December 2009


Experts At The Table: Rising Complexity Meets Verification


By Ed Sperling Low-Power Engineering sat down to discuss rising complexity and its effects on verification with Barry Pangrle, solutions architect for low power design and verification at Mentor Graphics; Tom Borgstrom, director of solutions marketing at Synopsys; Lauro Rizzatti, vice president of worldwide marketing at EVE, and Prakash Narain, president and CEO Real Intent. What follows are... » read more

Coming Of Age


By Jack Harding I recently participated in a panel hosted by TSMC.  The other panelists represented EDA, IP and Foundry market segments. We were asked to comment on new business models as a means to facilitate more design-starts in companies large and small and, otherwise, make it easier to be in this business with increasing NREs and greater complexity. To my delight the EDA guy talked... » read more

Automated Assembly And IP Integration Techniques For SoCs


Over the past few years, the consumer revolution has led to a trend in convergence of applications on a single device. The biggest example is the “ Smartphone” – handheld devices such as the iPhone or the BlackBerry that can enable consumers to read e-mail, text friends, create spreadsheets and documents, watch YouTube, play video games, listen to music, take pictures, store them, get d... » read more

Slow Start To Software-As-A-Service


By Pallab Chatterjee Can software as a service (SaaS) really work in the SoC design tools world? While many of the large EDA vendors continue to experiment with it, the future of this model isn’t especially promising. This is contrary to the overall trend among big software makers, which even in the large enterprise applications space are finding success with SaaS and the related cl... » read more

Estimates, Spreadsheets And Abstract Models


By Jon McDonald Lies, damn lies and statistics. Occasionally I get the impression that some engineers feel we’ve just taken that step beyond statistics in our ESL modeling. In a recent discussion I was very pointedly reminded of the subjective nature of abstract design and analysis. Like most predictions, you don’t really know what’s going to happen until it actually comes to pass. Us... » read more

Stacked Dies Gain Attention, But So Far Little Traction


By Ed Sperling For the better part of two decades there has been a steady stream of predictions about the abrupt end of Moore’s Law, but it now appears the formula for doubling the number of transistors on a die every couple years will simply dissipate rather than fall off a cliff. While companies such as Intel and IBM continue to develop road maps that extend their road maps all the wa... » read more

Making DFM Work Better


By Ann Steffora Mutschler At 65nm, design for manufacturing optimization and analysis has mostly been an afterthought. At 40nm and beyond, DFM has been pushed well up into the design phase. There are good reasons for this shift. What emerged at the 65nm node were signoff tools that understand manufacturing used in semiconductor design, said Manoj Chako, a product director for digital si... » read more

Synthesis: Next Steps In SoC Design


Five experts sound off to System-Level Design on the state of synthesis and what's needed in the future: Shawn McCloud, product line director for Catapult C Synthesis at Mentor Graphics; Chris Eddington, director of marketing for system-lvel products at Synopsys; Brett Cline, VP of marketing at Forte Design Systems; Andy Biddle, director of business development at Magma and Sanjiv Kaul, executi... » read more

The Bigger Picture


The pace of change in system-level design is no longer confined just to technology. It now hinges largely on whether enough engineers can make the leap from RTL or synthesis or verification or any other specialty to systems engineer. This is no small feat. It requires re-tooling and learning of modeling and other concepts that until now have been largely at the architectural level. It may ... » read more

The Ins And Outs Of Power Conversion


By Cheryl Ajluni Power conversion is a general term that refers to a system or device producing an output that is different than its input. It can assume many forms—everything from an inverter to an isolated power supply, uninterruptable power supply (UPS), or AC/DC converter. Power conversion, like low-power design, is fairly commonplace these days. Nevertheless, recent advances in digital ... » read more

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