June 16th, 2016
Menta is a French startup, founded in 2007, that provides embedded FPGA IP for SoCs, ASICs and ASSPs. The company exhibited last week at the Design Automation Conference in Austin and will exhibit next week at the TSMC Technology Workshop in Herzliya.
This month is clearly a busy one for Menta, and for more reasons than just exhibiting in conference venues 7000 miles apart. On June 6th, the company announced its “next generation of embedded programmable logic IP cores for SoCs.”
C++ – for loops
June 16, 2016 by Colin Walls
I am [mostly] a fan of using C++ for embedded applications. I believe its use needs care, but broadly, I feel that it offers many simple improvements over C and appropriate use of object oriented techniques can be very beneficial. Today I want to talk about the place of C++ as a “better C language”. There are numerous syntactical improvements that can be leveraged to make code just a little more readable and maintainable.
However, there are some minor “quirks” that can catch the unwary programmer. Who would have thought that you could go wrong with a plain old for loop? …
Presidents and CEOs share a common difficulty: the past. A past that’s sometimes of their own making. They come into office full of enthusiasm and an agenda for improvement and innovation, only to find that the past serves increasingly as an impediment for moving forward.
Of course, the difference between Presidents and CEOs is that the former get libraries built in their name to commemorate their contributions, whether or not they’re able to conquer a past legacy left to them by predecessors.
CEOs, on the other hand, don’t get libraries when their tenures end. They either get tons of criticism, or occasionally tons of praise – but no library. They do, however, often get millions of dollars in compensation and stock during their administrations, and usually a pretty golden handshake when they’re done. Something that goes a long way to easing the pain of criticisms they may endure during and after their years in power.
In the last few days before DAC, as I was worrying about booth setup and demo practice, an important press release flashed by. The opening paragraph really should have caught my eye immediately: “Arrow Electronics, Inc. (NYSE: ARW) announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the global internet media portfolio focused on technology and electronic design from UBM, including EE Times, EDN, ESM, Embedded, EBN, TechONline, and Datasheets.com.”
Perhaps this news doesn’t seem especially important to many readers, but to observers of the electronics trade press this is a big deal. The titles listed above are some of the best-known brands in the business. Arrow is an electronics distributor and services provider with a fine reputation, but it is not a traditional publisher. This industry transition has given me pause so I will make a few observations and then solicit your thoughts.
Custom Compiler Layout Assistants (Part 2)
June 15, 2016 by Graham Etchells, Director of Product Marketing at Synopsys
To all of you who attended DAC last week in Austin, TX–welcome back! I hope you were among the 175+ people who attended the Custom Compiler lunch event on Tuesday, June 7 to hear directly from engineers at GSI Technology, Samsung, STMicroelectronics and Synopsys’ IP group who described how Custom Compiler’s visually-assisted automation improves their productivity for both FinFET and established-node designs. We’ll be posting a videolog of the presentations on the Synopsys web site soon for those who missed the live event.
In the last blog I detailed the Symbolic Editor Layout Assistant and showed how the layout engineer can make simple graphical choices of how the layout needs to look and then have the placement taken care of by a placement engine. In this post I will outline another layout assistant: the Routing Assistant. The routing task is one that absolutely screams out for an automated approach, however past efforts have required a great deal of text-based constraints to get anything near to what you really want.
Custom Compiler’s Routing Assistant is a perfect combination of user guidance and automation. It’s a visually-assisted approach that allows the layout engineer to simply click on the starting point of the route and then drag the cursor in the direction they want the routing to follow. As the cursor moves along, behind the scenes the routing engine searches for connections that it can make. When it finds a connection it automatically taps to the pin without the layout engineer having to enter a mouse click. The user simply guides the router with the mouse and it fills in the routing details automatically.
The ESD Alliance at DAC
June 15, 2016 by Bob Smith, Executive Director
The Design Automation Conference is over. The cowboy boots, 10-gallon hats and “Keep Austin Nerdy” T-shirts have been put in storage until DAC returns to Austin next year. For those of you from the electronic system design ecosystem who didn’t get to Austin this year, here’s a look at what you missed.
The parties –– from the opening reception, Jim Hogan’s Heart of Technology and IPextreme’s annual Stars of IP party hosted by Silvaco to the not-to-be missed Cadence’s Denali evening –– were lively, the Pavilion panel sessions and keynotes well attended and the giveaways were first rate.
Exhibitor feedback was positive, from my sampling, though you may have heard that attendance was down in Austin. While the attendee numbers haven’t been posted as yet, exhibitors didn’t seem phased by the perceived lower attendance. In fact, many noted that while the traffic at the show was smaller than in San Francisco, it provided higher quality attendees and more highly qualified prospects.
DAC was a great opportunity for the new Electronic System Design (ESD) Alliance to “strut our stuff” (minus the cowboy boots and Stetsons). Attendees and exhibits showed loads of interest in the new organization and stopped by our booth to learn more about our new, expanded direction and initiatives. Better yet, several companies committed to joining the Alliance based on our refreshed mission and momentum. Many others have asked us to follow up over the coming months.
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