A View from the Top: A Virtual Prototyping Blog

Archive for 2010

 

Creating Revenue from Spectrum – Algorithms and Software are the key!

As for sure you have noticed, Synopsys has made some key investments into the System-Level space with the recent acquisitions of VaST Systems and CoWare. Going forward we will have more guest comments and views on this Blog from the other members of the System-Level team. To start it off, Johannes Stahl – a long term expert in the System-Level space – provides his “View From The Algorithm Top” on some recent developments in the next generation wireless space. Johannes joins Synopsys from CoWare. Welcome Johannes!

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to ESL – Part 3 – Soft and Hard Harbor IP Re-use

Well, after the last post caused some controversy on much assembly re-use enables versus how much one should build from scratch, i did get a question on what the difference between hard and soft re-use is all about. I made sure in a brief huddle with a colleague in our IP team that these are really the only two categories worth mentioning. It all comes down to the abstraction levels and how much automation a designer still uses to implement the IP.

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Pistols at Dawn: Finding the middle ground between building and assembling

Being challenged to a duel can be scary. It often helps to re-visit what one is dueling about. The discussion in question here is about the role of IP reuse vs. high-level synthesis. And as is most life situations the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, and for sure not in the extreme position 🙂

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Mobile World Congress, Barcelona – Day 3: Less wires = wireless

The Barcelona sun finally starts to arrive and helps to put the serious business being conducted here into a supportive environment. The best deals are being cut at the outside coffee table. The forward looking roadmap conversations happen by sitting together on the fountain walls.

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Mobile World Congress, Barcelona – Day 2: Performance and cost – it’s a stretch

Orientation on the second day is a lot easier. Enter hall 8 where the titans of the industry play. Make a right at docomo, go straight to Research in Motion and head straight into leader Nokia? Hold on, Nokia was not exhibiting this year at the event! They offered a comfortable Rikscha ride from the Fira to their meeting place. Even though they refrained from the race to show new hardware, they made a significant software announcement with Intel to merge their Linux efforts into one. This again underpins Intel being serious about their Atom strategy for the mobile market.

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to ESL – Part 2 – Abstraction and Automation

In part 2 of the Hitchhiker’s guide to system-level design we will look at development abstraction levels and required productivity improvements to keep up with the fast pace of complexity growth. In the first part of this guide we had reviewed this complexity growth from 29,000 transistors in 1979 to 2 billion 30 years later. We had likened transistors to the basic elements from which Slartibartfast designs townhomes – 104 transistors for a 4-bit register, ahem, 26 basic elements to build a town home in a 4 home complex. To deal with the complexity increases, the abstraction level at which the design entry happens, has evolved over the last 30 years. In my first blog posts I had reviewed the evolution from transistors to gates to RTL and now to the transaction level. In Slartibartfast’s world this evolution of granularity (the level at which designers think) is equivalent to designing at a building floor plan level, house level, street level and city-level as indicated in the graph on the left.

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Mobile World Congress, Barcelona – Day 1: It’s the capacity stupid!

For those US visitors that came to the Fira de Barcelona this year with the blurred vision from comparing coverage maps in the never ending Verizon vs. AT&T commercials, they were up for a surprise! Vodaphone, the European operator counterpart, is much less embarrassed to push Femtocells as the recipe against missing coverage. Of course all of us in the software industry have known this trick for years, turning a bug into a feature.

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Being Slartibartfast – ESL in Lay-Man’s Terms – Part 1

I have been interacting with a lot of colleagues from legal and corporate business development lately. They were wondering what Electronic System-Level Design – or ESL – is all about. Like in a previous post on hotels in Bali, I have been using analogies a lot to explain the advantages of ESL and the reasons for it becoming more and more necessary. Now seems to be a good time to start a series of blog entries to liken system-level design to some real world challenges. This first entry will focus on the challenges motivating while design has evolved over time.

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As Time Goes By

Looks like I almost didn’t get to my yearly review of what happened ten years ago in the technology outlook section of IEEE Spectrum. Well, I could blame it on the fact that apparently the January 2000 section of the technology outlook section did not survive my last garage cleanup. But thanks to digital distribution I could find the appropriate issue to compare where we stand 10 years later.

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Using Virtual Platform Software as a Service for go-to-market

For electronic system companies (IP, semiconductor or system companies), providing access to a virtual model of their electronic systems can provide great benefits. Doing it using software as a service expands it even more.

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