And The Award Goes To…


I like to look at what users find the most interesting topics, not because it directly influences what I write, but to get a sense of the subjects that are on most people's minds. Some of it comes as no surprise. Content about new fabrication technologies tends to blow everything else away. While it directly affects very few of us, I think we all want to know the general direction of the indust... » read more

The Battle To Embed The FPGA


There have been many attempts to embed an [gettech id="31071" comment="FPGA"] into chips in the past, but the market has failed to materialize—or the solutions have failed to inspire. An early example was [getentity id="22924" comment="Triscend"], founded in 1997 and acquired by [getentity id="22839" e_name="Xilinx"] in 2004. It integrated a CPU—which varied from an [getentity id="22186" co... » read more

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

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