Today people make chips with 10 billion transistors and no-one thinks anything of it. But there was a day (Or more correctly a decade) when we couldn’t make even one transistor reliably. How did we start there and get where we are today? Who were the players? What did they do? John East is a grizzled veteran of the semiconductor business.… Read More
It’s always a struggle explaining electronic design automation (EDA) to people who ask me what field I am in. I have come up with simple and minimal descriptions – such as “software used for designing semiconductors.” This, of course, does little to provide any useful understanding to people who are not familiar with the field.… Read More
It seems to be FD-SOI week yet again. I talked to Thomas Skotnicki this morning. He is the father of thin-box FD-SOI and its birth is an interesting story. The story began 26 years ago (so not quite as far back as the photo!).
Thomas is of Polish origins (he is actually Tomeczek) and grew up in Warsaw where he earned his PhD. In 1983 in Canterbury,… Read More
I’m typing this blog today with my trusty Apple MacBook Pro – a 17″ laptop with matte display and 16GB of RAM, but don’t stereotype me as an Apple fanboy because I also own the fantastic Samsung Galaxy Note II phone (aka phablet). Some industry pundits would have us believe that desktops and laptops are going… Read More
Steve Wozniak in 1976 designed the Apple 1 while working at HP during the daytime, and he used standard parts to keep costs low, like:
- 6502 CPU from MOS Technology
- 8K of DRAM
- TTL logic for driving video and random logic
- PROM to hold the BASIC language and primitive OS
I used my secret powers (being a blogger will get you a press pass) to go to the first day of the SPIE conference on advanced lithography a couple of weeks ago. Everything that happens to with process nodes seems to be driven by lithography, and everything that happens in EDA is driven by semiconductor process. It is the place to find … Read More
In 1981, Pac-Man was sweeping the nation, the first space shuttle launched, and a small group of engineers in Oregon started not only a new company (Mentor Graphics), but an entirely new industry, electronic design automation (EDA).
Mentor founders Tom Bruggere, Gerry Langeler, and Dave Moffenbeier left Tektronix with a great… Read More
Synopsys was started in 1986 and so 2011 was its 25th anniversary. They created a little timeline with some of their history. As with most companies, the earlier history is the most interesting, before it was clear what the future would bring. From 1986 to 1990 they grew to $22M in revenue, which was explosive growth. So explosive … Read More