Posted by frank schirrmeister on June 24, 2011
Earlier this week I had the pleasure attending the Freescale Technology Forum (FTF). I was there to present on the Synopsys AUTOSAR activities, but was able to get a front row seat during Rich Beyer’s key note. I must say, the first FTF key note back as a public company after their IPO in may, left me nothing less but impressed. It also made me think about who really owns the system-level knowledge these days.
Rich Beyer’s key note opened with a brief video history lesson of former Motorola and Freescale devices, to a heart-beat-like sound track, somewhat reminding of the drums in the Terminator soundtrack. Rich opened with a discussion of challenges presented by us – the end users. Specifically he talked about the internet of things, connected intelligence, devices which adapt to our needs, have all our data in a cloud and even predict what we may want to adapt to us users. In most segments Freescale’s customers were present as well – if not live on stage, then at least via videos.
The chips Freescale develops were always present somehow, but the main event was always their use in end applications. The five “Global Diamond Sponsors” were all embedded software companies: ENEA, Greenheils, Mentor Embedded, QNX and Wind River, testimony to the fact that hardware and software are getting closer.
Five key areas were presented on in more detail:
In all the areas it strongly looked to me that Freescale as semiconductor company has actually more system-level knowledge than I ever expected – hence the title of this post. It is very clear that the design chain from IP Providers, Semiconductors to Integrators and OEMs is undergoing fundamental changes. With IP Providers heading towards sub-systems and Semiconductor Providers taking on more system responsibility, it will be interesting to see how the design chain will look five years from now!
One thing is clear: Embedded software and system-level design together with tools and methodologies enabling them, will be a key enabler to facilitate whatever changes are ahead.
Patrick Sheridan is responsible for Synopsys' system-level solution for virtual prototyping. In addition to his responsibilities at Synopsys, from 2005 through 2011 he served as the Executive Director of the Open SystemC Initiative (now part of the Accellera Systems Initiative). Mr. Sheridan has 30 years of experience in the marketing and business development of high technology hardware and software products for Silicon Valley companies.
Malte Doerper is responsible for driving the software oriented virtual prototyping business at Synopsys. Today he is based in Mountain View, California. Malte also spent over 7 years in Tokyo, Japan, where he led the customer facing program management practice for the Synopsys system-level products. Malte has over 12 years’ experiences in all aspects of system-level design ranging from research, engineering, product management and business development. Malte joined Synopsys through the CoWare acquisition, before CoWare he worked as researcher at the Institute for Integrated Signal Processing Systems at the Aachen University of Technology, Germany.
Tom De Schutter
Tom De Schutter is responsible for driving the physical prototyping business at Synopsys. He joined Synopsys through the acquisition of CoWare where he was the product marketing manager for transaction-level models. Tom has over 10 years of experience in system-level design through different marketing and engineering roles. Before joining the marketing team he led the transaction-level modeling team at CoWare.