Blog Review: May 27

With the launch of UNICEF and ARM's 'Wearables for Good' design challenge, David Maidment digs into the program's details and how unobtrusive wearables and sensor technology benefits not only consumers in affluent countries, but could improve conditions for those in the developing world as well. From an ultracompact beamsplitter that could boost processing power for supercomputers within the... » read more

Buying And Selling EDA Companies

EDA, arguably more than any other industry, has been built on the backs of engineering breakthroughs by startups. In aggregate, those startups are the backbone of tools that have made cell phones smart and which helped improved gas mileage on automobiles. Through an almost continuous stream of acquisitions, these startups have added to the top-line valuation of big EDA companies, and despite th... » read more

Buying And Selling EDA Companies

By Ed Sperling The rule of thumb for mergers and acquisitions is that the majority will fail. So why, despite concerns about big companies buying up the tools of startups, does EDA’s track record look so good? There are a number of answers that are unique to the EDA industry: There is no manufacturing that needs to be absorbed by the acquirer, which greatly simplifies any deal. Sale... » read more

What’s Next After DRAM?

By Pallab Chatterjee At the most recent Denali Memcon, there was a panel discussion and debate about the future of DRAM and possible successor technologies. The discussion was moderated by Cadence’s Steve Leibson and featured Bob Merritt of Convergent Semiconductor, Barry Hoberman of Crocus, Ed Doller of Micron and Marc Greenberg of Denali/Cadence. The topic of the discuss was based on t... » read more

End User Report: EDA Industry Realignment

By Ann Steffora Mutschler The EDA industry has seen a number of large acquisitions as of late, most notably of Denali by Cadence, as well as CoWare, VaST and Virage Logic which were acquired by Synopsys, but just what impact does this realignment have on the biggest EDA customers? Commenting on these changes is Jean-Marc Chateau, director of system platforms and tools at STMicroelectronics, ... » read more

Connecting The Pieces

By Ann Steffora Mutschler With the amount of IP blocks being integrated in SoCs today – in some cases as many as 100 blocks in a single chip – SoC design methodologies are shifting to address the new challenges this complexity brings. The good news is that these integration challenges has put the spotlight on the issues—along with the skyrocketing development costs for the creation, qual... » read more

Meeting The Challenge Of Verification In Low-Power Designs

By Cheryl Ajluni Over the years, new techniques, technologies and design tools have been brought to market with the explicit intent of simplifying design verification. Despite these efforts verification still manages to consume a huge chunk of the time spent during design. By some accounts that number tops 70%. The problem is that verification is hard, and it certainly doesn’t get an easi... » read more

When It Comes To Intellectual Property, Size Matters

By Geoffrey James Intellectual property was once seen as the new growth market for EDA. Dozens of firms – large and small – jumped on the IP bandwagon, attracted to the “build once, sell many times” business model. “As late as 2004, the industry was still thinking that as much as 90% of SoCs would be reused IP,” said EDA consultant Gary Smith. The IP segment, however, hasn�... » read more

Next Steps In Verification IP

By Ann Steffora Mutschler With the cost of failure at an astronomical high, the last thing chip designers want to worry about is the physical IP they will use to build their SoC. In addition to less willingness on the customer’s behalf to take risks, complexity and economics have driven the need for more off-the-shelf IP and a corresponding rise in interest in verification IP. Compoundi... » read more

Moving Up The Food Chain

By Ed Sperling It used to be considered axiomatic that chip companies would be rewarded for spectacular technology, reflected in the market value of their components and in their stock price. But with stock prices routinely getting hammered even before the downturn, many companies have begun to re-think their mission. National Semiconductor, for one, is looking at creating modules rather than... » read more