Blogs from Silicon Beach

Accellera Good Will Must Be Protected

As many know, Accellera and OSCI are in the process of merging. The work on the merger, announced in June, should be completed by the end of the year. Concluding legal matters takes almost as long as developing a standard. Through all of the complexities that the representatives of the two organizations are dealing with, one stands out for its negativity. The desire, by some of the people involved, to develop a new name for the resulting organization. What is proposed is truly bad business practice.

Follow The Money, Or Its Absence

There are two interesting items in the most recent email letter from John Cooley.
One is about the attention given to Steve Job's passing versus that of Dennis Ritchie. The other is a note by Andrew Stevens observing that C/C++ and SystemC are not capable of describing parallel computation.

Fabricating At 20 nm

Today I received three different press releases about a tapeout at 20 nm. The first important item about the releases is that what is announced is a tapeout. Not a successful fabrication or even more remarkable the achievement of commercially viable yield levels. When a tapeout becomes news, the relevant news is that it is worthy of a press release at all.

Titan ADX Increases Abstraction Level of Analog Design

I read with interest the review from the usual Anon Engineer of Titan ADX published by John Cooley here. What the writer liked was that the tool performs optimization of designs based on equations.

In 1968 Dr. Andrea Demari and myself developed a tool at TRW Systems that extracted the equation that a circuit implemented in order to improve the designers understanding of the circuit characteristics and the impact a given cell had on its properties. Although the tool, called SNAP, for Symbolic Network Analysis Program, performed well for small circuits but more work would have been required to improve it. Unfortunately delays in getting me a permanent visa to allow me to obtain a secret clearance, slowed the work to such extent that Dr. Demari decided to return to Italy and I joined a startup in Santa Monica.

The Trouble With Greece

Global financial markets have been very unstable lately due to Greece’s deteriorating financial condition. It is not clear what can be done to solve the problem. There are really only three possible solutions: Greece exit from the Euro zone with some form of repayment plan for existing debt, Greece exit and default on the outstanding debt, Greece staying in the Euro zone with the other euro nations guaranteeing its present and future debt. The problem is impacting the worldwide financial markets and could have repercussions for the EDA industry if electronics products development is slowed. This is a real possibility because new funds would be either non existent or very expensive and at the same time, consumer demand will diminish due to significant loss of purchasing power.

Synopsys Creates TLMCentral

In 1999 Synopsys created OSCI, an organization devoted to the support of its brand new SystemC language devoted to enabling ESL design. Since that time OSCI has grown to a significant independent consortium whose principal mission has continued to be the support of SystemC users, while also dedicating efforts toward standardization of methods and tools directly related to SystemC.

Kilopass Versus Sidense

There are times when an observer of our industry feels like he is looking at a strange experiment gone mad. This was my case in the last few days when I received press releases from both Kilopass and Sidense regarding the latest developments in their patent infringement legal battle.

Synopsys Acquires nSys – What Will Cadence Do?

The problem with a drastic change at the top is that is slows decision making to a crawl. This is quite evident in this case, when Synopsys, who does not suffer from insecurity when it comes to making decisions, has found a way to increase its ability to compete directly with Cadence in the Verification Intellectual Property (VIP) market.

IC Manage Responds to Methodics

On Saturday, August 20 I published an article that described a complaint by Methodics regarding the hijacking of its corporate name by IC Manage for what were described as competitive purposes. In the article I reported an email from Mike Sotak describing the events that led to his public complaint against IC Manage.
I am reprinting the email that Gloria Nichols who does public relations for IC Manage has provided me to describe the IC Manage position on the issue. My comments follow the letter.

Does IC Manage Want To Be Methodics?

This is the second email I received from Mike Sotak, a veteran of the EDA industry and a highly respected member of the Public Relations professions, complaining about IC Manage business practices. I decided to look into it, since what he was describing did not sound like anything a professional would do. The letter pointed out that for some time the URL, which is not owned by Methodics whose URL is , pointed in fact to the IC Manage web site.