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Designing Chips In A ‘Lawless’ Industry


The guideposts for designing chips are disappearing or becoming less relevant. While engineers today have many more options for customizing a design, they have little direction about what works best for specific applications or what the return on investment will be for those efforts. For chip architects, this is proving to be an embarrassment of riches. However, that design freedom comes wit... » read more

EDA, IP Revenues Soar


EDA and IP revenues increased 15.4% to $3.032 billion in Q4 2020, according to a just-released report, with huge increases reported in China and India, and a solid double-digit increase in the Americas. EDA/IP revenue from China increased 66.4% in Q4 EDA/IP compared with the same period in 2019, and for the 2020 calendar year it was up 52.3%. India's spending was up 32% for the quarter. And ... » read more

The Other Side Of Makimoto’s Wave


Custom hardware is undergoing a huge resurgence across a variety of new applications, pushing the semiconductor industry to the other side of Makimoto's Wave. Tsugio Makimoto, the technologist who identified the chip industry’s 10-year cyclical swings between standardization and customization, predicted there always will be room in ASICs for general-purpose processors. But it's becoming mo... » 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

Hardware/Software Tipping Point


It doesn't matter if you believe [getkc id="74" comment="Moore's Law"] has ended or is just slowing down. It is becoming very clear that design in the future will be significant different than it is today. Moore's law allowed the semiconductor industry to reuse design blocks from previous designs, and these were helped along by a new technology node—even if it was a sub-optimal solution. I... » read more