Thursday, March 31, 2011

Innovation In EDA

Each year, EDN magazine has a contest to select the most innovative electronic design products: EDN 2010 Innovation Award finalists:Are you inspired?

The nominees in EDA Tools and ASIC Technologies are

  • Calibre InRoute, Mentor Graphics. (is this Mentor's answer to Synopsys IC Validator, a winner from last year?)
  • DRC+, GlobalFoundries
  • PathFinder, Apache Design Solutions
  • SoftPatch for RocketVision, GateRocket Inc

Looking back at 2010 EDN Innovation Award winners, there were multiple categories of EDA-related awards, and thus many more EDA nominees. From each category, the winners were

  • Quartus II Version 9.1 FPGA-design tool, Altera
  • IC Validator in-design physical-verification solution, Synopsys
  • Virtuoso Accelerated Parallel Simulator, Cadence Design Systems

Friday, March 18, 2011

Cooley's Take on IPO Candidate Apache Design

Props to John Cooley for his article looking at Apache Design's history and products. It's been 10 years since the last EDA IPO? Surprising and troubling. Let's hope it's less than a decade for the next one.

Email from John:


     INDUSTRY GADFLY: "A brief history of Apache and its IPO"

                         by John Cooley

  On Monday, Apache Design Solutions, Inc. (APAD) filed to IPO for
  $75 million as a publically traded stock on the NASDAQ.

  The last company to successfully IPO in EDA was 10 years ago.  It
  was Magma, which raised $63 million back in 2001....


Tuesday, March 08, 2011

RISC versus CISC, Who is #Winning?

As you may know, I have a soft spot for technology history. I loved going to HotChips and hearing all the old bearded geeks debate CPU architectures, and why x86 often wins despite its warts.

I was delighted to find this couple of blog posts by UC Berkeley Computer Science professor David Patterson, one of the giants of computer architecture (and founding member of the RISC Fan Club):

  1. RISC versus CISC Wars in the PrePC and PC Eras - Part 1
  2. RISC versus CISC Wars in the PostPC Eras - Part 2 - ARM Community

If RISC and CISC start to look more like one another as they steal good ideas from each other, the architecture won't determine the "winner". Rather, it will hinge on other vital issues such as process technology (Intel wins) and openness (ARM, MIPS lead here).

Finally, if I may add a sophomoric comment, doesn't Prof. Patterson's mug shot remind you of Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard)?


Books About EDA

I'm intrigued by EDAgraffiti, a new book on our industry and plan to buy a copy. See this good review by Clive Maxfield.

Before that, the only other book I had seen on EDA was about the start of the ASIC industry, Silicon Destiny: The Story of Application Specific Integrated Circuits and Lsi Logic Corporation, which is pretty hard to find.