Executive Insight: Grant Pierce


Grant Pierce, president and CEO of Sonics, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss new ways to increase energy efficiency in SoCs. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Looking out at the semiconductor industry there are a lot of changes underway right now. What are the biggest impacts from your perspective? Pierce: The amount of data that is being captured or sen... » read more

Fundamental Shifts In Chip Business


Shifting business models, acquisitions, minority investments and increasing uncertainty are creating fundamental shifts in the semiconductor industry that could redefine who is successful in which markets for years to come. The announcement today that [getentity id="22671" e_name="Rambus"] is developing memory controller chips, expanding its business beyond just creating IP for the memory an... » read more

Reliability Definition Is Changing


Since the invention of the integrated circuit, reliability has been defined by how long a chip continues to work. It either turned on and did what it was designed to do, or it didn't. But that definition is no longer so black-and-white. Parts of an SoC, or even an IP or memory block, can continue to function while other parts do not. Some may work intermittently, or at lower speeds. Others may ... » read more

Game Of Eco Systems


My first ever blog post on May 28, 2008, was called “May you live in interesting times …”, starting with “the view from the top” at Synopsys. At the time, my focus was abstraction levels and how the industry has been moving upwards for decades. While it is not a Chinese proverb after all (read my blog above), we still do live in interesting times, perhaps more so that ever. One of the... » read more

Executive Insight: Hossein Yassaie


SE: What concerns you looking out at the semiconductor industry? Yassaie: There are big changes in the industry over the last two years, such as the verticalization in the mobile space. Every semiconductor company wanted to play in mobile. It was just a fact of life that some of these guys would give up. That was a major change, and it was something we could see coming. Our focus is diverse ... » read more

The Week In Review: Aug. 30


By Ann Steffora Mutschler Continuing its drive towards enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), Renesas recently licensed a third Tensilica core from Cadence, this time the ConnX D2 DSP, which has acceleration packages optimized for IoT wired and wireless modem standards. Renesas previously licensed the Tensilica HiFi Audio DSP and ConnX BBE16 cores. In another deal for Cadence, Mellanox Tech... » read more

Experts At The Table: Multi-Core And Many-Core


By Ed Sperling Low-Power Engineering sat down with Naveed Sherwani, CEO of Open-Silicon; Amit Rohatgi, principal mobile architect at MIPS; Grant Martin, chief scientist at Tensilica; Bill Neifert, CTO at Carbon Design Systems; and Kevin McDermott, director of market development for ARM’s System Design Division. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. LPE: Computers aren’t gettin... » read more

Experts At The Table: SoC Prototyping


By Ann Steffora Mutschler System-Level Design sat down to discuss SoC prototyping with Hillel Miller, pre-silicon verification/emulation manager at Freescale Semiconductor; Frank Schirrmeister, group director, product marketing, system development suite at Cadence; and Mick Posner, director of product marketing at Synopsys. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SLD: Is it possib... » read more

Raising The Stakes For IP


By Ed Sperling As the amount of IP in an SoC increases, so do the number of players who want to strengthen their position in this market. The big acquisitions that began several years ago over time have proved to be just opening salvos—something that was impossible to predict when this shift began. Synopsys’ purchase of Virage Logic and Cadence’s purchase of Denali, both of which occu... » read more

Lessons From Past Architecture Wars


By Marc David Levenson There was an interesting IEEE panel discussion in Silicon Valley recently, reviewing the microprocessor architecture wars of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. How did the Intel x86 architecture become so dominant when there were other capable designs, including more efficient RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing) chips? How did the x86s overcome competition from Zilog, M... » read more

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