Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - 08:44 by Paul McLellan
I was at DesignCon in Santa Clara today and listened to Jonah Alben of NVIDIA's keynote on what their approach is to improving design methodology. He started by pointing out that most companies underinvest in EDA (and he includes NVIDIA in this). Partially it is complaceny: that last chip taped out so we know we can do it again. Partially it is getting used to the quirks of the methodology: we don't want to change. And partially it is a tradeoff since people working on methodology are not... Read More
Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - 14:30 by Paul McLellan
The Austin area is famous for great barbecue. But you used to need a car (and a lot of time) to really experience the best and make your road trips to Lexington, Lockhart, Luling, Llano, and more. But now there is Franklin Barbecue in downtown Austin. it is at 900 East 11th Street which is a 20 minute walk from the convention center (work up an appetite). They open at 11am but you can expect lines. They stop serving when they run out of food which is around 1pm.
My son was recently sent to... Read More
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 07:12 by Paul McLellan
Over at the GSA Forum website I have an article on the history of the semiconductor industry. It is actually based on a couple of a number of blogs I published last year but edited down a lot and tightened up. Since the start of the year seems to be the time for predictions, here are the last couple of paragraphs, which are a look to the future. No surprises here for anyone who has been reading my stuff, I'm not as optimistic as some people:
Looking to the future, Moore's law is under... Read More
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 07:07 by Paul McLellan
Semico Research recently published a detailed forecast and analysis of the analog market. But the headline numbers are publicly available. The analog market totaled $40B in revenue in 2012 and is expected to grow by 9.5% in dollar value and 6.4% in unit growth into 2013. That is a healthy chunk of the whole semiconductor market, especially since it excludes all the mixed-signal SoCs which are primarily digital chips that contain some on-chip analog IP.
This seems to be driven by two main... Read More
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 06:47 by Paul McLellan
DesignCon 2013 is January 28th-31st at the Santa Clara Convention Center. There is a full conference program and also exhibits (just on 29-30th). The detailed schedule for all the conference tracks is here.
There are 3 keynotes:
Monday from 12.30 to 1pm Bill Swift, VP Engineering at Cisco.
Tuesday from 12 to 12.30 Jonah Alben, Senior VP Engineering at NVIDIA
Wednesday from 12 to 12.30 Mike Santori, Business and Technology Fellow at Texas Instruments
Registration for DesignCon is here.
Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 - 12:44 by Paul McLellan
EDAC announced the revenue numbers for Q3 of this year. Overall, third quarter 2012 EDA revenues increased 4.9% compared to the same period in 2011. Total revenue for Q3 was $1619.9 million. Here is a breakdown by category and by region.
Revenue ($ Millions)
IC Physical Design & Verification
PCB & MCM
Revenue ($ Millions)
%... Read More
Posted on Friday, January 4, 2013 - 06:21 by Paul McLellan
For those of you in Europe, or thinking about going to DATE, the program is now available. DATE, Design Automation and Test Europe, is in Grenoble this year from March 18th to 22nd. Monday March 18th is tutorials and Friday March 22nd is for workshops, the conference proper is Tuesday-Thursday.
On Tuesday there are two keynote speakers. Dr Benedetto Vigna, VP of ST Microelectronics will give a presentation on Smart Systems for the Internet of Things. Professor Massoud Pedram of University of... Read More
Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - 21:25 by Paul McLellan
The 26th Conference on VLSI Design will be in Pune, India from January 5th to 10th at the Hyatt Regency. Details on the conference here. Registration here.
I happened to be involved in the first of these conferences, which was held in Edinburgh where I was wrapping up my PhD. It was in the considerably less palatial surroundings of the University's Appleton Tower before it was modernized and the conference was run on a shoe-string. We would have been surprised to have a time-traveler come back... Read More
Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - 04:33 by Paul McLellan
Bob Bentley of Intel told the story of formal verification within the company last month at the Jasper User Group Meeting. His basic philosophy is that proving correctness is much better than testing for correctness. As Djikstra said in the context of software development, "testing shows the presence of bugs not their absence." Bob started off giving Intel's policy of not endorsing vendors and thus saying nothing should be taken that way. In fact Intel use a mixture of internal... Read More
Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - 04:05 by Paul McLellan
Bookings for DAC hotels in Austin are now open. The easiest way to make reservations is to do it online here. You can also do it by fax or mail (but not phone). Details are on the DAC hotel page. The DAC hotels (and prices) are as follows:
Omni Austin Hotel
Courtyard by Marriott Austin Downtown/ Convention Center
Residence Inn Austin Downtown/ Convention Center
Hampton Inn & Suites Austin -... Read More
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 09:23 by Paul McLellan
We have a new feature on dac.com called "My DAC Moment". In it, people (and you could be one of them) talk about some particular time at DAC that was especially signficant. DAC has been going for 50 years so there should be some good stories in there. It doesn't have to be that you won the best paper award (although that would be a pretty good DAC moment), it could be something funny or just significant to you. Everything is on the My DAC Moment page including how to submit your own DAC moment... Read More
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 09:09 by Paul McLellan
Recently I there was news that Texas Instruments was laying of 1700 people and re-focusing their OMAP (ARM-based platforms) on embedded and away from mobile. Back in the 1990s when I was at VLSI and working closely with our communication division, TI was the giant in the industry. They were Nokia's biggest supplier and we were completely unsuccessful at gettting any of their business. It is obviously not as dramatic as a Kodak going backrupt (and doing it like a slow train wreck since it is not... Read More
Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 09:43 by Paul McLellan
The Accellera Systems Initiative, most well-known for driving the standardization of various aspects of Verilog and SystemVerilog before handing the standards off to the IEEE, has announced that nominations are open for the 2013 Technical Excellence Award. This recognizes outstanding contributions in the creation of EDA and IP standards by a member of an Accellera technical committee. Nominations will be accepted through January 18th.
More details of the nomination process are here, including a... Read More
Posted on Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 12:31 by Paul McLellan
At ICCAD earlier this week, CEDA sponsored a talk by Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli looking back over the last 30 years (it is the 30th anniversary of ICCAD) and looking to the future. As is always the case in these sorts of presentations, the retrospective contained a lot more detail than the going forward part. Clayton Christenen had an editorial in the New York Times just the weekend before looking at the different types of innovation. And, by the way, if you have never read Christensen's... Read More
Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 - 11:30 by Paul McLellan
At the keynote for ICCAD this morning, John Gustafason of AMD (where he is Chief Graphics Product Architect as well as a Fellow) talked about parallel algorithms. Like Gene Amdahl, whose law states that parallel algorithms are limited by the part that cannot be parallelized (if 10% is serial, then even if the other part takes place in zero time, the maximum speedup is 10X), Gustafason has a law named after him. It basically says Amdahl is wrong, that there is no limit to the speedup you... Read More