Blogs from Silicon Beach

Software Costs Up: This Is Not News

Steve Leibson posted an article in the EDA360 Insider that reports on a panel at DAC chaired by Wally Rhines. The panel on ESL touched on the cost of IC development and Wally pointed out that the cost of software development is much higher than the one for hardware. In fact, software development costs are rising.
This should not come as a surprise to careful observers of the industry.

Good First Quarter at Mentor Graphics, but Questions Remain.

Mentor graphics reported its 2013 first quarter revenue on May 25th. The news is good, but unfortunately for Mentor its reporting followed by a few days Synopsys report, and the comparison is not favorable to Mentor. To be fair, we are talking about two companies that are now practically so different that any direct comparison is becoming artificial. But since most of the industry continues to be preoccupied by who is number two and who is number three, one must look at the numbers taking Synopsys under consideration. Synopsys is a much more efficient company than Mentor, but it is also clear that Mentor has made good strides toward improving its results.

Synopsys Is All Good News

There got to be an end: it is just not human! But I do not see any changes to Synopsys good news, quarter after quarter. It may be in the genes, it may be in the coffee, or it just may be in old fashioned good work. But first, an outing then the numbers.

John Cooley Offers DAC Entertainment

John Cooley just published the first group of "edgy" questions submitted for his troublemaker panel at DAC. I must say the questions are almost all relevant, but very few will be answered. All the questions related to lawsuits, all the questions related to market share, all the questions related to top users of a specific product, all questions related to possible acquisitions, and all questions that ask why executives of a particular company are apparently stupid will of course not be answered. So, the collection of questions is a very well thought out vehicle to let users and competitors blow out steam, but certainly not to shed light on the industry. This will be another "EDAC CEO Panel" style event. It may make for good entertainment, John is always entertaining, but will yield very little knowledge.

Jim Hogan Emerging Companies Series

Last time I spoke with Jim Hogan, a couple of months ago, he was excited about his investments in companies outside of EDA, clearly signaling that he believed that EDA had reached the end of the loving relationship with the venture capital group.

Discussion on 3-D Packaging Addresses Costs

In a commentary dated May 9th in EE Life that you can read at http://bit.ly/KbmGUc Andre Hassan of Kilopass casts serious doubts about the viability of 3-D packaging. The article looks at the practical obstacles in matching a memory die produced by a supplier with a logic die produced by a different one. Without a doubt the author has a point. Too often, especially from EDA vendors, we hear that the industry is moving rapidly toward 3-D and that the acceptance of the method depends only on design technology and, of course, the expensive tools that go with it.

Globalpress 2012

This was my third Globalpress Summit and I enjoyed it. This year marked the tenth anniversary of the event. There were a total of 46 editors in attendance, representing 17 countries. Twenty three editors came from 5 Asia countries: China, India, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. Sixteen came from Europe representing 11 countries including Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. Seven editors from the US completed the audience.

Real Intent Helps Designers Verify Intent

A little over a month ago, Vaishnav Gorur of Real Intent published an article on Tech Forum with the title "Blindsided by a Glitch".
The article provides good design guidelines while pointing out that following the guidelines is not always sufficient to avoid downstream problems. The article made me think about how dependent on EDA tools some designers can be to the point of allowing such tools to introduce design errors that are justifiable given the algorithms and rules pertaining to such tools.

Awards Will Be Presented During DAC

It is that time of the year when to provide more luster to DAC, a number of awards are bestowed on worthy individuals active in either electronic engineering or EDA. Both CEDA, one of the DAC sponsor, has issued a press release announcing awards, and the DAC Executive Committee has announced the winner of the Marie Pistilli Award.

Can EDA Replicate Its 2011 Growth This Year?

Each quarter, the EDA Consortium publishes the Market Statistics Service (MSS) report containing detailed revenue data for the EDA industry. According to the latest information distributed by EDAC, overall fourth quarter 2011 EDA revenues increased 12.8% compared to the same period in 2010. Total revenue for Q4 was $1700.1 million. it is very interesting to me to note that the most authoritative research service covering EDA from the financial industry reports that revenues for the same period were $1.41 billion corresponding to an increase of 13% over the same period a year ago. There is clearly a discontinuity in the numbers.