Thursday, September 20, 2007

AMD Salvages Phenom

My first reaction to AMD announcing a three-core processor was that it sounded weird. Why design a three-core CPU? And one of the explanations I heard was even more contrived, something like "you could be running a demanding video application using two cores and have another core running virus scan". Ah yes, the price we pay for security.

But upon a little more reflection, I have to agree with Larry Dignan of ZDNet that AMD’s triple core chip is a nice intersection where engineering meets business savvy.

Of course! It's not a three chip design. It's the four-core Phenom chip with one defective core disabled. AMD gets to salvage a "non-prime" part, and the consumer should get a good deal on a CPU that's better than dual-core.

This is a nice side benefit of highly-parallel designs, as long as they're designed to degrade gracefully.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Vast EDA Conspiracy

several folks noted that one of the saving graces—one of the things that will seemingly prevent EDA from getting hit too hard by Piracy--is that EDA software tends to be extremely buggy
-- Websites offering a Synopsys tool for $20? EDA pirates or legit? - Between The Lines - Blog on EDN

I've been banging my head against the wall the past few days trying to debug EDA software that the AE hasn't been able to figure out, and now this! Do EDA vendors intentionally let software quality wane to ensure maintenance revenues and prevent piracy? I always love a good conspiracy theory ...

Monday, September 10, 2007

EE Times Emerging Startups - EE Times updates list of emerging startups proves that the innovation and money is still flowing in our industry.


  • Fabless Wireless
  • Asynch logic IP
  • Multi-core programming


With respect to EDA, here's what caught my eye:

  • Athena Design Systems Inc.
  • Blaze DFM Inc.
  • Calypto Design Systems Inc.
  • Dafca Inc.
  • Imperas Inc.