2011: A Semiconductor Odyssey!

2011: A Semiconductor Odyssey!
by Daniel Nenni on 04-15-2011 at 10:08 pm

Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey showed us a world where machine vision allowed a computer to watch and interact with its human colleagues. Yet after 40 years of incredible progress in semiconductor design, the technology to make computer-based image and video analysis a reality is still not practical.

While working with… Read More


AMD and GlobalFoundries / TI and UMC

AMD and GlobalFoundries / TI and UMC
by Daniel Nenni on 04-11-2011 at 11:38 am

There have been some significant foundry announcements recently that if collated will give you a glimpse into the future of the semiconductor industry. So let me do that for you here.

First the candid EETimes article about TI dumping Samsung as a foundry:

Taiwan’s UMC will take the ”lead role’’ in making the OMAP 5 device onRead More


Who Needs a 3D Field Solver for IC Design?

Who Needs a 3D Field Solver for IC Design?
by Daniel Payne on 04-07-2011 at 4:53 pm

Inroduction
In the early days we made paper plots of an IC layout then measured the width and length of interconnect segments with a ruler to add up all of the squares, then multiplied by the resistance per square. It was tedious, error prone and took way too much time, but we were rewarded with accurate parasitic values for our SPICE… Read More


Process Design Kits: PDKs, iPDKs, openPDKs

Process Design Kits: PDKs, iPDKs, openPDKs
by Paul McLellan on 03-24-2011 at 5:28 pm

One of the first things that needs to be created when bringing up a new process is the Process Design Kit, or PDK. Years ago, back when I was running the custom IC business line at Cadence, we had a dominant position with the Virtuoso layout editor and so creating a PDK really meant creating a Virtuoso PDK, and it was a fairly straightforward… Read More


Evolution of Lithography Process Models, Part II

Evolution of Lithography Process Models, Part II
by Beth Martin on 03-24-2011 at 3:56 pm

In part I of this series, we looked at the history of lithography process models, starting in 1976. Some technologies born in that era, like the Concorde and the space shuttle, came to the end of their roads. Others did indeed grow and develop, such as the technologies for mobile computing and home entertainment. And lithography … Read More


RTL Power Analysis and Verification

RTL Power Analysis and Verification
by Paul McLellan on 03-22-2011 at 11:13 am

“Power is the new timing” has almost become a cliché. There are a number of reasons for this, not least that increasingly it is power rather than anything else that caps the performance that a given system can deliver. Power is obviously very important in portable applications such as smartphones because it shows through directly… Read More


Semiconductor Industry Damage Assessment (Disaster in Japan)

Semiconductor Industry Damage Assessment (Disaster in Japan)
by admin on 03-19-2011 at 5:19 am

The earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated Japan on March 11[SUP]th[/SUP], 2011 will have far reaching ramifications around the world for years to come. People have asked me how this disaster will affect the semiconductor industry so I will try and summarize it in this blog.

First the foundries:

According to TSMC: Read More


Getting Real Time Calibre DRC Results

Getting Real Time Calibre DRC Results
by Daniel Payne on 03-10-2011 at 10:00 am

Last week I met with Joseph Davis, Ph.D. at Mentor Graphics in Wilsonville, Oregon to learn about a new product designed for full-custom IC layout designers to improve productivity.

The traditional flow for full-custom IC layout designers has been nearly unchanged for decades:

  • Read a schematic or use Schematic Driven Layout
Read More

Mentor Graphics 1 : Carl Icahn 0!

Mentor Graphics 1 : Carl Icahn 0!
by Daniel Nenni on 03-04-2011 at 10:03 pm

This is just another blog about Carl Icahn and his quest to conquer EDA, when in fact EDA is conquering him. It includes highlights from my dinner with Mentor Graphics and Physicist Brian Greene, the Mentor Q4 conference call, and meeting Mentor CEO Wally Rhines at DvCon 2011.

It wasn’t just the free food this time, dinner with BrianRead More


Wally Rhines DvCon 2011 Ketnote: From Volume to Velocity

Wally Rhines DvCon 2011 Ketnote: From Volume to Velocity
by Daniel Nenni on 02-23-2011 at 1:49 pm

Abstract:
There has been a remarkable acceleration in the adoption of advanced verification methodologies, languages and new standards. This is true across all types of IC design and geographic regions. Designers and verification engineers are surprisingly open to new approaches to keep pace with the relentless rise in design… Read More