The Real Differences Between HW And SW

How many times have we heard people say that hardware and software do not speak the same language? The two often have different terms for essentially the same thing. What hardware calls constrained random test is what software people call fuzzing. Another one recently caught my eye in a conversation with Jama Software, a Portland software company that has made a name for itself in requiremen... » read more

Embedded Evolution

The design of embedded systems has changed drastically from the days when I was directly involved with them. My first job after leaving college was to design aircraft control systems. I had the dubious honor to be working on the first civilian fly-by-wire aircraft – the Airbus A310. The reason I say dubious is that we had so many eyes trained on us, and that system contained so much redundanc... » read more

Time To Pay The Piper

The Pied Piper of Hamelin is a German fable about a rat catcher who used his magic pipe to lure away rats. When he was not paid by the town, he used his pipe to lure away all of the town's children. I am not suggesting that exactly the same is true for the semiconductor industry and having not paid [getkc id="7" kc_name="EDA"], but I do not think they have paid enough and they will now have to ... » read more

Abundant Change Ahead

There is nobody who would question the amazing ride that semiconductors have been on for the past 50 years. It has been described as the longest running exponential that humankind has ever been a part of—and it is not over yet. Still, the future is very likely to be substantially different from the past. It is almost natural for us to see a trend and assume it will continue. There have bee... » read more

DAC Day Four: Excitement And Risk

One thing that was new to DAC this year, was an art exhibit. These were pieces of artwork related to our industry, such as chip plots, or more abstract ideas based on design data or analyses. They received many more entrants than their wildest dreams and had to choose a winner from over 80 pieces, but the grand prize was won by a 3D model of a finFET by David Freid of Coventor. This piece was ... » read more

DAC Day Three: UVM, Machine Learning And DFT Come Together

The industry and users have a love/hate relationship with UVM. It has quickly risen to become the most used verification methodology and yet at the same time it is seen as being overly complex, unwieldy and difficult to learn. The third day of DAC gets started with breakfast with Accellera to discuss UVM and what we can expect to see in the next 5 years. The discussion was led by Tom Alsop, pri... » read more

DAC Day Two: Down To Business

DAC day two started with a breakfast presentation put on by Synopsys which included guests from ARM, TSMC and HiSilicon. It was titled Collaborating to Enable Design with the latest processors and finFET processes. Collaboration is a word that we hear increasingly when talking about the advanced nodes and today we are truly at the point where one company cannot do it all. Ron Moore, VP of ma... » read more

DAC Day One: EDA Through Different Glasses

DAC is back in Austin after being away for three years. The weather improved for our arrival after the bad thunderstorms of the past couple of weeks. The sun came out and started to heat everything up. With water still pooling around the place, it was somewhat humorous to see a bus pass with the slogan "Think about Austin without water." DAC starts, as it always has in my memory, with a pres... » read more

Preparations for DAC

The 53rd DAC is just days away now and the program is pretty well established at this point. It is returning to Austin after a couple of years in San Francisco. In 2013 it was held in this location for the first time and there was a herculean effort to bring the local design community to the event. They did amazing well and while attendance fell slightly compared to the previous year in San Die... » read more

Unintended Patent Consequences

Section 101 of the U.S. patent law limits the types of things for which patent protection can be sought. It says: "Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title." In 2012, the Supreme Court made what they t... » read more

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