EDACafe Weekly Review November 1st, 2012

ProPlus: DFY solution unveiled
November 1, 2012  by Peggy Aycinena

 

The leadership of ProPlus Design Solutions has a long history in EDA, although the company itself is a newly launched startup. Ten years ago, the majority of the leadership were involved in Celestry Design Technologies, Inc., while 5 years ago all of today’s ProPlus executive team were at Cadence. Today the company, based in Silicon Valley, is building on those many years of experience to make inroads in the demanding market for design-for-yield tools.

In late September, ProPlus released its newest product offering, NanoYield for yield prediction and design optimization. When I spoke with Dr. Zhihong Liu, Executive Chairman of the company, he touched on the history of ProPlus and explained the intent of NanoYield.

Per Liu, “ProPlus has foundation technology in modeling that goes back to Celestry, a company acquired by Cadence in 2003. When the team bought the technology out of Cadence, they founded ProPlus and [worked to create] a unique DFY solution, design for yield.

“Before I joined ProPlus two years ago, they were developing lines of technologies for both high-performance parallel modeling and circuit simulation/analysis with true SPICE accuracy. Now we have put everything together to provide an integrated solution for designing better circuits in shorter time, including modeling, simulation and multivariate statistical analysis. No one else in the industry is addressing all three of these together.

“One technology that was originally licensed from IBM is a multivariate High-Sigma solution. We put that together with our own industry-validated solution, and now provide the only integrated solution in the industry, NanoYield.”

You may have watched the previous video I posted on CustomExplorer Ultra (if not, it is not too late :)). A very interesting feature of this tool is its Waveform comparison capability.

This utility allows you to compare two sets of simulation runs in batch and produce a text report of the differences. In just a few words, you define a simple rules file that controls the comparisons, what signals are to be compared and the tolerances of the comparisons. Using sample-based comparison techniques, CXU compares golden-to-target simulation results and provides validation results.  You are going to tell me, nothing really revolutionary here.. So let me just give you finer details 🙂

ARM: We are the champions of the world
November 1, 2012  by Peggy Aycinena

 

You didn’t have to crank up Queen to hear the refrain in the background when ARM CEO Warren East stepped on stage in Silicon Valley this morning to deliver his keynote at the 2012 edition of ARM TechCon. No matter how you slice the pie, ARM is the champion of the world. They know it, they know that you and I know it, and we know that they know that we know it.

Yet despite all that knowing, the guys from ARM seem like a pretty likable bunch. A month ago, I heard ARM CTO Mike Muller give the keynote at the Sophia Antipolis Microelectronics Forum, where he left the same impression with his audience on the Cote d’Azure that Warren East left with his audience this morning in the heart of Silicon Valley: ARM puts cooperation above competition, partnering above posturing, and the well-being of the world above the well-being of the bottom line of ARM or the pocketbook any of its employees.

ARM may be the champion of the world, but it’s for a reason. They’re very good at what they do, they’ve had the luck and foresight to be in the right place at the right time over the last 2 decades, and they are as concerned as the rest of us about the plethora [read “billions”] of digital devices descending on the world which threaten to drive us all to the brink of destruction by way of global warming, polluted environs, or both.

Okay, that’s my qualitative take on this morning’s keynote. Following is a more quantitative version.

The Fates: A tale of two coasts
October 31, 2012  by Peggy Aycinena

 

Today is Halloween on both the East Coast and the West Coast of the United States. Millions of children on both ends of the country will be arriving at school in full costume regalia, prepared for parties, parades, and cheerful pandemonium. There is a major difference, however, between the events that will be unfolding in two specific locations on these two coasts.

In the San Francisco Bay Area on the West Coast, hundreds of thousands of children will be going to school in costume, while some hundreds amongs those thousands will be playing hookey, with their parents’ permissions, in order to stand on Market Street in The City and be part of the spectacle and ticker-tape parade celebrating the World Series winning San Francisco Giants.

In the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area on the East Coast and beyond, however, millions of people will spend this same day not celebrating at all. Instead they will be enduring another day without power or heat, only venturing out for food as needed from darkened shops, while having to slog through mud, sand, and the shattered remnants of their communities to do so.

Warren Savage

McKenzie Mortensen

IPextreme’s Silicon Valley IP Users Conference 2012 edition has become a must-attend event for IP vendors and users, much more than a private tradeshow for IPextreme and its customers. I sat down with Warren Savage, IPextreme’s founder and CEO, and McKenzie Mortensen, the company’s mar com manager, to talk about the conference and its role in the chip design world.

Ed: So we’re talking about Constellations 2012…the program drew informative and opinionated speakers! Definitely more than a private tradeshow. When did Constellations begin? What were your goals?

Warren: I think it was a hit precisely because it was not intended to be just another private tradeshow. The world has changed a lot since the 1990s.

Ed: Hmmm…you mean for the chip design world? How has it changed?

Warren: Well, I think it’s time that companies start evolving to better understand how to serve their customers in a way that is not hitting them over the head with sales pitches.

Ed: And that customer service attribute is one that vendors to chip designers have been notoriously lax about. Back in the late 1990s or early 2000s, I remember an analyst, it could have been Jennifer Jordan, wagging her finger at the EDA world on this count, while taking us to task for doing a bad job of selling the industry’s value to the public markets.

So how does the conference and your Constellations program change this?

DVCON 2013
APEX EXPO Feb19-21,2013


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