Abstract Verification


Verification relies on a separation of concerns. Otherwise the task has no end. Sometimes we do it without thinking, but as an industry, we have never managed to fully define it such that it can become an accepted and trusted methodology. This becomes particularly true when we bring abstraction into the picture. A virtual prototype is meant to be true to behavior, but there could be timing d... » read more

Survival Of The Cheapest?


We all want the best solution to win, but that rarely happens. History is littered with products that were superior to the alternatives and yet lost out to a lessor rival. I am sure several examples are going through your mind without me having to list them. It is normally the first to volume that wins, often accelerated by copious amounts of marketing dollar to help push it against headwinds. ... » read more

Making Security User Friendly


Serious tradeoffs between technology accessibility and other optimization factors, such as power and security, can crop up especially in the early days of a new product’s design. A new product appeals to a certain category of users who need it to perform well enough that the technology can move forward. They are willing to overlook rough edges in the product and sometimes even glory in the le... » read more

Semiconductor’s Dinosaurs


Dinosaurs once ruled this planet. They existed in every shape and form – some large, others tiny. Each adapted to its own specific environment. Some stayed on the land, others went to sea, and yet another group took to the skies. They looked like they were invincible and would be the pinnacle of the food chain. Then a cataclysmic event happened, and dinosaurs went into a fairly rapid decline.... » read more

Moderating A Panel


When I was a technologist at Mentor, I used to be asked to sit on panels. I loved to provide my opinions on just about anything. As soon as I became independent, the industry believed that I could serve it better as a moderator. That was not an easy transition to make. The first few panels that I moderated were probably not very good. I like to think that I have improved over the years, and the... » read more

DAC 2019: Day 3


Two keynotes get day three of DAC started. The first by John Cohn, Massachusetts Institute of Technology & IBM Watson AI Lab. "I am a nerd. Look back 100 years in processing. We have gone from mechanical computing to where we are today, but it has not been a smooth curve. There are smooth places and then discontinuities. This is when what you were working on no longer works. How we make tho... » read more

DAC 2019: Day 2


Day two of DAC started off with a highly anticipated keynote given by Thomas Dolby, musician, producer and innovator. Dolby has always been fascinated with the convergence of music and technology. He started off with a fanfare by balancing a broom on his finger to demonstrate the type of control we have as human beings. He went on to expand the analogy to the hive mind of groups of individuals,... » read more

DAC 2019: Day 1


The last time that DAC was in Las Vegas was 2001. Much has changed since then. The first day kicked off with the usual ceremonies and then two short keynotes. A change from previous years is that keynotes are now on the show floor. This is presumably to ensure that once the keynotes are over, everyone sees the vendor booths. During the commencement session, it was also announced that all cof... » read more

Moore Open Source Coming


The sunsetting of Moore's Law is creating some interesting ripples throughout the EDA and IP industries. No longer is the low-risk path defined by a migration to the next node. Most companies cannot afford it and don’t need it. Neither can their competitors. Suddenly, they have to do more with less, or at least the same amount. Consider just a few things that are changing today: Stick... » read more

Defining Verification


There was a time when the notion of rigorous verification was seen as being unnecessary and even wasteful. I can remember early in my career working on flight control computers. We did no functional verification and created no models. We prototyped it and ran some engineering tests through it, primarily to structurally verify the system. We did not test the functionality of the system – that ... » read more

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