Blog Review: April 30

Building the IoT; ready for finFETs; litho woes; C vs. C++; mini PHYs; Heartbleed; software, and much more.


Applied Materials’ Jeremy Read points to a looming problem for the Internet of Things—legacy fabs that will require software upgrades and advanced process control. Also needed: Sensors attached to thousands of machines for predictive maintenance.

Foundries are now ready for production finFETs. Cadence’s Richard Goering captures the buzz at last week’s TSMC Tech Symposium, where the road map is clear down to 7nm. That’s a lot of patterns without EUV, though.

Along the same lines, Synopsys’ Navraj Nandra looks at fault modeling and test algorithm creation strategies for finFETs. Time to increase the coffee budget.

This isn’t going to be a simple transition, though, particularly without EUV. D2S’s Aki Fujimara warns that the chip industry is facing challenges in mask making on a scale not seen since the early days of OPC.

Mentor’s Colin Walls is wondering why programmers choose C or C++, and what the pros and cons are of each. And is there such reluctance for programmers to move from C to C++?

ARM’s Ronans explains a maintenance license error notification in tools and what to do about it. If you’ve received the error notice, here’s where to go for help.

Cadence’s Brian Fuller examines the EDA/IP ecosystem for finFETs. After what appeared to be a long lapse, the tools and IP market is ready.

Synopsys’ Eric Huang makes some comparisons with femtoPHYs vs. full-size versions, which he says is like eating a whole box of chocolate but only feeling half as guilty. There are others, along with a video about how to really buy happiness.

Patterning guru Mike Watts examines the origins of clean rooms and lead-free gasoline. It’s not an obvious connection.

Cadence’s Priyank Shukla talks about wireless transceiver implementations in a video for Whiteboard Wednesdays. Wonder if copper futures traders are watching this one.

Mentor’s John Day highlights the increasing focus on automotive design at DAC in June—two days worth of sessions. The sessions and the companies involved are getting interesting.

ARM’s Ian Johnson looks at code size and why some of the comparisons are misleading. So how exactly do you measure the real size of your code?

Synopsys’ Karen Bartleson talks with SEMI president Karen Savala about the semiconductor supply chain and why it’s so important to keep it working smoothly—check out the relationship between semiconductors and GDP.

Mentor’s Kamran Shah examines the Heartbleed bug and what’s missing from OpenSSL. The big question is how long this bug has really been around.

It turns out that Synopsys’ Mick Posner wasn’t building a tank after all. Scroll down to the photos.

Mentor’s Dennis Brophy, wearing his Accellera hat, points to a UVM tutorial video from DVCon, which was just made available. It’s about two hours, with presentations from Cadence, Mentor, Synopsys, Doulos and Accellera, so you’ll have to park yourself somewhere to watch it.

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