We end the year with an issue of EDA Tech Forum that places perhaps more emphasis on design for manufacture than any before it, with opinions from Gartner Dataquest, Mentor Graphics and Applied Materials. These give readers a chance to view this often controversial and misunderstood area from three different but important perspectives: those of the market analyst, EDA vendor and fab equipment supplier.
The Dataquest article, in particular, sets out some provocative thoughts on the business implications of DFM for many players in the market, with particular emphasis on issues of confidentiality that will need to be resolved to feed valuable data up and down the design and production chain. It also articulates some very sensitive concerns about the future of the relationship between foundries and fabless semiconductor companies, until now one of the fastest growing areas in the silicon business. And it provides a clear timetable on what companies will need to do to prepare for upcoming process nodes.
I have said it before here, but it bears repeating in the light of this article.We would be delighted to hear from companies that are in the thick of the design battle and which may have a supporting or contradictory position to those expressed by our contributors on any topic. This magazine was set up largely to be a forum that would enable emerging problems and solutions to be openly debated. I cannot help but feel that many of you will find Dataquest’s scenario especially provocative.
DFM aside, this issue also looks at many other challenges facing designers. We begin a major two-part analysis of ADC specification, consider new approaches to verification and set out further efficiencies that can be extracted at system level. And, as last time, the magazine concludes with the second of the two ‘Best Of ’ papers from DAC 2005.
Staying with DAC, I’ve also been asked to mention that the deadline for 2006 paper submissions is looming. The actual ‘drop dead’ date is December 19th, an opportunity to chalk one more thing off the To Do list before the year-end. Papers can be submitted online at www.dac.com
It only remains for me to, as ever, thank all our contributors and you, our readers, for continuing to support the magazine – and to wish you all the best for the holiday season. Our next edition, in early 2006, will be a DATE conference special – so we’ll also be particularly interested to hear from potential European contributors.