As virtual prototyping has seen a wide adoption over the last couple of years, it felt like the right time to work with industry leaders across multiple applications and publish a book that captures the best practices in virtual prototyping. As editor of the book: Better Software. Faster!, I had the privilege to work with some incredibly knowledgeable people who have been deploying virtual prototypes for many years. The book captures the main benefits of virtual prototyping as the key methodology to shift left the design cycle: namely reduce the overall time-to-market by starting software development before hardware availability. Better Software. Faster! features case studies and best practices from companies across mobile, consumer, automotive and industrial applications including: Altera, ARM Bosch, Fujitsu, General Motors, Hitachi, Lauterbach, Linaro, Microsoft, Ricoh, Renesas, Siemens, Texas Instruments and VDC Research. As editor I can of course not do anything less than recommend you read the book, but really … do read the book ;-).
Watching the Olympics this past summer was quite exciting. I enjoyed seeing athletes at the peak of their performance and multiple records broken in many sports. What we don’t see is the years of practice and work behind this excellence. These athletes work at the technique, strength, endurance and mental attitude of winning. To me, this is no different than the work that goes on behind the scenes of a new chip introduction or for that matter, any new product introduction.
Using the Google Search Debugger
Posted in Wireless
What do the Inchron Real Time Congress this week and my last weekend home project have in common? They both are all about complexity, real-time, apps and platforms those apps run on. In automotive and consumer domains, apps are running on platforms in systems of systems. The question to me at this point is how many platforms – like AUTOSAR, GENIVI, Android, IOS, Windows Mobile etc. – as well as versions of them can an apps interested user really handle?
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.
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.
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.
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.
This week CoWare has been pleased to welcome Victor Leonov, distinguished member of technical staff, Motorola Mobile Devices and user of CoWare Platform Architect, to the CoWare DAC booth as a expert guest speaker on architecture design. His presentation, Achieving Optimal Cost-performance Balance in Advanced Wireless Modem Chipsets using Stochastic Simulation, was of high interest to SoC system architects and project managers here at the show.
While some of you in the US may be scrambling to get your old Mickey Mouse antenna replaced for the switch over to HD-Digital TV, a group of companies owning a huge amount of spectrum is preparing to get you going with HD content on your mobile devices. The wireless operators around the world, the AT&Ts, Vodafones and Docomos, are working on putting the final touches on a new standard called LTE (Long Term Evolution), which will provide 100Mbit/s peak performance providing access to the internet at warp speed, even while travelling at 200 miles/hour in the Shinkansen train. Along with that goal for the standard, the base station providers and cell phone manufacturers have to reinvent their platforms. Simple scaling of the previous architectures does not work. Where does this new standard put the biggest pressure? It’s the semiconductor companies in the wireless space. They are redoing their architectures to deliver the scalability and much higher speeds as compared to the previous generation (HSPA), which is deployed in the market today. Even if you are not into wireless design, by taking a look at the required 5-10x performance delta gives you an idea of the design challenge (Peak data rate 100Mbps vs. 14 Mbps today, latency 5 ms vs. 50 ms today, broadcast data rate improvement 8x) What does it mean for the design? Most design teams would be tempted to design a lot more optimized signal processing hardware, but by the time they would be done with that, the standard will be moving towards LTE-Advanced (1Gbit/s peak rate). Also, the flexibility of the operation of LTE does not lend itself to fixed architecture. So, what should you expect to happen in these leading-edge design teams? They will use processors wherever possible. Standard cores, customizable cores and dedicated cores will be used to differentiate their architecture in terms of power and performance. This is multi-design at its finest and, of course, with a huge amount of design challenges for the performance optimization of the architecture and the software. Is this all worth it for the semiconductor industry? Well, the operators certainly believe so. According to ABI Research’s senior analyst Nadine Manjaro, “ABI Research believes that NTT will also deploy LTE in Japan in 2009. We forecast that by 2013 operators will spend over $8.6 billion on LTE base station infrastructure alone. For operators that have already deployed 3G networks, LTE will be a key CAPEX driver over the next five years.” Interested in the most challenging designs around the world? Then quickly learn about LTE!
Posted in Wireless