EDACafe Weekly Review July 20th, 2018

This was an intriguing DAC. Hardware-Software Interface (HSI) is increasingly emerging as an area of importance, and because of this Agnisys has begun to emerge as a must-have toolset in the system development toolchain.

It still surprises me that some are just now waking up to this critical area of design. Teams are realizing that the chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and a design is only as robust as the weakest automation script. They are replacing their internal scripts with off-the-shelf professional tools. Agnisys, I’m proud to say, provides just that – professional products to replace register automation scripts.

One thing I did hear many times from attendees is that they are no longer satisfied with just creating register models. They want a test suite that automatically verifies the IP/SoC registers using a variety of techniques including C, UVM, and Formal. We nearly ran out of brochures for ARV-Sim™ARV-Formal™, and ISequenceSpec™, as these products are intentionally built for exactly that.

Functional Safety driven by the ISO 26262 standard continues to be another hot area. Designers are looking for certified tools that can help them create autonomous vehicles and embedded electronics for automobiles. We shared our solution that fits in the intersection of Functional Safety and Electronic Design.

We’d hoped to perform a dramatic demo by having a drone crash without the benefits of functional safety support, but this was not allowed by DAC organizers. So our functional safety demo involved hacking the wireless controls of a toy car. With it, we demonstrated how IDesignSpec’s built-in Parity/CRC Sniffer can detect cosmic rays that may have wreaked havoc on the stored bits within the controller.

At DAC this year there were several educational opportunities on the topic of hardware design for AI or Machine Learning (ML) applications. Our booth was no exception as we wholeheartedly agree that Machine Learning matters.

We also co-sponsored OneSpin’s Verified party Monday night at the Golden Gate Tap Room for the first time. It was great fun to see our customers dancing and having a good time. We enjoyed the opportunity to support the EDA/Semi community, and look forward to co-sponsoring it again next year in Las Vegas.

When I had a moment away from the Agnisys booth, I took the opportunity to participate in Cadence’s contest to create Portable Stimulus using their Perspec product. I won a Raspberry Pie, but then again I was the only contender. (Thanks to Sharon!)

As you know Accellera released version 1.0 of the PSS. They are now preparing to tackle the HSI problem – something we have been dealing with for the last 10 years. We will look forward to supporting the release that Accellera comes up with.

Earlier this year, at DVCon and other conferences, several attendees recalled our SVA quiz from years past and encouraged us to revive it. In response, this year at DAC we offered a quiz – this time focused on Hardware-Software Interface.

Big luminaries in the EDA/Semi industry stopped by to take our quiz in hopes of winning our grand raffle prize, a da Vinci 3D printer. To keep it interesting (but still fun), we added the caveat that quiz takers must score at least 40% to be eligible for the drawing. After a drum roll and some fanfare, we had two happy winners at DAC.

If you missed us at DAC, you still have the chance to take the quiz online and enter the drawing to win your own 3D printer. If you would like to take the quiz, click hereJust be sure to enter before August 16, 2018, to be eligible for the drawing.

I also had the opportunity to sit down with Sanjay Gangal from EDACafe to discuss the many ways Agnisys is solving HW/SW interface problems. If you’d like to check out that interview please visit the link here on EDACafe.

Overall, it was a great DAC for us. We rolled out our new website and introduced our new look at our booth with a straightforward, uncomplicated design and logo that better matches our brand.  We spoke to many interested attendees, chatted with current customers, several partners, and as always enjoyed the opportunity to connect. We look forward to the next show as we continue traveling globally for the rest of the year to a show near you.

If you missed us at DAC and would like to learn more, you might want to sign up to attend our upcoming webinar, HSI Specification, and Productivity Improvement, on September 13, 2018. I’ll be presenting and I look forward to seeing you there.

As always, we invite you to contact us for a free evaluation or to learn more about our high-performance ASIC, FPGA, and SoC Software to solve complex design and verification problems for system development.

Semi content to surpass 30% this year, smashing the previous record high set just last year.
In its upcoming Mid-Year Update to The McClean Report 2018 (to be released at the end of July), IC Insights forecasts that the 2018 global electronic systems market will grow 5% to $1,622 billion while the worldwide semiconductor market is expected to surge by 14% this year to $509.1 billion, exceeding the $500.0 billion level for the first time.  If the 2018 forecasts come to fruition, the average semiconductor content in an electronic system will reach 31.4%, breaking the all-time record of 28.8% that was set in 2017 (Figure 1).

Figure 1

Historically, the driving force behind the higher average annual growth rate of the semiconductor industry as compared to the electronic systems market is the increasing value or content of semiconductors used in electronic systems.  With global unit shipments of cellphones (-1%), automobiles (3%), and PCs (-1%) forecast to be weak in 2018, the disparity between the moderate growth in the electronic systems market and high growth of the semiconductor market is directly due to the increasing content of semiconductors in electronic systems.

While the trend of increasing semiconductor content has been evident for the past 30 years, the big jump in the average semiconductor content in electronic systems in 2018 is expected to be primarily due to the huge surge in DRAM and NAND flash ASPs and average electronic system sales growth this year. After slipping to 30.2% in 2020, the semiconductor content percentage is expected to climb to a new high of 31.5% in 2022.  IC Insights does not anticipate the percentage will fall below 30% any year through the forecast period.

Intel’s partnership with the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation (CFCHC) to protect and preserve the Jiankou section of the Great Wall of China is underway. And experts from Wuhan University LIESMARS have been added to the project, leveraging Intel technologies to preserve the wall more efficiently and safely than before.

An Intel Falcon 8+ drone is prepared for aerial inspection of the Great Wall of China. In 2018, Intel Corporation announced a partnership with the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation to protect and restore the Great Wall of China. (Credit: Intel Corporation

This is the next step in Intel’s recently announced commitment to inspect and preserve the Jiankou section of the Great Wall. By incorporating advanced technologies into this partnership, Intel is giving conservationists new tools to protect history and help preserve one of the great architectural wonders of the world.

MORE: Drones at Intel | The Great Wall Project at Intel.com

An Intel® Falcon™ 8+ drone is being used to carry out an aerial inspection and survey of the Jiankou section, capturing tens of thousands of high-resolution images of areas proven too difficult or dangerous for human access. These images are then processed into a 3D model, which provides preservationists with a digital replica of the current state of the wall. Traditionally, surveys of the Great Wall are a manual process, using a tape measure or visual inspection by people over a monthlong period. Utilizing Intel technology, the same inspections can be achieved in a matter of three days, producing more accurate data that helps conservationists develop an informed and effective repair schedule.

Intel’s innovative technologies are providing the CFCHC with safer, more efficient ways of surveying and inspecting. From aerial-captured content, teams will use Intel artificial intelligence technologies to help analyze the types of repairs needed and calculate the time, labor and cost of materials for repair. The added experts from Wuhan University LIESMARS will provide specialized support with implementing the new technologies.

The Jiankou section of the Great Wall of China dates back to the Ming dynasty and, in its more than 450 years of existence, has been affected by natural erosion and human destruction. While portions of the wall most popular with tourists have been preserved and renovated over time, the Great Wall’s 12-mile Jiankou section is one of the steepest and most dangerous to access. As a result, the stretch has not been preserved for hundreds of years.

With its innovative drone and imaging technology, Intel is revolutionizing the preservation of the world’s largest ancient man-made structure for generations to come.

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