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ARM and Mentor Enabling the Ecosystem for the Backbone of IoT

ARM and Mentor Enabling the Ecosystem for the Backbone of IoT
by Daniel Nenni on 06-24-2016 at 7:00 am

Charlene Marini (VP of ARM Segment Marketing) did a nice presentation at the ARM/Mentor Summit last month at the Mentor HQ in Fremont. I just got the slides so let me give you a quick summary from my notes. It was a very good presentation on IoT and emulation which in my mind is the new simulation. I also attended an IoT panel at #53DAC that included Mentor, ARM, and Samsung so this will be a combo blog.

IoT has been the top trending term on SemiWiki for the past year mostly because everyone is trying to figure out what IoT really is and more importantly where the profits will come from. Please remember that IoT is a rebranded version of the Embedded Market. Intel changed their Embedded Group to IoT last year, right? So that is what IoT really is.

I think we can all agree that IoT will be a very large and diverse market (like embedded has always been) but one thing I think we are missing is that it will be a HUGELY competitive market. For perspective, let’s say that today 1 out of 10 chip designs make it into high volume production, which may be a bit optimistic. For the Internet of Things it will be closer to 1 out of 100 and I think I’m being very optimistic here. So when people say that mature process nodes are ideal for IoT I laugh out loud because your “mature node” design is going to fail against one using FD-SOI or FinFETs if power and performance are at all a consideration.

Quick question, when was the last time you were inside a 300mm and a 200mm fab? Just last year I toured a new 300mm fab and a “mature” node fab (130nm) and it was like time traveling. There is no way I’m putting an IoT design that my job or company may depend on through a back-in-time-machine but I digress…

Charlene’s presentation starts with the growth chart above. Whether you agree on the specific numbers or not, the growth rate between 15 billion and 28 billion devices 5 years from now is very believable in my opinion.

I think we can also agree with ARM that IoT will require:

  • Capacity and Latency (Automotive)
  • Scalability (Diversity)
  • Velocity (data transfer)
  • Agility (updatable)
  • Efficient Compute (everywhere)
  • Ecosystem (diversity and choice)

The most important point here is ecosystem of course and nobody does ecosystem better than ARM. That brings us to the second part of the Summit and that is verification with Mentor Graphics. Mentor and verification is like peanut butter and jelly, you rarely have one without the other.

Mentor and ARM have a long history of collaboration across a number of technology areas: Embedded, Simulation, Emulation, Test, etc… ARM also uses the Mentor Enterprise Verification Platform, including theVeloce andQuesta platforms, to verify new processor IP and system IP designs. Don’t forget, Mentor is also a fabless chip company and is responsible for the core silicon inside the Veloce emulators so they “walk the walk” as well as “talk the talk.”

Also Read: Army of Engineers on Site Only Masks Weakness

The verification challenge is well documented but, for effect, I will end with these three slides from Jean-Marie Brunet’s presentation: Shift Left: Networking, Mobile and Multimedia SoC Verification:


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