave of the future when it comes to selling silicon, this is the one session you should not miss if you’re even thinking of getting involved.


Editor’s Note: The one topic that would make this session even more compelling would be to have a lawyer stand up in front and talk about the legal risks and rewards of playing in the automotive market. Of course, that conversation would never fit into a 90-minute slot.


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