Friday, April 30, 2010

SCDsource & EDA technologies to watch out for at DAC 2010

The EDA/Semiconductor web site SCDsource is going away on May 7, but if you click now, you can read their preview of EDA technologies to watch out for at DAC 2010.

In the interest of preserving history, I'll list their picks here.

  • Forte Cynthesizer
  • Mentor Catapult C
  • Wind River/Cadence Simics/Incisive Integration (Why does Cadence always have the most cumbersome product names? They must name them by committee, and everyone gets to add a word!)
  • Oasys RealTime Designer
  • Jasper DA JasperGold
  • OneSpin Solutions 360 MV
  • Magma Tekton
  • Silicon Frontline F3D and R3D
  • Sigrity PowerDC Thermal

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

iPad A4 == Intrinsity?

Wow, here's a flash, maybe Apple didn't design the "A4" brain of their iPad tablet after all: IEEE Spectrum: Evidence for Intrinsity in the iPad.

I always thought it curious that Apple supposedly pulled off such an ambitious chip with their first major in-house development. Pundits assumed that it was done with the help of Apple's P.A. Semi acquisition, but P.A. Semi had been focusing on the "Power" architecture, not ARM.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Old but Not Dead Languages

How can it possibly be that in this survey of programming language popularity, the C programming language is back at number 1 position?

I love technology history more than the average person, but I am dumb-founded that with all the software engineering development, object-oriented design, and graphical user interface work that's happened over the decades, we are relying on a language designed before many practicing engineers were born! (People may complain about Verilog HDL's crustiness, but it's "only" 25 years old.)

Though software engineering is not my principal occupation, I do enjoy programming and languages. I know "C" well enough to quickly shoot myself in the foot, but think Java is a far more elegant language. It's sort of like I've heard that Python is a better scripting language, but everyone still uses Perl.

Anyone have explanations for why "C" remains so popular? Isn't this a significant reason why computers have so many security holes? When you hear about "buffer overrun" and "malicious code execution", think "C" pointers! I can see using "C" for embedded systems if resources are very limited, but otherwise, I'm truly surprised by this survey.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

SNUG's Happy Birthday

Early this month the Synopsys Users' Group conference was held in Santa Clara, California. It was a special SNUG, as it was the 20th anniversary. That's an eternity in EDA.

The conference featured record attendance (over 2,100) and a good balance of user papers on verification, implementation, signoff, and low-power design.