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DAC Notes, 2014_06_02

Puuurrrple, so much purple! The stage at the packed Synopsys, Samsung, ARM briefing this morning was backed by ceiling to floor Synopsys-purple curtains. The Samsung vision video played on the two large screens on either side of the stage. To steal a phrase from “Love Actually”, Samsung’s vision is that “touch-screens are… everywhere” . Among the envisioned apps were a touch screen floor for your kids’ room, complete with planetarium app; a touchscreen window for your Town-Car so you can adjust the thermostat as your driver taxis you to your destination, (because using a touch screen while actually driving would be dangerous); and finally a touchscreen gadget for the kitchen that when laid flat weighs the food and registers the number of calories in the amount you’ve sliced off on its cutting board tough screen, displays the recipe you’re using when upright, and finally, get ready for it… checks the ‘safety’ of your food displaying an all clear icon complete with a radiation safe emblem. Apparently the future isn’t completely utopian!

As the vision videos wound down, Phil Dworsky, director of strategic alliances for Synopsys, stood and introduced the three featured speakers, Kelvin Low, of Samsung, Glenn Dukes of Synopsys, and Rob Aitken from ARM. The key point of the presentations was that the Samsung/Synopsys/ARM collaboration on 14 nm 3D finfet technology is ready to go. The technology has been rolled out on 30 test chips and 5 customer chips that are going into production.
Most of the emphasis was on the 14 nm process nodes, but the speakers were also quick to point out that the 28 nm node wasn’t going away anytime soon With its single patterning, and reduced power consumption, it’s seen as a perfect fit for mobile devices that don’t need the cutting edge of performance yet.
News and trivia
It was nice to visit with Sanjay Gupta, previously of IBM Austin, who is now at Qualcomm, San Diego.

While smart phones have been outshipping PCs for a while, tablets are now predicted to outship PCs starting in 2015.

Bryan Bailey of verification fame was one of the SNPS/Samsung/ARM raffle winners. He’s now a part of the IoT!

IoT predictions are still generally in the Carl Sagan range, there will be ‘billions and billions’.

Samsung has a fab, Fab8, in Saratoga, NY.

Last year’s buzzword was ‘metric driven’, this year’s is ‘ecosystem’ so far. The vision being plugged is collaborations of companies and/or tools that work as a ‘seamless, [goes without saying], ecosystem’.
Catching up with Amiq
I visited the Amiq booth and spoke with Cristian Amitroaie. Since the company is planted squarely in the IDE business, Amiq gets the fun job of working directly with silicon design and verification engineers. This year, their products include an Eclipse based work environment, with support for e, and SystemVerilog built in, their verification-code-centric linting tool Verissimo, and their new documentation generation system Specador.

IC Manage
I’m always intrigued by a good ‘wrap a measurable, or at least documentable flow around your design process’ story, so I dropped by the IC Manage booth this morning.
IC Manage encapsulates many of the vagaries of the IC development flow into a configuration management tool. The backbone of the tool can be customized to the customer’s specific flow via scripts, and it provides a real-time updated HTML based view of what engineers are up to as project development unfolds.


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