Volume 3

September 1, 2006

SPIRIT achieves maturity with IP-XACT specifications

Introduction Complete system-on-chip (SoC) design assembly, configuration and verification environments emerged in the 1990s to address an increasing design gap between the capacity of silicon and the ability of engineering teams to fill that gap meaningfully with optimized system designs. Despite the need being addressed by these early environments, adoption was slow. In this context, […]

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June 1, 2006

Of a common mind

Walden Rhines The official mission statement of the EDA Consortium (EDAC)  says that the organization exists “to promote the health of the EDA industry, and to increase awareness of the crucial role EDA plays in today’s global economy.” EDAC’s chairman Wally Rhines, also chairman and CEO of Mentor Graphics, amplifies this by explaining that the […]

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June 1, 2006

New dimensions in performance

Kerry Bernstein When Kerry Bernstein, a 28-year IBM veteran, was first drafted to work on Big Blue’s development of 3D semiconductors, he admits he was a skeptic. “At first, I think I felt as though I’d got dragged into this program. I thought it wasn’t going anywhere. I thought it was going to go anywhere. […]

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June 1, 2006

I hate to say this but…

Joe Costello The dominant theme for DAC 2006 is multimedia, games and entertainment. So how does Cadence Design Systems founder and former CEO Joe Costello fit into that? He is after all giving the conference’s Monday keynote. Let’s do the ticklist. EDA credentials? Dated – he left Cadence in 1998 – but basically a ‘check’. […]

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June 1, 2006

High quality yield modeling is critical for DFM

Design-for-manufacturability (DFM) has become pervasive and there is general agreement on the need to apply DFM at multiple stages of the design cycle. DFM techniques at the relatively mature 0.13um technology node entail well known enhancements such as contact and via redundancy, line-ends and borders, and wire spreading. Mature technology nodes achieve product yields which, […]

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June 1, 2006

Back on the bay

Ellen Sentovich As EDA Tech Forum went to press, the programme for 2006’s Design Automation Conference (July 24-28) in San Francisco was only just being made public. However, one thing was already clear. The event is set to be bigger than ever before. “We had been concerned about the move to July because of the […]

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June 1, 2006

Design and manufacturing unite to tackle process variability

Analyses made by semiconductor manufacturers have demonstrated that maintaining pattern fidelity is critical, and that this task faces increasing limitations at the 65nm process node and below. At these technology nodes, even the most advanced resolution enhancement technologies (RET) have a difficult time with certain layout topologies.  When the impact of this is observed across […]

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June 1, 2006

Addressing the design closure crisis

Why are more chips late to market and cost three times more to design at 90-nanometer (nm) than at 130nm? Today’s ASSPs and ASICs are huge, approaching one billion transistors, with clock speeds exceeding 1-GHz. Engineers struggle to manage the complexity of devices that achieve these levels of performance and size. A natural reaction to […]

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June 1, 2006

Deploying the right tools for mixed signal verification

Engineers on the leading edge of nanometer design are dealing with physical effects that change the way mixed-signal ICs are verified – in timing, power, reliability and yield. With the IC verification effort accounting for 60-80% of the development cycle, choosing and deploying the right mixed-signal verification solution can significantly improve productivity and the return […]

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June 1, 2006

Accelerating the move from prototype to production with a robust design flow

When migrating from FPGA prototype to ASIC, engineers need to interface with multiple silicon and software vendors. Designing with FPGAs often requires the use of several software platforms, including front-end synthesis tools, FPGA software development tools, and verification and timing analysis tools. Migrating to an ASIC platform involves using a parallel design flow with different […]

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