The Week In Review: Design

New verification and software development tools; deals; numbers; market seeding.


Cadence rolled out a new verification planning and management tool that is based on SQL, which greatly improves functionality and performance and offers multi-user, multi-engine and multi-analysis capabilities. Database technology—in this case, Structured Query Language—remains one of the very few software platforms that can harness multiple processors effectively.

Synopsys unveiled a new version of its emulation system, which it says quadruples performance and triples host capacity. Speed is one of the key metrics in the emulation market, which owes its growth largely to the performance limitations of simulation in complex designs.

Making it easier to develop software for hardware platforms is becoming a big push for processor makers. Synopsys introduced new software development platforms for its ARC processor to accelerate code development.

Likewise, ARM introduced a new version of its platform to standardize middleware interfaces and speed development of software for its microcontrollers.  ARM also unveiled a new microcontroller development kit for Infineon’s microcontrollers, which are based on ARM’s processors.

Real Intent uncorked a new version of its implied intent tool for early functional analysis. Included in the new version are improved root cause analysis, FSM transition checks and debug reporting with direct trace back to state transition assignments. Being able to debug early has become essential in advanced SoCs.

CEVA won a deal with Yamaha, which will use its audio/voice DSPs in chips for mobile devices. Sonics won a deal with Altair Semiconductor, which is using its on-chip interconnect technology for 4G LTE SoCs. The push by Yamaha into this slice of the market is worth noting.

Cadence struck a deal with Global Navigation Satellite Systems to provide high-sensitivity tracking based on the Tensilica DSP cores. In addition, Cadence also won a deal with GCT Semiconductor, which is licensing its DSP for mobile applications.

Synopsys won a deal with Imagination Technologies, which is using Synopsys’ new emulation platform for verifying its SoCs.

Mentor Graphics announced financial results for its fiscal Q4 and fiscal 2014, ended Jan. 31, showing continued growth across a variety of sectors. For the quarter, revenue was $401.0 million, up from $331.3 million in the same period in 2013. For the year, revenue was $1.156 billion, up from $1.089 billion in fiscal 2013. Net income for the quarter was $105.5 million, compared with $61.7 million in the same period ended Jan. 31, 2013. For the fiscal year, net income was $155.3 million, up from $138.7 million the previous year. The company also announced a 5 cents per share quarterly dividend.

ARM unveiled a university program that offers a “lab in a box,” including training materials and technology for electronics and computer engineering curricula. This approach dates back to the 1980s, when Apple began seeding the market by giving away Macs to schools.

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