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
Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 13:02 by Paul McLellan
A team of students from the Embedded Low Power Laboratory of Seoul National University, lead by Prof. Naehyuck Chang visited DAC49 in San Francisco. Coming from Seoul they had a rather longer journey than most. The students were:
And no, they are not all related. If you didn't already know, most Koreans have one of very few family names: Kim, Lee and Park cover over half the population.
They made a video of their... Read More
Posted on Monday, October 22, 2012 - 12:59 by Paul McLellan
I recently blogged about a fascinating Wired article about Google's datacenters which included several photographs.
I happened to be browsing some websites in the Netherlands (actually I don't speak a word of Dutch, a Dutch friend pointed it out to me) and there is an article showing how the pictures that accompany the Wired article have been photoshopped. You don't need to be able to read Dutch to get the basic idea, the pictures are animated to show where one side of most of the pictures... Read More
Posted on Friday, October 19, 2012 - 08:02 by Paul McLellan
Wired has published a fascinating article about how Google's datacenters are put together, complete with some photographs (hilariously, the first time I saw the article they had interchanged two captions, labeling a server room as a cooling plant and vice-versa). As far as I know this is the first time they allowed a journalist (Steven Levy, so not just any journalist) inside. Anyone in hi-tech of any sort will find it is worth a read.
For those of us in EDA and semiconductors the most... Read More
Posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 12:00 by Paul McLellan
The Phil Kaufman Award for Distinguished Contributions to Electronic Design Automation (EDA) ceremony will move to DAC in Austin. In previous years the recipient of the award has been announced around September with the actual presentation at a dinner in October or November. Instead, this year's award will be presented at a dinner on Sunday June 2nd at DAC in Austin, folliwing the annual DAC Sunday night welcome reception, the ultimate EDA networking event.
The Kaufman award is sponsored by... Read More
Posted on Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 11:53 by Paul McLellan
I hope that we've made enough noise that you have noticed by now that next year, in Austin, is the 50th Design Automation Conference. An interesting article in Wired magazine points out that 50 years ago (actuallly on the 9th October) Nick Holonyak Jr and his team at GE invented the light-emitting diode. Wired has an interview with Holonyak. The first LEDs were red but it was clear even then that over time they would broaden to the whole spectrum and eventually you'd be able to make a white... Read More
Posted on Monday, October 8, 2012 - 15:24 by Paul McLellan
The IEEE council on electronic design automation (CEDA) will celebrate the 30th anniversary of ICCAD with a talk by Dr Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli of UC Berkeley. His presentation, entitled ICCAD at 30 years: where we have been, where are we going will examine the past and future evolution of computer aided IC design. Alberto's career spans the whole of of IC design automation from the Mead-Conway revolution until the present day, on the way founding both Cadence and Synopsys and winning... Read More
Posted on Friday, October 5, 2012 - 02:43 by Paul McLellan
The next installment of Jim Hogan's Emerging Companies Series is on 17th October at Cadence in building 10 (the big new one). This time the focus is on two very important things for a startup: how to raise money, and then, having raised it, how to make it last as long as possible by not spending it. Getting more is either expensive or impossible.The panelists are:
Amit Gupta of Solido
Rahul Razdan of Ocoos
Atul Sharan of no-fixed-abode (angel and investor)
The meeting starts with a reception... Read More
Posted on Friday, October 5, 2012 - 02:20 by Paul McLellan
Last week EDAC announced the Q2 results for the EDA industry (from their market statistics service). Revenue increased 10.8% to $1.593B compared to Q2 2011. Sequentially, revenue increased 3.2% compared to Q1. The four month rolling average (that compares the last four quarters to the four quarters before that) increased by 12%. EDA is growing healthily with double digit growth.
All regions were positive but North America and Asia (excluding Japan which is tracked separately) drove the growth... Read More
Posted on Sunday, September 30, 2012 - 15:53 by Paul McLellan
I wrote recently about a scary graph that showed cost per million gates basically going flat for the next few process generations.
Gary Smith emailed me after attending a Sematech meeting saying that the people there were not worried, 450mm wafers would save the day. There are two problems with this. One, 450mm wafters are not expected to show up until the end of the decade. And second, how big is the cost saving. I decided to try and find out.
So I have scanned the net to see what the... Read More
Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 - 10:39 by Paul McLellan
Do you know about the Congress Bridge bats in Austin? The world's largest urban bat colony summers under the bridge so they will be there for DAC next June (in winter they migrate to Mexico). Almost every evening an estimated 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats emerge at dusk over a period of about half an hour. Each night they eat around 10-15 tons of insects. That's a lot of mosquitos. Watch from the bridge, or, even better, get a cocktail from the lobby lounge of the Four Seasons hotel and... Read More
Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 - 10:14 by Paul McLellan
It is now possible to propose panels and tutorials for DAC 50 in Austin next June. To be more specific, calls for proposals are now open in the following areas:
Technical and pavilion panels
In most cases the deadline for submissions is October 29th so you need to get your proposals in during the next 6 weeks. The contributions page with full details is here.
Almost everything else for DAC opens for submissions on October 11th. In... Read More
Posted on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 14:27 by Paul McLellan
The next event in the Jim Hogan Emerging Companies series will be on 17th October at Cadence (I'm guessing in building 5 but I'm sure there will be signs). The specific topic this time will be How to Raise Money and How Not to Spend it. The evening will focus on different funding strategies and, just as important, efficent use of cash.
The participants on the panel will be:
Amit Gupta, CEO of Solido Design
Rahul Razdan, CEO of Ocoos
Atul Sharan, entrepreneur and angel investor
The... Read More
Posted on Thursday, September 6, 2012 - 16:17 by Paul McLellan
In one of those odd coincidences, I was having dinner with a friend last week and somehow the Carrington Event came up. Then I read a a piece in EETimes about whether electrical storms could cause problems in the near future. Even that piece didn't mention the Carrington Event so I guess George Leopold, the author, hasn't heard of it.
It constantly surprises me that people in electronics have not heard of the Carrington Event, the solar storm of 1859. In fact my dinner companion (also... Read More
Posted on Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - 13:19 by Paul McLellan
In the last few decades, electronics has become more and more central to our lives. When I was a child the only electronics in the house was the radio and the television, both of which contained tubes. Two big things happened that upended that world: the invention of the transistor and the invention of the integrated circuit. A modern integrated circuit, or chip as some people like to call them, may have over a billion transistors on it and yet sell for just a few dollars. Perhaps more... Read More