November 14th, 2013
Verification continues to be the most challenging, expensive, and time-consuming phase in ASIC and SoC design processes today. This has been true for many years, and is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. On the business side, semiconductor design is no longer confined to “semiconductor” companies. In the past few years, many electronics, communication, and computer equipment companies have brought ASIC and SoC design activities back in-house. They now consider these designs to be competitive differentiators and crucial intellectual property rather than commodities that should be outsourced. This is – in significant part – driven by an increase in mathematical algorithmic content being engineered into signal, image and video processing, and mixed-signal designs
Dassault Systemes hosted a 2-day customer confab in Las Vegas this week, with Qualcomm featured in the High Tech breakout session on November 13th.
Dwight Galbi, Principle/Manager in Qualcomm’s Physical Design unit, described his group’s success in using Dassault’s Pinpoint decision support system [acquired from Tuscany Design Automation in late 2012] to coordinate their recent DSP design efforts. Galbi’s endorsement was so enthusiastic, it’s clear that when it comes to design, Pinpoint is Qualcomm’s new sheriff in town.
Noting that it’s tough to put together a DSP when the team includes both power and signal integrity experts, logic designers and architects – and the design includes a bunch of “disjointed pieces” of IP all mixed together – Galbi said Qualcomm had been using its own internally developed solution to coordinate all of this, but the Pinpoint dashboard outperformed the in-house tool in at least three key areas.
Cadence is announcing this week a new product for power integrity and signoff called Voltus, which the company says solves several problems simultaneously.
Per a phone call with Cadence Director KT Moore, one of the challenges in power signoff is that it takes a lot of time: “When designers look at analyzing power for the block, chip or package, current analysis techniques can literally take days, so designers are looking for a faster solution. What Cadence believes to be true about Voltus is that this product is 10x faster than any existing solutions available today. Because of that, we know the customers are very excited.”
“The other issue with power signoff,” Moore said, “is that it needs to be accurate. You can make a product a thousand times faster, but it’s of little value if it’s not accurate. With Voltus, however, we’re maintaining the same accuracy compared, for instance, to Spice or whatever the customer’s expectation reference is. But there’s an additional level of accuracy in Voltus that’s also important.
This week in Las Vegas, Dassault Systèmes hosted one of their many global confabs where customers consult with each other about the joys of using Dassault’s product lines. At this particular conference, Panasonic’s newly launched ToughPad enjoyed special focus, featuring heavily in keynotes and on the exhibition hall floor.
The 20″ ToughPad is among the largest tablets in the history of humankind, weighing in at around 6 pounds, and comes in two versions. One’s targeted at sales folks who want to haul around a huge screen for maximizing presentation punch (and for watching movies while they’re waiting at the gate). That one sells for around $5K. The other version’s a full-on workstation, good for designing stuff, repairing helicopters (virtually), and spinning things around and around in Dassault’s 3D design software until you’re dizzy with delight. This more-powerful, badasser version will set you back around $7.5K or more, but surely it’s worth the price.
Will Formal Really Dominate Verification?
November 13, 2013 by Tom Anderson, VP of Marketing
Today’s post is prompted by a recent article on SemiWiki in which Jasper Design Automation’s CEO Kathryn Kranen is quoted as saying “formal will dominate verification.” There is a nice set of metrics from Jasper’s recent User Group meeting showing their impressive growth in revenue, logos, users, and licenses as supporting evidence for formal’s increasing footprint. The article concludes by stating “at some point in the future, formal will be the default choice for every verification task in the way that simulation/emulation is today.”
That made me sit up and take notice. Before joining Breker, I spent the previous 12 years of my career focusing on formal analysis, about six years full-time and the rest as one component of a wider suite of verification products I managed. I’m a big fan of formal, but I don’t think that I can comfortably predict that it will “dominate” verification. Let me share my thoughts.
Some of us may already have imagined our dream homes from an early age. Whether it is a sprawling castle with a moat (and a resident pet dragon) or a simple hole in the wall (hats off to the Hobbits here), you may need inspiration should you suddenly decide you are one of the lucky ones who are able to construct your ideal habitat. Here are some examples you may want to peruse before realizing your home design fantasies:
1. Reversible Destiny Lofts – Tokyo, Japan
The name may be a mouthful to pronounce but the sheer vibrancy and creativity of this residence never fails to amaze. The brainchild of Shusaku Arakawa and Madeleine Gins, both architects based in Tokyo, Japan, the Reversible Destiny Lofts is not just eye candy. The 9-unit rainbow-colored complex was constructed to simulate its inhabitants, mentally and physically. This is achieved through its amusingly bright colors, hard-to-reach power outlets and switches, uneven flooring and irregularly shaped living spaces.
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