February 2014


The Week In Review: Design


Tools Cadence rolled out a new verification planning and management tool that is based on SQL, which greatly improves functionality and performance and offers multi-user, multi-engine and multi-analysis capabilities. Database technology—in this case, Structured Query Language—remains one of the very few software platforms that can harness multiple processors effectively. Synopsys unveil... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


SPIE Advanced Lithography is a patterning show. At the event, however, Applied Materials revealed more details regarding its selective materials removal opportunity, according to Weston Twigg, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities, in a research note. Applied Materials presented a paper entitled, “Where Is Plasma Etching Going from Here?” “The presenter outlined concepts for thin layer... » read more

The Final Deadline For EUV


When TSMC disclosed this week—in a public forum—that its production EUV lithography test had failed in one of the early test runs due to a power source issue, there were very different reactions. EUV, after all, is an emotional issue with billions of dollars invested and lots of jobs riding on this technology. To begin with, there has been the usual spin control. The message essentially ... » read more

Evolution Vs. Revolution


In the electronic design automation industry changes to tools and flows are nearly always evolutionary. They hide as much change from the user as possible, allowing easier justification from an ROI perspective, and they raise far fewer objections from users, who don’t have to spend time learning how to use new technology or rethink tried and true approaches to problems. Revolution in chip ... » read more

10 Must Knows About Virtual Prototypes


1. What is a virtual prototype? If you ask a room full of people to define ‘system’, you will get as many answers as there are people in the room. The same is true for virtual prototypes. A virtual prototype defines a model of something that is usually created by one group and used by another with some implied abstraction. It is a prototype that exists as a software model on which analysis... » read more

Abstractions: The Good, Bad And Ugly


Raising the level of abstraction has become almost a mantra among chipmakers and tools developers. By moving the vantage point up a couple rungs on the ladder, it’s easier to see how the individual parts of a design go together, to identify problems in the design as well as fixes to problems, and it all can happen much more quickly. That’s the theory, at least. And in most cases, it’s ... » read more

Are Value And Security Needs Misaligned In The IoT?


Today’s keynote given by Green Hills Software CTO David Kleidermacher here at Embedded World in Nuremberg continued on the security thread from last year and was—interestingly enough—titled like a blog post I wrote about the Amphion Forum in late 2012: “Securing the Internet of Things”. Unfortunately, security has not become less scary. In fact, it’s the opposite. David started h... » read more

Clearing Software Roadblocks


Last week I was traveling across North America visiting customers. Besides being amazed at how cold it is in the rest of North America (I live in Silicon Valley where the sun has barely left us during the entire winter), it was good to talk to a wide variety of companies and discuss their software development needs. We encountered three types of companies considering the use of virtual prototyp... » read more

The End Of Automated Patent Trolls?


I have written several articles and blogs recently about the [getkc id="16" comment="patent"] system, and readers of What Were They Thinking know that I like to poke fun at patents that never should have been issued because they are obvious, silly or would never actually be able to work. There are patents that cover using a laser pointer to play with a cat, to water a Christmas tree or to creat... » read more

EDA Hungers For Growth


Look at the top line numbers provided by the EDA industry consortium (EDAC) and it appears as if the industry is doing well. In 2010, revenue was $5.285 billion. That number increased to $6.218 billion in 2011, and again to $6.529 billion in 2012, a 9.5% annual growth rate that would satisfy most investors. But the numbers do not tell the whole story. There is an interesting divide growing betw... » read more

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