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Patent litigation in EDA threatens innovation and worldwide economic growth

Introduction

Trends in semiconductor technology

San Francisco – February 6, 2006. Tze-Chiang Chen, vice president of science and technology at IBM Corp. presented a talk on "Where is CMOS going: trendy hype versus real technology" here at the International Solid State Circuits Conference.

Chen noted that many pundits are claiming Moore's law is dead and newer technologies must replace it. The ability to scale semiconductor processes is running into severe limits that prevent much more progress. Alternatives getting attention include nano-technology, bio-electronics, and bio-sensors.

EDAC CEO forecast

February 2, 2006—Palo Alto, CA—EDAC held its annual CEO forecast panel at HP's headquarters building. Don Clark of the Wall Street Journal moderated the panel. The panel members were: John Bourgoin - MIPS Technologies, Aart de Geus – Synopsys, Michael Fister – Cadence Design Systems, John Kibarian – PDF Solutions, Gary Meyers – Synplicity, and Wally Rhines – Mentor Graphics. Clark opened with the statement that the Wall Street Journal mostly neglects EDA companies and its markets.

We must not misunderstand our own industry.

In an editorial in the January 19 issue of EDN, Michael Santarini takes EDAC to task for being too optimistic in its market projections. You can find the full article on the web at www.edn.com/article/CA6298273.html. He also accuses the consortium of inflating the EDA sector revenue by including the sale of IP modules in the total figures for the second quarter of 2005. I disagree with his position, see IP belongs in EDA on this website.

IP belongs in EDA

In a recent editorial in the January 19 edition of EDN, Michael Santarini seems to accuse EDAC of cooking the books by including IP revenue in its MSS (Market Statistics Service) covering the second quarter of 2005 as part of the total EDA revenue. He claims that IP is not part of EDA, and that including that revenue provides a distorted, and thus inflated picture of the EDA industry. His position is wrong because it fails to recognize the definition of EDA, and the need for change as an integral part of growth.

Challenges to doing business in Japan discussed at the EDAC Emerging companies panel

San Jose, CA—January 12, 2006—EDAC emerging companies committee held a panel meeting on "Launching and growing your business in Japan". The impetus for the panel was the amount and rate of change in Japan, and the need to find new recipes for successfully doing business in that country. The panel tried to describe experiences and resources available to small companies who plan to expand into Japan. You can see the slides from this panel at http://www.edac.org/events_presentations.jsp - 06JanECC.

The ROSTA Environment

Legacy designs are one of the fundamental problems facing designers using SystemC. Design reuse is a common approach to both shorten design times and increase reliability, although the latter goal cannot simply be achieved through reuse since even a sound functional block can be integrated incorrectly. Even using a mixed language simulator, engineers cannot easily obtain a full transaction level modeling (TLM) environment for their designs because some of the blocks only exist in either VHDL or Verilog.

Interoperability Forum

Jim Solomon described the requirements for "Next generation EDA" in his keynote address at the Synopsys Interoperability forum. One of the big issues for designers is the change in design content. Upwards of 80 percent of designs now include some mixed-signal components (all designs if you consider a PLL in every design) and SoC designs are moving to multi-core architectures.

ICCAD keynote

ICCAD San Jose, CA— Peter Hofstee, Cell chief scientist and architect, IBM systems and technology group, Austin, TX presented "The Cell Processor: Applications, Architecture, and Design in the Multi-core Era" in his keynote address.

EDAC Kaufman award

Wally Rhines, EDAC president, opened the evening festivities with some preliminary remarks. First, he described the make up of EDAC and noted that with 22 new companies joining the consortium in the past year, the net increase in membership was 2 companies. 20 companies disappeared through mergers and acquisitions or other fiscal actions.

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