Lego has existed for 85 years. The company was founded August 10, 1932, and after all these years, the concept of building structures big and small still hasn’t lost any of its charm. For my children, now 10 and 12, it is probably the most played with toy throughout their childhood. As with any new purchase, they initially and carefully build the specific design for the instructions included in the box. They typically play with the object for a couple of days or a maximum of a few weeks before disassembling or plainly wrecking it and adding it to their big pile of Lego blocks that they use to build anything their imagination can come up with.
For the last couple of months my son has been trying to save for a Nintendo Switch. The emphasis here is on “trying to.” The problem is that whenever he amasses enough money to buy something else, he tends to spend the money on a cheaper toy like a new Lego Dimensions figure. I guess that delayed gratification isn’t really a strength of my son. His assumption is that the best way to collect enough money is to wait for the big events like his birthday and Christmas/New Year rather than carefully putting aside his weekly allowance.
I visited SNUG Silicon Valley last week. This annual Synopsys User Group event at the Santa Clara Convention Center is always a good way to get in touch with the end users of various EDA products.
While I am not much of a golf player, I participated in a golf tournament over the summer. It was a very friendly setup with teams of four playing against each other. Each player of the team hits his ball, and the ball that lands in the best position determines the starting point for every one of the team for the next stroke.
With the ever increasing amount of software that has to be developed during a project, it is important to start the software development task as quickly as possible. Semiconductor companies and electronics system houses have been relying on physical prototyping to shift left the time at which they can start bringing up software. And they have been very vocal about the value they have gotten from this. See my previous blog: Winning Customer Loyalty.
Coming from the virtual prototyping world, I envisioned FPGA-based prototyping as mostly a one on one application, meaning that the system resides with the end user or at least in a room close to the end user. However, it turns out that a lot of companies have moved towards a physical prototyping server farm setup.
Some of you may be familiar with my blog posts on “A View from the Top: A Virtual Prototyping Blog”. Those blog posts covered virtual prototyping. As of beginning of this year, I have however shifted my responsibilities to FPGA-based prototyping or physical prototyping. So I felt that it would make sense to pass on the torch of “A View from the Top” to my colleagues Pat Sheridan and Malte Doerper who are now leading the way for virtual prototyping.
FPGA-based prototyping has been a key prototyping technique for many years. The steady increase in software content and thus the need to verify and validate the SoC in context of the software has resulted in an equally steady increase in its usage