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Maximize The Value Of Your 3rd Party IP Investment


The need to get to market sooner has resulted in significant growth in the use of 3rd party IP. This in turn has led to a growth in IP vendors. While licensing 3rd party IP may lead to reducing the development effort and time, it can potentially be costly and bring upon significant risk. Of course, there is the obvious cost of licensing the IP itself, but there are several other hidden costs... » read more

Challenges Of Using The Cloud For IC Design


The ‘cloud’ is so ubiquitous that perhaps even your grandmother has heard about it. There are advertisements on TV with various vendors touting their cloud offerings. The cloud is ideal for eCommerce and SaaS (Software as a Service) offerings, as the elasticity on demand provides a convenient way to scale up when demand is high and scale down when it is low. Yet the design community has ... » read more

3 Ways To Improve Design Collaboration: Part 3


The first two blog posts in this three-part series focused on the design team’s capability to communicate efficiently. An accurate to-do list is the basis of providing accurate estimates for project release schedules. The Cliosoft VDD (Visual Design Diff) tool is an effective way to maintain a live and accurate “to-do list” for design engineers and managers alike. Additionally, it provide... » read more

3 Ways To Improve Design Collaboration: Part 2


In the last blog in this series, we talked about how VDD can help design and layout engineers work more efficiently. Communicating precise and accurate information is a key factor in improving productivity, estimates, and the planning process. Visualizing the changes makes it easier to follow the technical details. The ECO (Engineering Change Order) phase is an important phase in the lifecycle... » read more

3 Ways To Improve Design Collaboration


In my experience, design engineers are zealous folks who want to extract every ounce of performance out of their design. They continue to make incremental changes to the design until the very end, as close to tape out as possible. Each change made to the design requires corresponding changes to be implemented in the layout. If you are a design engineer, how do you answer this question from y... » read more

Tracking Re-Use Of Design IPs


Design teams have a great incentive to create design blocks or IPs that can be reused: Each time an IP is successfully reused, precious time is saved from project schedule. Of course, as easy as it sounds, achieving this goal in real life is not simple. In reality, the observation is that design libraries cannot be used as-is by multiple projects. Consider this scenario: A smart new graduate... » read more

Can You Afford To Waste Time On Your Next Design Project?


Let’s be honest: engineers are asked to perform miracles every day, and they almost always deliver. They are challenged to invent the future in the form of newly sophisticated, powerful and highly functional systems-on-chips and systems. On top of this, they’re required to do so with an increasingly complex array of tools and re-use increasing amounts of IP to speed time-to-market. Oh, and ... » read more

Spreadsheets In Virtuoso


The looming tape-out deadline is the nightmare that keeps most design managers up at night. Managing schedules and tracking progress is always a black art that few, if any, can master. Various project management tools and methodologies have been developed that can help, if followed diligently. However, the learning curve of the tools, or the training and overhead of the process, often result in... » read more

No Mess, No Stress


A clean and tidy working environment is often a productive environment. Imagine a desk with a lot of clutter. One may lose precious work minutes every time we go searching for a lost paper on a cluttered desk. The same is true if you are working on your designs. During the course of a design project, spirited and fast thinking design engineers run several experiments. Some of them are more s... » read more

Designing In The Cloud


Amazon AWS was launched back in 2006. Web based services such as Netflix and Expedia were early adopters, and AWS has grown rapidly, bringing in competition from Google (GCP), Microsoft (Azure) and others. It has taken a while for the design community to embrace the ‘cloud’ as some of the needs and concerns of design teams are different.  Cloud vendors have recognized this untapped market ... » read more

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