The Week In Review: Design

TSMC certifies four vendors’ tools for 16nm finFET process; Rambus inks security deal with Fairchild; Mentor, Cadence win emulation deals; open-source quality surpasses propriety code.


TSMC certified Mentor Graphics’ DFM, place and route and custom IC tools, as well as its SPICE simulator, for the 16nm finFET process.  The foundry also certified Cadence’s digital and custom/analog tools for that process, including physical verification, QRC extraction, timing sign off and its power integrity solution. And it certified Synopsys’ digital and custom solution for physical implementation, verification, RC extraction and timing analysis.  In addition, the foundry certified Ansys-Apache’s power integrity and electromigration tools for that process.

Bottom line: The tools are ready to go, the process is now at version 1.0, and finFET production can begin.

Rambus signed a deal with Fairchild Semiconductor, which will license Rambus’ security technology to guard against differential powder analysis and other related hardware attacks. The license also covers software developed by Fairchild’s customers when used on Fairchild’s ICs.

It was a good week for emulation deals, too. Cadence won a deal with Spreadtrum, which will use its emulation platform for mobile SoC and hardware-software verification. And Mentor won a deal with Imagination Technologies, which will use Mentor’s emulation platform for verification of its GPU and CPU IP.

A report from Coverity, now owned by Synopsys, found that open source quality surpassed proprietary code in C/C++ projects for the first time. The report said Linux is the benchmark for quality, while developers aren’t fixing as many high-impact defects in Java projects.

Intel’s Q1 revenue hit $12.8 billion, the biggest dollar gain coming from its data center group as companies rush to set up new cloud offerings. Net income dropped $1.9 billion or 5%, with the biggest drop coming from its mobile and communications group. That group was down 61% year over year, while the IoT group was up 32%, the highest percentage gain posted of any unit.

IBM, meanwhile, reported revenue of $22.91 billion for the quarter, but its systems and technology revenue dropped 23%. Net income for the quarter was $2.4 billion, down 21% year over year. Revenue from microelectronics dropped 16%, while storage revenues were down 23% and Power Systems were down 22%.

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