Thursday, August 26, 2010

Synopsys F3Q2010 Earnings & Focus

I don't read all the EDA companies' investor reports and analysis, but the transcript of Synopsys CEO Discusses F3Q2010 Results - Earnings Call gives you a concise view of Synopsys' recent successes and future emphases.

Top themes:

  • IP. The DesignWare team is chugging along with significant and growing business, augmented by the Virage Logic acquisition.
  • Systems
  • FPGA Prototyping

Product-wise, Aart emphasized their custom design competitor to Virtuoso, which I don't find super exciting. It's always nice to have a more modern implementation of a workhorse tool, but not earth shattering. Synopsys bread and butter tools, which pay the paychecks, didn't get much air time.

I think some of the market share claims could be misinterpreted (90% of 32 nanometer chips), but that's standard fare for the ways vendors advertise this.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rethinking Digital Design

Famed Stanford professor Mark Horowitz is giving talks on Why Design Must Change: Rethinking Digital Design. The questions raise provide refreshing distraction from the day-to-day concerns about the economy, lack of growth in EDA, and creative destruction in the semiconductor industry.

Prof. Horowitz's solution is provocative and plausible, though not a "slam dunk". I'd like him to quantify how much his approach would reduce the total cost of nanometer semiconductor design. Also, how applicable is it to domains beyond processors? Isn't it very difficult to create an "architecture generator" for each domain? For another perspective, here's a blog post reviewing the talk.