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                    [post_date] => 2010-12-12 17:33:00
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                    [post_content] =>  
More consolidation is coming to EDA and so is the Federal Trade Commission. Corporate raider Carl Ichan owns 15% of Mentor Graphics and now owns 1% of Cadence. Ichan buddy multi billionaire George Soros, a long time CDNS investor, just purchased more than 76 million convertible notes of MENT.You do the math…

Unfortunately the FTC will have the last word on a Cadence – Mentor merger and they are already sniffing around. One of the benefits of being an “Internationally Recognized Industry Blogger” is the many emails and phones calls I get asking for background information on the foundries, fabless, EDA, and IP companies. One of the briefest calls was from theFederal Trade Commission Bureau of Competition.Brief because it was lunch time and he was calling from a (202) area code (I blog for food).

For those of us who remember, Cadence launched a hostile $1.6B bid for Mentor back in 2008. It was Cadence CEO Mike Fister’s last desperate plea for attention before golden parachuting out of EDA. Not that it was a bad idea, but it was certainly poorly executed. Okay it was also a bad idea. I stand by my previous blog, Mentor should buy Magmaand give Synopsys a real fight. It’s good for Mentor, it’s good for Magma, it’s good for EDA.

Not that a potential EDA mega merger is the only reason for the FTC to be interested in EDA. Now that the 3 big EDA dogs own 90% of the market, it certainly is possible they are not fairly competing with the other 100+ EDA and IP puppies trying to get a look at the food bowl. This of course would be incredibly short sighted as EDA does not grow organically. EDA, from the beginning of time, has always grown inorganically through acquisitions of the best and brightest. Sometimes these guys are acquired multiple times as innovators generally work in small numbers and out of the spot light.

Even though investors have left EDA, Semi IP, and even the fabless semiconductor market, there are dozens of start-ups in Silicon Valley and around the world. We do what we do, however we can do it. Getting these products to market, however, is still the biggest challenge. We are point tool girls and this is a point tool world and without the support or even the tolerance of the big 3 EDA companies our innovation will never survive in the mainstream semiconductor design ecosystem.

An easy example is the Cadence Virtuoso dynasty. There are literally dozens of point tools that plug into Virtuoso offering value above and beyond what Cadence can offer. These tools can and are being kept out of the Virtuoso flow by Cadence product managers if there is the least amount of overlap or perceived competition. So rather than open Virtuoso up and leverage the collaborative innovation of the masses, Virtuoso stays closed, protected, and starving for outside influences. Remember, EDA does not grow organically so this protectionist behavior will ensure that our bowl of food will never grow. EDA can quickly become a lifestyle industry, an industry with the sole purpose of supporting the lifestyles of the people controlling it, if it hasn’t already. [post_title] => Mentor – Cadence Merger and the Federal Trade Commission [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => mentor-cadence-merger-and-the-federal-trade-commission [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-14 21:37:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-15 02:37:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.semiwiki.com/word5/uncategorized/mentor-cadence-merger-and-the-federal-trade-commission.html/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 283 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2010-12-08 23:58:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-12-08 23:58:00 [post_content] => MONROVIA, California – December 7, 2010 – With pressure to reduce time to market and with resources increasingly constrained, tools that can enable maximum productivity for analog and mixed-signal design are mission-critical. Tanner EDA, the catalyst for innovation for the design, layout and verification of analog and mixed-signal ICs, is holding two free webinars in December on using HiPer DevGen, the newest addition to the company’s tool portfolio, to help designers improve device and structure generation for increased layout productivity.
HiPer DevGen (High Performance Device Generator) integrates seamlessly with Tanner EDA’s widely-installed layout editor (L-Edit) and provides unparalleled productivity gains. In the December webinars, a Tanner EDA product manager will be driving the tool for a live demonstration. You will see first-hand how to reduce weeks of design time into minutes using HiPer DevGen for current mirrors, differential pairs, and/or resistor arrays in your analog designs.


  • Register NowDec 14, 2010 – 2:00-3:00 pm PDT – HiPer DevGen webinar
  • Register NowDec 16, 2010 – 8:00-9:00am PDT – HiPer DevGen webinar

For a 30-day free trial of Tanner tools to see for yourself the benefits of HiPer DevGen, click here
Click to watch a video demonstration of HiPer DevGen layout acceleration or to download the HiPer DevGen whitepaper


About Tanner EDA
Tanner EDA provides a complete line of software solutionsthat catalyze innovation for the design, layout and verification of analog and mixed-signal (A/MS) integrated circuits (ICs) and MEMS. Customersare creating breakthrough applications in areas such as power management, displays and imaging, automotive, consumer electronics, life sciences, and RF devices. A low learning curve, high interoperability, and a powerful user interface improve design team productivity and enable a low total cost of ownership (TCO). Capability and performance are matched by low support requirements and high support capability as well as an ecosystem of partners that bring advanced capabilities to A/MS designs.
Founded in 1988, Tanner EDA solutions deliver just the right mixture of features, functionality and usability. The company has shipped over 33,000 licenses of its software to more than 5,000 customers in 67 countries.

HiPer DevGen and L-Edit are trademarks of Tanner Research, Inc.
All other trademarks and trade names are the property of their respective owners. [post_title] => Webinar on Accelerating Analog Layout Productivity [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => webinar-on-accelerating-analog-layout-productivity [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2010-12-08 23:58:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2010-12-08 23:58:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.semiwiki.com/word5/uncategorized/webinar-on-accelerating-analog-layout-productivity.html/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 474 [post_author] => 28 [post_date] => 2010-12-05 21:52:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-12-05 21:52:00 [post_content] =>
GlobalFoundries has brought the Common Platform Alliance back from the dead!?!?!?! Good thing too as it is probably their most comprehensive weapon against TSMC and answers the single biggest question customers have at 28nm and that is; Will there be enough CAPACITY?

The Common Platform technology alliance hosted its first-ever Technology Forum on Tuesday, November 6, 2007 at the Santa Clara Convention center. I was there, the food was pretty good. No airline box lunch, this was a regular three course sit down meal.
The mission statement back then was:

IBM, Chartered and Samsung Electronics have broken new ground in the semiconductor industry with a unique collaboration focused on leading-edge, jointly developed digital CMOS process technologies and advanced manufacturing. The Common Platform model is further supported by a comprehensive ecosystem of design enablement and implementation partners from the EDA, IP and design services industries. This ecosystem allows foundry customers to source their chip designs to multiple 300mm foundries with minimal design work, unprecedented flexibility and choice. The Common Platform model features 90nm, 65nm, 45nm and 32nm technologies.

Unfortunately it did NOT quite happen that way. The ONLY reason why fabless semiconductor companies were able to manufacture the same design in second (UMC), third (Chartered Semiconductor), and fourth (SMIC) source fabs at 130nm, 90nm, 65nm, and 40nm is because they all were “compatible” with TSMC. Artisan Components (ARM) enabled this wave of multisourcing by porting the physical IP they developed for TSMC to the other fabs.

Here is the Common Platform mission statement for 2011:

IBM, Samsung and GLOBALFOUNDRIES are members of the Common Platform alliance focusing on leading-edge, jointly developed digital CMOS process technologies and advanced manufacturing. The Common Platform model is further supported by a comprehensive ecosystem of design enablement and implementation partners from the EDA, IP and design services industries. This ecosystem allows foundry customers to source their chip designs to multiple 300mm foundries with minimal design work, unprecedented flexibility and choice.

If in fact Common Platform can enable this 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] and 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] sourcing at 28nm and below it will give the top fabless semiconductor companies the perceived capacity they need to be successful. Samsung is the capacity wild card here and is really the only company strong enough in capitol ANDtechnology to challenge TSMC, so this is a big fat hairy deal.

You can register for the Common Platform Technology Forum here. I would register quickly as the 2,000 seats will sell out well before the doors open. Here is the formal invite:

Tomorrow’s Technology – Delivered Today
The Common Platform Alliance of IBM, Samsung and GLOBALFOUNDRIES invites you join us at our technology forum on Tuesday, January 18. This free, daylong event will feature the Common Platform’s innovative collaboration to deliver industry-leading technology that breaks new ground in performance and power efficiency for the 32/28nm technology nodes and beyond.
The technology forum features keynotes from industry leaders and presentations from senior members of the Common Platform partners. Topics include:


  • Technical advancements of the innovative 32/28nm low-power high-k metal gate (HKMG) process technology optimized for the next generation of communications and smart mobile devices
  • Technology innovations in SoC enablement solutions, materials science, process technology and manufacturing
  • Proven design and manufacturing solutions from the alliance and its ecosystem partners
  • The invention process and technology roadmap to 20nm and beyond

A key part of the forum will focus on collaboration for technology delivery, highlighting the rich and broad ecosystem of design enablement and implementation partners through a Partner Pavilion featuring leading EDA, IP, library, mask, back-end and design services companies.
Mark your calendar for this complementary one-day technical event!
This is a special advance invitation. Please register early as seating is limited.

Common Platform Alliance
www.commonplatform.com [post_title] => TSMC vs GlobalFoundries IBM Samsung [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => tsmc-vs-globalfoundries-ibm-samsung [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-14 21:37:35 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-15 02:37:35 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.semiwiki.com/word5/uncategorized/tsmc-vs-globalfoundries-ibm-samsung.html/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 434 [post_author] => 28 [post_date] => 2010-11-28 11:35:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-11-28 11:35:00 [post_content] => More than 2,500 companies will be exhibiting and more than 120,000 people will be attending the next Consumer Electronics Show(CES) and it is an easy bet that ARM processors will dominate the show yet again. In fact, my money is on ARM to dominate future generations of computing platforms (smartphones) due in large part to one simple word…… Linaro!

Video of the Linaro launch can be seen here, it is definitely worth 10 minutes of your time. ARM is partnering with IBM, Samsung, Texas Instruments, Freescale, ST-Ericsson, and others on this semi open source Initiative, NOT INTEL, NOT APPLE. I say semi open because today Linaro only supports ARM processors.

Linaro is the software stack (kernel, multimedia, power management, graphics and security) that sits between the SoC and the apps. As we hear over and over from the EDA360 cheerleaders, software is the fastest growing SoC development cost, software engineers outnumber hardware engineers by a factor of whatever. Linaro will provide stable, optimized and tested tools and code for multiple software distributions and will significantly reduce the cost of SoC software development.

The other thing that you have to consider is business models. The processor wars are no longer chip battles in the trenches with billion dollar fabs and margin eating multi tiered distribution channels (Intel vs AMD). The processor wars are now fought online with IP downloads and royalty licensing agreements, SoC designs and pure-play foundry partners. Simply stated: Intel is a vinyl record company and ARM is iTunes.

When I started in the computer industry in the 1980’s minicomputers from Digital Equipment Corporation and Data General destroyed the mainframe world. Workstations from Sun Microsystems then destroyed minicomputers. More recently, personal computers replaced workstations, and now smartphones and tablets are replacing PCs. Open systems software played a key part in the most recent transitions, Linux, then Android, and now Linaro.



ARM is celebrating 20 years of innovation this month and has “shipped” more than 20 billion ARM-powered processors. Another 100 billion are expected to ship in half that time. Meanwhile, rather than opening up the Intel architecture willingly, Intel is battling the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and losing but also winning:

The Federal Trade Commission approved a settlement with Intel Corp. that resolves charges the company illegally stifled competition in the market for computer chips. Intel has agreed to provisions that will open the door to renewed competition and prevent Intel from suppressing competition in the future.

The formal FTC press release can be found here. Unfortunately Intel was allowed to profit from past discretions (no fines) so there is little incentive for Intel to correct its corporate culture of innovation stifling behavior. Let’s hope ARM/Linaro and theOpen Systems market makes the correction for Intel, like Linux and Ubuntu have done for Microsoft, and Android is doing for Apple.

This year’s notable CES keynote speakers include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg, Cisco CEO John Chambers, GE Chairman Jeffrey Immelt and a few others. As exciting as all of this sounds it will probably be easier to find me at the poker tables or by the Bellagio pool bar. [post_title] => Intel versus ARM (Linaro) [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => intel-versus-arm-linaro [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-14 21:37:33 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-15 02:37:33 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.semiwiki.com/word5/uncategorized/intel-versus-arm-linaro.html/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 267 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2010-11-26 21:44:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-11-26 21:44:00 [post_content] =>
Looking back at an early issue of a Tanner Research newsletter, "Tanner Tools News", from the mid-1990s, the theme at that time was growth, just as it is again now for Tanner EDA. At that time we were averaging 66% revenue growth per year, enjoying rapid growth as a small start-up. Fast-forward to current day, where we just closed our fiscal year 2010 as a record for the company, with fourth quarter revenue being the best in our history and May 2010 representing our strongest month ever!

Back in the mid-90s, the majority of our users were running on DOS, just beginning to switch over to Windows. Today, the majority of our users are on the Windows platform and we now offer the software for Linux as well. The mid-90s saw us touting version 1.0 for many of our products while most recently we launched v15.02 of our full flow tool suite. Back then, we boasted an installed base of 3,000 seats while presently we have 33,000 worldwide. Steady, well-managed organic growth has brought us a long way and many things have changed, but we pledge to sustain the same core values that made us successful then and continue to do so now.

Tanner's first product, L-Edit, was launched in 1988 in response to a market need for cost-effective and easy-to-use EDA tools that would give engineers the performance and flexibility to handle complex design flows and help speed their design concept to silicon. Today we maintain a reputation for high quality, strong price performance, and the intuitiveness of our tools, allowing us to serve the analog design needs of the independent analog designer and the large corporation alike. And in 2010 we continue to stay on top of market trends and demands and to drive analog innovation.

At Tanner EDA, we promise the same thing today as we did back then, which is that we are dedicated to supporting, maintaining, and enhancing the products that you have purchased and to creating powerful new tools to aid in the complex IC design challenges that lay ahead. And, as we grow, we will continue to remain focused on doing so in a fiscally responsible manner.

- Dr. John Tanner, Founder & CEO [post_title] => Tanner EDA Then and Now [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => tanner-eda-then-and-now [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2010-11-26 21:44:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2010-11-26 21:44:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.semiwiki.com/word5/uncategorized/tanner-eda-then-and-now.html/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 469 [post_author] => 28 [post_date] => 2010-11-21 17:39:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-11-21 17:39:00 [post_content] => **This blog was written a year ago. Several people emailed me last week saying Mentor is trying for Magma again so I thought I would run it again to see what we can find out!D.A.N. 11/21/2011


“I believe that within five years only two EDA companies will survive,” said Magma Design Automation Rajeev Madhavan (
Silicom Ventures LLC international summit June 2008) “We will therefore be one of these two big companies, or we will have been bought by one of them,” he added.”

Clearly Magma will not be one of the two or even three big EDA companies in the next two and a half years so who will acquire them? My blog has been hit with quite a few “Mentor acquire Magma” and “Cadence Acquire Magma” search terms lately thus the blog. I have also seen some “Apache IPO” and "Apache being acquired" searches, fodder for future blogs for sure. One prediction Rajeev did make during that 2008 interview has definitely come true:

Madhavan concluded, “In a few years, hardware groups will be much smaller than software groups. We’ll see software becoming easier to work with and more involved in the hardware side. Software and chip design from the hardware side will be one unit and not separate ones.”


This fits with the EDA360 vision which Magma has yet to respond to or take action on, which is a mistake. The integration of software and semiconductor design is already taking place inside Mentor, Synopsys, and Cadence so Magma is the only EDA company that is not preparing for this. Instead, Magma is still trying to beat the three big dogs to the $4B bowl of food we call EDA.

In a more recent interview (Notes From Magma Design’s 2010 Shareholder Meeting) Rajeev stated that “Cadence is weakest in [its] technology” and doesn’t offer the “best of anything [in its market].” This of course is not true. With 88%+ market share, Cadence owns the AMS market (Virtuoso Dynasty) which is key to mobile electronics (smartphones / tablets), the current driver of the semiconductor market. The acquisition discussions between Cadence and Magma must not be going well?!?!?!

When asked about Synopsys, Rajeev gave a soft answer which could be a fallout from the legal challenges with Synopsys a while back. Synopsys is “strongest in terms of numbers” and its balance sheet, and Magma “must continue to differentiate” its own products to compete with Synopsys’ products. In addition to the legal history, I do not see a product fit between Synopsys and Magma so no acquisition possibilities here.

No comment from Rajeev on Mentor which could support the rumors of acquisition discussions. The company cultures are the farthest thing from a match you will ever see but the product match is good. Mentor acquiring Magma would be comparable to the Synopsys acquisition of Avant!, all product and no executives.

Speaking of Avant!, Gerry Hsu is my new neighbor and of course controversy follows him to Danville: Plan For Large Home Creates Concerns with Danville’s Design Review Board and Residents. Lets hope the FBI doesn’t raid us again.

Upon acquiring Magma, Mentor would get a competitive Digital, AMS, and Fast SPICE product. Mentor would also get rid of the Magma DRC product (Quartz) that frequently undercuts the Mentor Calibre dynasty. Mentor had a great quarter, you can see the transcripthere. Infamous corporate raider Carl Ichan now owns 15% of Mentor and Carl knows how to do acquisitions. It would be good for Mentor and great for EDA, lets hope it happens.




 [post_title] => Mentor Acquires Magma? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => mentor-acquires-magma [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-14 21:37:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-15 02:37:31 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.semiwiki.com/word5/uncategorized/mentor-acquires-magma.html/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 570 [post_author] => 28 [post_date] => 2010-11-14 18:22:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-11-14 18:22:00 [post_content] => In case you missed it, last June Dmitry Medvedev (the 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] President of Russia) visited Northern California to better understand and hopefully replicate the success of Silicon Valley in Russia. Last month Governor Schwarzenegger returned the favor by visiting Moscow with a delegate of Silicon Valley business leaders and venture capitalists. My trip to Russia last week had nothing to do with any of this but that will not stop me from implying that it did.

Moscow is a long trip from San Francisco especially when you are flying United Airlines. Bad food, bad service, bad seating, it has been a while since I have flown UAL and hopefully it will be a long time before I do it again. The only upside is that the United flight crew made me look young!

In case you missed it, last June Dmitry Medvedev (the 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] President of Russia) visited Northern California to better understand and hopefully replicate the success of Silicon Valley in Russia. Last month Governor Schwarzenegger returned the favor by visiting Moscow with a delegate of Silicon Valley business leaders and venture capitalists. My trip to Russia last week had nothing to do with any of this but that will not stop me from implying that it did.

Moscow is a long trip from San Francisco especially when you are flying United Airlines. Bad food, bad service, bad seating, it has been a while since I have flown UAL and hopefully it will be a long time before I do it again. The only upside is that the United flight crew made me look young!

Russia already has a “Silicon Valley” by the way, which is in Zelenongrad and that is where I stayed. Zelenongrad is the home of the Moscow Institute of Electronic Technologies (MIET), one of leading microelectronics research universities, and two semiconductor fabs (I toured Mikron). The new Russian Silicon Valley that President Medvedev is championing is located in Skolkovo and will be appropriately named The Skolkovo Innovation Center. Silicon Valley has had many rivals inside and outside the United States none of which have really lived up to the name. So why would Skolkovo be any different? Can Russia really be a technology superpower? Absolutely!

Witnessing the first snow fall in Moscow was entertaining. They call it “repairman day” (loosely translated), which means the auto body shops get lots of business. To make things worse, if you get in an accident in Russia you cannot move your car until the police or insurance investigators arrive to take a report. This certainly deters fraud but it also causes traffic jams that take hours to clear. Luckily I had a driver that knew the back roads and was not shy about it so car travel was not a problem.

President Medvedev’s strategy is simple: As Russia transforms from a raw materials economy to a technology based economy the semiconductor industry will provide the platform for a broad base of applications. The semiconductor industry is the core of modernization which is key to infrastructure restoration. The potential of the Russian market is defined by the population size (140M+), the total acreage (Russia is the largest country in the world), and the current geopolitical positioning of Prime Minister Putin and President Medvedev. The result being explosive growth potential for the Russian semiconductor industry!

The trip ended with a tour of Moscow, a delicious Russian dinner, and shots of vodka. The only downside to the trip is that cigarette smoking runs rampant in Russia. This will not only stunt economic growth, it will also place an unnecessary burden on the already fragile Russian health care system. The flight home was uneventful except for a minor flight delay and a beautiful Russian woman that sat next to me. Travel tip: To minimize jet lag do not eat airline food, drink a bottle or two of water, and sit next to a beautiful Russian woman. Believe it! [post_title] => Russian Silicon Valley [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => russian-silicon-valley [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-14 21:37:28 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-15 02:37:28 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://35.226.139.164/uncategorized/570-russian-silicon-valley/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 443 [post_author] => 28 [post_date] => 2010-11-07 19:18:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-11-07 19:18:00 [post_content] =>
The big announcement last week was Intel opening up its 22nm manufacturing facilities to an outside company. Even better it’s an FPGA company. There are literally hundreds of write ups on this landmark event so it is definitely blog worthy. But what does it really mean? I have read (5) possibilities:

(1) Intel enters the FPGA business
(2) Intel enters the foundry business
(3) Intel ramps advanced processes with FPGA technology
(4) Intel adds FPGA muscle to Atom
(5) Intel wants Achronix asynchronous logic IP

EETimes actually did a nice write-up here, so I will skip the press release stuff and get right to my personal experience and expert opinion:

Intel entering the FPGA business (again)?Starting from zero (Achronix) in a highly competitive market that relies on a multi tiered sales channel, silicon proven IP, and free design software? I don’t think so. I worked for an FPGA start-up (Gatefield, bought by Atcel) and can tell you, competing against Altera/Xilinx is your worst nightmare. These people are design win commandos and will stop at nothing to win a socket. GateField had a 2x density advantage and was also an ASIC replacement (used standard design tools) but didn’t have a chance against the FPGA cartels. Neither did Actel and the dozen other FPGA start-ups that have since failed. After spending 2 years searching Northern California for design starts with ARC, eSilicon, and Virage, after identifying 500+ companies and profiling their application and design ecosystem, I did not find a single Achronix Speedster 22i customer. And just so you know, eSillicon did the silicon implementation of the flagship TSMC 65nm version of Speedster not Achronix.

Intel entering the foundry business? This would be more of an “Intel Versus Samsung” thing since both are pure-play semiconductor foundry posers. Intel has been dabbling in the foundry/ASIC business for years so this is not big news. Today, Intel is run by bean counters who would be best advised to focus on the high margin microprocessor business before ARM bakes their beans. Android is ARM based and between Android phones and tablets the PC/laptop business faces extinction! Now if Intel offered special foundry services for Atom based designs that would be interesting.

Intel ramps advanced processes with FPGA technology? This is entirely possible but certainly not a big enough gain to justify the risk/expense. TSMC uses Altera to ramp processes, FPGA companies are always first to a node and the repetitive structures they use work well for this. SRAM is used for the same purpose which is one of the reasons why the IP guys see new processes up close and personal.

Intel adds FPGA muscle to Atom?
Not likely. ARM is partners with Altera and Xilinx so Intel should do the same. Installed base of customers means everything for this strategy to work.

Intel wants Achronix asynchronous logic IP. This is believable. An FPGA friend of mine explained this to me and it made complete sense. Unfortunately it was very long winded and uber technical (this guy is from UC Berkley) so I could never do it justice, so I will leave it at that.

But this is all just false paths to throw the mainstream media off the track. The REAL reason Intel made this announcement:

A CHEAP SHOT AT AMD / GLOBALFOUNDRIES!


Intel is clearly feeling the heat from AMD, especially with the integrated CPU/GPU Llano chip coming out of the GlobalFoundries Dresden fab. Llano, the world’s first quad-core microprocessor with integrated DirectX 11 graphics processor, is made using 32nm silicon-on-insulator process technology with high-K metal gate (HKMG). Llano competes with Intel Corp’s much anticipated Sandy Bridge integrated microprocessor. Intel can be petty at times and this is one of those times, believe it! [post_title] => TSMC Versus Intel? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => tsmc-versus-intel [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-14 21:37:28 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-15 02:37:28 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.semiwiki.com/word5/uncategorized/tsmc-versus-intel.html/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 252 [post_author] => 18791 [post_date] => 2010-11-03 23:51:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-11-03 23:51:00 [post_content] => By Joseph Sawicki, Vice President & General Manager, Design to Silicon Division

It is one of the more amazing stories in the continued march of Moore’s Law over the past four nodes. Previously scaling was enabled solely though changes in the physical domain, whether through decreasing the wavelength of light, increasing the numerical aperture, or producing chemically amplified resists. Starting at 180 nm software has become a critical driver of scaling. The discipline of Computational Lithography (CL) combines software architecture and high performance computing, with modeling of the scanner, resist and etch process, into a system that can correct for the deficiencies of the physical domain by correcting the shapes on the mask.

As a measure of how far this discipline has come, it is interesting to look at the processing necessary to implement this correction in an advanced node. Current estimates for the 28nm node show the need for about ten teraflops of sustained performance for about 24 hours in order to correct a single critical layer. To put this in perspective, the top computer on the world TOP500 Supercomputer Sites list (www.top500.org) did not hit this level until 2002! Key to this innovation was work in the area of high performance computing to allow standard computers connected through an Ethernet backplane to be combined effectively to solve this problem. What is particularly stunning is that we can achieve this performance level using just 800 CPU cores.

Continued scaling in the absence of EUV will require continued innovation in CL. Techniques for managing double patterning, double dipole lithography, model-based Sub-Resolution Assist Features and optimized illuminators are all in late development or deployment stages today.

The most aggressive development efforts in CL are in the area of Source Mask Optimization. Here the concept is to go beyond modifications in the mask alone, instead co-optimizing the illuminator and mask on a per-design basis. Doing so has the potential to significantly increase the process window available with a 193nm scanner, and could be used to extend optical lithography to the 16nm node.

EUV has been tomorrow’s technology for quite some time now. First thought of as a replacement for 193nm at the 90nm node, its deployment remains a controversial topic. Though there are still some supporters who position EUV as the solution for the 22/20 node, many now believe that continued development issues will delay EUV until the 16/14 nanometer timeframe.

While some commentators also see EUV as a replacement for CL, the delay in EUV’s development ensures that this is not the case. Just looking at K1 (from Rayleigh's equation: Resolution = K1*λ/NA) will help to understand why this impression is false. Back at the 90nm node, K1 was approximately 0.55 for critical layers and model-based OPC was a necessity. At the 16nm node, K1 for EUV on a critical layer will be even less at 0.47, assuming an NA of 0.25, indicating the continued necessity of CL.

However, K1 alone does not tell the whole story. EUV also has distortions driven by two long range effects: flare and mask shadowing. Capable of driving a total variability across the reticle field of greater than 10nm, these effects will need compensation in order to produce the CD uniformity necessary for successful scaling.

“The End Of,” makes for a very popular headline, and we’ve seen any number of these headlines spoken about semiconductor manufacturing over the years. I’m old enough to remember when it was clear to all that sub-micron manufacturing would never be done. What is clear is that the economics of scaling is a very powerful driver for innovation, affecting the behavior of thousands of engineers and driving significant corporate investment. At some point “The End Of” will come, after all it is difficult to imagine a gate smaller than one atom across. Until then, continued developments in Computational Lithography will help enable scaling for a number of nodes to come. [post_title] => Computational Lithography, Scaling’s Best Friend [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => computational-lithography-scalings-best-friend [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2010-11-03 23:51:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2010-11-03 23:51:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.semiwiki.com/word5/uncategorized/computational-lithography-scalings-best-friend.html/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 567 [post_author] => 28 [post_date] => 2010-10-30 00:07:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-10-30 00:07:00 [post_content] => In case you didn’t notice, TSMC’s communications revenue jumped 22% last quarter for a total revenue share of 42%, and that is just the tip of the iceberg for mobile internet. According to the global marketing research company Nielsen, double digit mobile internet adoption rates are the new normal and will continue to be so in the years to come. Only one out of six mobile devices in my family are smartphones, that is of course if you consider a four year old Blackberry smart.

I would not consider my family technologically average as I have been a closet computer geek since high school. A Commodore Pet was my first computer and I have had the latest and greatest PC on my desk/lap ever since. In regards to mobile internet however, we have been somewhat behind the curve due to my boycott of Apple products. I’ve stuck with Blackberry even though I dream of iPhones and I will wait for an Android tablet. As I have blogged before, Apple is the Open Standards Antichrist and I will have no part of it!

nar·cis·sism


/ˈnɑrsəˌsɪzɛm/ Show Spelled[nahr-suh-siz-em]
–noun
1.inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity.
2.Psychoanalysis.erotic gratification derived from admiration of one’s own physical or mental attributes, being a normal condition at the infantile level of personality development.
Why will everybody in the entire world have a smartphone and/or tablet PC in the not too distant future? One word, NARCISSISM! What else drives the masses to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, WordPress, FailBlog, Blah, Blah, Blahblahblah……… All key enablers of the mobile internet explosion.

The term Narcissism is a Freudism in regards to the personality traits of egotism, arrogance, vanity, conceit, selfishness, arrogance, elitism, and other flattering terms. A certain level of narcissism is certainly healthy and considered an essential human trait as it provides balance in perception of one’s self to others. That, of course, was before social media and mobile internet where narcissism has literally gone wild!
Unfortunately narcissism can also be a personality disorder whereby a person overestimates abilities and has an excessive need for attention, admiration, and affirmation. Again, Facebooking with hundreds of “friends” that they may or may not really know, personal tweeting to the masses, and of course world wide YouTubing. Reference: “Self-Presentation 2.0: Narcissism and Self-Esteem on Facebook” .

In conclusion, mobile internet and social media hyper feeds basic human psychological needs as well as the needs of modern semiconductor design and manufacture. Lighter, cheaper smartphones with more features, more bandwidth, and more battery life will continue to hyper drive TSMC and the semiconductor industry as a whole. That is, of course, until the next consumer technological revolution hits. My hope is that it will be personal robots who will chaperone me into senility. Imagine the possibilities, a personal robot with 250,000+ down loadable apps!

For my family however, narcissism is in check. Good grades and personal achievements feed the egos around here, that and blog views (thank you for contributing). My wife and I don’t have a Facebook page and my kids are infrequent users. Texting however, runs rampant and Android phones and tablets will arrive at my house at some point in time so this may all change. [post_title] => Mobile 2Drive Semi 4Ever! [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => mobile-2drive-semi-4ever [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-14 21:37:26 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-15 02:37:26 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://35.226.139.164/uncategorized/567-mobile-2drive-semi-4ever/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 10 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 468 [post_author] => 28 [post_date] => 2010-12-12 17:33:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-12-12 17:33:00 [post_content] =>
More consolidation is coming to EDA and so is the Federal Trade Commission. Corporate raider Carl Ichan owns 15% of Mentor Graphics and now owns 1% of Cadence. Ichan buddy multi billionaire George Soros, a long time CDNS investor, just purchased more than 76 million convertible notes of MENT.You do the math…

Unfortunately the FTC will have the last word on a Cadence – Mentor merger and they are already sniffing around. One of the benefits of being an “Internationally Recognized Industry Blogger” is the many emails and phones calls I get asking for background information on the foundries, fabless, EDA, and IP companies. One of the briefest calls was from theFederal Trade Commission Bureau of Competition.Brief because it was lunch time and he was calling from a (202) area code (I blog for food).

For those of us who remember, Cadence launched a hostile $1.6B bid for Mentor back in 2008. It was Cadence CEO Mike Fister’s last desperate plea for attention before golden parachuting out of EDA. Not that it was a bad idea, but it was certainly poorly executed. Okay it was also a bad idea. I stand by my previous blog, Mentor should buy Magmaand give Synopsys a real fight. It’s good for Mentor, it’s good for Magma, it’s good for EDA.

Not that a potential EDA mega merger is the only reason for the FTC to be interested in EDA. Now that the 3 big EDA dogs own 90% of the market, it certainly is possible they are not fairly competing with the other 100+ EDA and IP puppies trying to get a look at the food bowl. This of course would be incredibly short sighted as EDA does not grow organically. EDA, from the beginning of time, has always grown inorganically through acquisitions of the best and brightest. Sometimes these guys are acquired multiple times as innovators generally work in small numbers and out of the spot light.

Even though investors have left EDA, Semi IP, and even the fabless semiconductor market, there are dozens of start-ups in Silicon Valley and around the world. We do what we do, however we can do it. Getting these products to market, however, is still the biggest challenge. We are point tool girls and this is a point tool world and without the support or even the tolerance of the big 3 EDA companies our innovation will never survive in the mainstream semiconductor design ecosystem.

An easy example is the Cadence Virtuoso dynasty. There are literally dozens of point tools that plug into Virtuoso offering value above and beyond what Cadence can offer. These tools can and are being kept out of the Virtuoso flow by Cadence product managers if there is the least amount of overlap or perceived competition. So rather than open Virtuoso up and leverage the collaborative innovation of the masses, Virtuoso stays closed, protected, and starving for outside influences. Remember, EDA does not grow organically so this protectionist behavior will ensure that our bowl of food will never grow. EDA can quickly become a lifestyle industry, an industry with the sole purpose of supporting the lifestyles of the people controlling it, if it hasn’t already. [post_title] => Mentor – Cadence Merger and the Federal Trade Commission [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => mentor-cadence-merger-and-the-federal-trade-commission [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-14 21:37:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-15 02:37:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.semiwiki.com/word5/uncategorized/mentor-cadence-merger-and-the-federal-trade-commission.html/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 7527 [max_num_pages] => 753 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => 1 [is_privacy_policy] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => 1 [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_favicon] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => c578fd13bf1fd6bcd6fe5bc403a80a5a [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => 1 [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) [tribe_is_event] => [tribe_is_multi_posttype] => [tribe_is_event_category] => [tribe_is_event_venue] => [tribe_is_event_organizer] => [tribe_is_event_query] => [tribe_is_past] => [tribe_controller] => Tribe\Events\Views\V2\Query\Event_Query_Controller Object ( [filtering_query:protected] => WP_Query Object *RECURSION* ) )

Mentor – Cadence Merger and the Federal Trade Commission

Mentor – Cadence Merger and the Federal Trade Commission
by Daniel Nenni on 12-12-2010 at 5:33 pm


More consolidation is coming to EDA and so is the Federal Trade Commission. Corporate raider Carl Ichan owns 15% of Mentor Graphics and now owns 1% of Cadence. Ichan buddy multi billionaire George Soros, a long time CDNS investor, just purchased more than 76 million convertible notes of MENT.You do the math…

Unfortunately the FTC… Read More


Webinar on Accelerating Analog Layout Productivity

Webinar on Accelerating Analog Layout Productivity
by Daniel Payne on 12-08-2010 at 11:58 pm

MONROVIA, California – December 7, 2010 – With pressure to reduce time to market and with resources increasingly constrained, tools that can enable maximum productivity for analog and mixed-signal design are mission-critical. Tanner EDA, the catalyst for innovation for the design, layout and verification of analog and mixed-signal… Read More


TSMC vs GlobalFoundries IBM Samsung

TSMC vs GlobalFoundries IBM Samsung
by Daniel Nenni on 12-05-2010 at 9:52 pm


GlobalFoundries has brought the Common Platform Alliance back from the dead!?!?!?! Good thing too as it is probably their most comprehensive weapon against TSMC and answers the single biggest question customers have at 28nm and that is; Will there be enough CAPACITY?

The Common Platform technology alliance hosted its first-ever… Read More


Intel versus ARM (Linaro)

Intel versus ARM (Linaro)
by Daniel Nenni on 11-28-2010 at 11:35 am

More than 2,500 companies will be exhibiting and more than 120,000 people will be attending the next Consumer Electronics Show(CES) and it is an easy bet that ARM processors will dominate the show yet again. In fact, my money is on ARM to dominate future generations of computing platforms (smartphones) due in large part to one simple… Read More


Tanner EDA Then and Now

Tanner EDA Then and Now
by Daniel Payne on 11-26-2010 at 9:44 pm

tanner then now


Looking back at an early issue of a Tanner Research newsletter, “Tanner Tools News”, from the mid-1990s, the theme at that time was growth, just as it is again now for Tanner EDA. At that time we were averaging 66% revenue growth per year, enjoying rapid growth as a small start-up. Fast-forward to current day, where we… Read More


Mentor Acquires Magma?

Mentor Acquires Magma?
by Daniel Nenni on 11-21-2010 at 5:39 pm

**This blog was written a year ago. Several people emailed me last week saying Mentor is trying for Magma again so I thought I would run it again to see what we can find out!D.A.N. 11/21/2011

“I believe that within five years only two EDA companies will survive,” said Magma Design Automation Rajeev Madhavan (Silicom Ventures LLC internationalRead More


Russian Silicon Valley

Russian Silicon Valley
by Daniel Nenni on 11-14-2010 at 6:22 pm

In case you missed it, last June Dmitry Medvedev (the 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] President of Russia) visited Northern California to better understand and hopefully replicate the success of Silicon Valley in Russia. Last month Governor Schwarzenegger returned the favor by visiting Moscow with a delegate of Silicon Valley business leaders… Read More


TSMC Versus Intel?

TSMC Versus Intel?
by Daniel Nenni on 11-07-2010 at 7:18 pm


The big announcement last week was Intel opening up its 22nm manufacturing facilities to an outside company. Even better it’s an FPGA company. There are literally hundreds of write ups on this landmark event so it is definitely blog worthy. But what does it really mean? I have read (5) possibilities:

(1) Intel enters the FPGA businessRead More


Computational Lithography, Scaling’s Best Friend

Computational Lithography, Scaling’s Best Friend
by glforte on 11-03-2010 at 11:51 pm

attachment

By Joseph Sawicki, Vice President & General Manager, Design to Silicon Division

It is one of the more amazing stories in the continued march of Moore’s Law over the past four nodes. Previously scaling was enabled solely though changes in the physical domain, whether through decreasing the wavelength of light, increasing … Read More


Mobile 2Drive Semi 4Ever!

Mobile 2Drive Semi 4Ever!
by Daniel Nenni on 10-30-2010 at 12:07 am

In case you didn’t notice, TSMC’s communications revenue jumped 22% last quarter for a total revenue share of 42%, and that is just the tip of the iceberg for mobile internet. According to the global marketing research company Nielsen, double digit mobile internet adoption rates are the new normal and will continue to be so in the… Read More