Patently Absurd


One thing I like about the holiday season is that it gives me the opportunity to be a little less formal and have a little fun. I find humor within the patent system. I can remember growing up and being told that our next-door neighbor was crazy—but brilliant because he had a patent. Everyone looked to him as though he was a technology god. Later in life I learned how easy it is to get a p... » read more

Reduction In First Silicon Success


Every two years, Harry Foster, chief scientist for Mentor, a Siemens Business, works with Wilson Research to do a verification study. Those studies have influenced many in the industry, indicating where users are experiencing the most pain, spending their time, growing their team sizes and where money would be best spent. However, over the past four years, the ASIC industry has basically been i... » read more

The Perfect Risk


The development of semiconductors is an act of risk management. Very simply put, if you take on too much risk, it could lead to product failure or a missed market window, both of which can cost $M. For a company that only produces one or two products a year, that can spell total disaster. If you do not take on enough risk, you are probably not going to end up with a competitive product that ... » read more

Hiring And Firing


I doubt if there is a manager, in any company, who likes to fire people. In addition, most companies are very cautious about getting rid of people. Human resources departments often put in place lengthy and complex procedures to provide a clear and well-documented path to someone's termination. During a recent Oski executive dinner, participants were quite heated in their discussion about th... » read more

A New Era For EDA


For almost the entirety of my time in EDA, which is approaching 40 years, the total number of design starts has been declining. A lot of this is to be expected. Semiconductors was the new and exciting world where startups popped up hoping to make it big in Silicon Valley, or indeed to become the next Silicon Valley, Forest, Swamp or Desert. Many of them didn't manage to get beyond a neat concep... » read more

Abstraction Aging


During the course of doing interviews for my article on system simulation and abstraction, I spoke to several people who, just like myself, had started their career pushing abstraction. At the time, we were all frustrated that the industry didn't move fast enough. The advantages of abstraction appeared to be so clear. Everyone developed slides showing that the cost to fix bugs increased the fur... » read more

Wednesday At DAC 2018


Wednesday starts with a visionary talk followed by a keynote. The Visionary talk was given by Chidi Chidambaram, VP of engineering for Qualcomm, and looked at 'Challenges to Enable 5G System Scaling.' "We have to start taking a system view rather than just following technology and at the same time we have to get concerned about durability," he said. "Mobile will continue to be the leader becaus... » read more

Tuesday At DAC 2018


The morning starts with the Accellera Breakfast. Accellera has made some significant progress this year and we can expect to hear about the approval of the Portable Stimulus 1.0 specification later in the conference as well as the initial release of SystemC CCI as well as a proposal for the creation of an IP Security Assurance Working Group, which will discuss standards development to address s... » read more

Monday At DAC 2018


DAC #55 started with rumors flying. Will this be the last DAC as we know it? Is there a huge chasm forming between academia and the industry? Will DAC be able to make it in Las Vegas where there is no local interest? Of course, those who have been in the industry know that this kind of speculation happens every few years, and in the 80s, Las Vegas was a very popular location for DAC. There was ... » read more

Commoditizing Constraints


Preparing articles for Semiconductor Engineering involves talking to a lot of people and then trying to fit their statements together in a way that is logical and fair. Sometimes a subject will come up in one of these calls that is not really on topic, but is still interesting. One such incident happened this week while doing research for the Verification 3.0 article. The topic was constrain... » read more

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