A View from the Top: A Virtual Prototyping Blog

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The Final Four in SoC Design

Before March Madness and the Final Four Butler win become too much of a distant memory, I wanted to briefly write about a different kind of “Final Four”, the four challenges which KH Kim, Executive Vice President, Samsung Electronics, Co., Ltd., presented at day three of the recent Synopsys Users Group (SNUG). The audience was in for a treat, the presentation was great in structure, content and delivery!

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Posted in Abstraction Levels, Shows and Events, Virtual Prototypes |

 

Wrestling for Dollars in a World of Open Source Androids

This is really a companion Blog to an article I recently wrote, called “Which Design Comes First: Hardware Or Software?”. In this article I argued that the landscape of software responsibilities is rapidly changing, and with it the way the different players can actually make money. I ended the article with the words “Chip vendors are trying to battle their way back into monetizing on software after Android essentially neutralized them. The hardware-software world remains very interesting!”, Well, this deserves some examples.

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Posted in Embedded Software, Wireless |

 

Articulating the Value of System-Level Design

A trip up to Mount Tamalpais can not only be fun, it can change perspectives. It did hit me again when enjoying the panoramic view from up there, that system-level design value is hard to articulate. When taking the “View from the Top” perspective, one is so far away from the actual design implementation that value is pretty straightforward to understand but hard to translate into actual dollars. That is indeed a challenge we find in electronic system-level design as well.

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Posted in Abstraction Levels |

 

The 21st Century Engineer–10 Years On!

Well, as January is always over I went back into the garage and checked my IEEE Spectrum from January 10 years ago to think about the predictions from that time. The topic  of the 2001 forecast issue was “Always On – Living in a Networked World”. Overall I am mighty impressed how accurate the outlook of the IEEE team of editors was!

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Posted in Abstraction Levels, Automotive |

 

“Gehen Sie nicht über Los” – Development projects can be like playing Monopoly

Watching today’s electronics projects reminds me of playing Monopoly when growing up. The term “Gehen Sie nicht über Los” has become somewhat proverbial in German language for “game over” situations. It is printed on the card in Monopoly which sends you directly to jail, does not let you pass the starting field and does not grant you the per round income. Missing a deadline in a project can be like that, only the result is not jail but a dead project, a dead company or a pivotal point in a project manager’s career. And that’s where system-level design comes in to the rescue ….

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Posted in Abstraction Levels, Automotive, Embedded Software |

 

My Christmas Recipe for System-Level Design

It’s Christmas time. My yearly cookie baking event has been canceled this year due to a broken oven and delays in my house remodeling project. Thinking of recipes, it turns out that one of the missing items preventing adoption of system-level design is the absence of a canonical system-level flow, a pre-defined recipe how to get from an idea to hardware and software implementation. We are getting closer, but every customer I talk to has their own different system-level flow, which prevents scalability. As an added bonus for reading I will publish my favorite Christmas Cookie Recipe at the end of the post.

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Posted in Abstraction Levels, Embedded Software |

 

Inflexibility? That’s so 2009 :)

With the year coming to an end faster than I really can comprehend (have you started on your Christmas wish list yet?), I am looking back to what I said would be important going into 2010.  In my Electronic Design column’s forecast “2010 Will Change The Balance In Verification” i suggested that software development would change how verification is done. Well, looking back I can confirm that this is happening, albeit not only the way I had suggested.

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Posted in Abstraction Levels |

 

Towards Application Driven Design

Now that I am back from honeymoon, the obligatory post-honeymoon-email-catch-up-marathon and then some business travel, I find myself in lots of discussions around application domains and the specific characteristics how system integrators, chip vendors and software vendors interact. How can one visualize the interaction between the different participants in the design chain? Is it applications driving the hardware or hardware enabling applications?

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Posted in Abstraction Levels, Embedded Software |

 

The Future Does Need Us – Despite Virtualization at All Fronts!

In  gearing up towards the Synopsys Synposium – our very first own virtual conference – I am thinking back to all the types of virtualization I am using myself. I am wondering how right Billy Joy was in his famous Wired Article “The Future Doesn’t Need Us”. Well, we have a long time to go, I think, and we as humans are not quite yet an endangered species, at least for a while.

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Posted in Abstraction Levels, Shows and Events |

 

Closing the Loop to Increase Design Flow Predictability

This is a follow up post to my July 7th Blog entry called “Dealing with Moving Targets in Interesting Times”. In response to Nokia selling its modem division to Renesas I had thought about who the actual customers for system-design tools are in a landscape of consolidation and change. It turns out that there are actually more parties involved these days, which increases the potential for business but makes the interaction a bit more intricate. We are about to close the loop to manufacturing even tighter, just like we did in the days of PKS – Physically Knowledgeable Synthesis – back a decade ago.

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Posted in Models |