July 21, 2003
Agere Systems' Jon Fields
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On being opinionated
“Just ask my wife. She'll tell you that I've got an opinion on just about everything. I'm often concerned, however, because she frequently ignores my [excellent] advice. She always says that advice is only worth as much as you pay for it. I'm never quite sure what she means by that.”
Industry news - Tools and IP
Aptix Corp. announced that it has begun shipping Release 5.0 of its software for its reconfigurable prototyping products, System Explorer and Software Integration Station. The company says the new release is available to all customers with software support contracts, and includes new support for TCL scripting, improved probing and triggering, and new hardware self-test. New features in Release 5.0 also include Design Pilot software enhancements, TCL support, faster flow for incremental changes, asynchronous clock data path management, flexible probe assignment (pre- and post-partition), an improved logic optimizer, and partitioning options to reduce the number of FPGAs.
Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced that Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. used Cadence's Incisive platform and Palladium acceleration functionality to increase verification performance by 1,000 times, and reduce verification test time from six weeks to 50 minutes. Masanobu Mizuno, Manager at Matsushita's Advanced LSI Design Technology Development Coordination Group said, “Cadence Palladium, with its multi-user capability and short turnaround time, provided the methodology that enabled us to move easily from simulation to simulation acceleration. Using the Cadence verification platform to verify our large-scale media processor resulted in a reduction of our overall verification time and improved our design quality. Palladium compile time is 10 times faster compared to the previous-generation CoBALT accelerator, and run-time performance was improved.”
Incentia Design Systems, Inc. announced that Toshiba Corp. has selected Incentia's TimeCraft static timing analyzer for timing verification of its multi-million gate, high-performance SoC designs. Toshiba and Incentia signed a multi-year agreement for widespread use of TimeCraft. Tamotsu Hiwatashi, Senior Manager, Planning Department, System LSI Design Division of Toshiba, said: “TimeCraft satisfies our stringent STA requirements with it features, speed and capacity. Its fast analysis drastically shortens our total STA turnaround time.”
In related news, Incentia announced today that it has improved the performance of TimeCraft. The company says the new release improves runtime up to 5X and reduces memory utilization up to 30% on large designs, when compared to the previous release.
Mentor Graphics Corp. announced that Calibre has been selected as the internal standard at Hua Hong NEC Electronics Company, based in Shanghai, China. Hua Hong NEC is a pure play IC foundry for advanced process technologies and describes itself as “the world's leading VLSI microprocessor manufacturer.” Hua Hong NEC offers 0.35 micron and 0.25 micron for volume production and will release 0.18-micron volume production in late 2003. Mentor Graphics says that with this adoption, “Calibre is now the internal standard for the top three foundries in China.”
Also from Mentor Graphics - The company announced the availability of the Seamless Co-verification Processor Support Packages for the ARM1136J-S and ARM1136JF-S high-performance cores. The company says these are the first new models delivered under the recently extended licensing and distribution agreement between ARM and Mentor Graphics.
Finally, from Mentor Graphics - The company announced the availability of the PADS suites, which provide “complete, front-to-back, Windows-based PCB system design flows allowing productivity gains and faster time-to-market through design flow integration.” The PADS suites includes new features such as an OrCAD translator for an easy migration to the PADS environment, an improved component library to eliminate the need for library creation, and the availability of online training that allows designers to learn how to use the tools from their desktop. Mentor also announced it has expanded its sales channel for the PADS suites with the addition of three new resellers in the United States, Canada, and Russia.
Coming soon to a theater near you
CICC'03 - The 25th annual Custom Integrated Circuits Conference is taking place September 21st to the 24th at the DoubleTree Hotel in San Jose. Conference organizers says that they're offering “a balanced program focusing on Innovation, Education and Communications.”
Innovation will be provided via an “in-depth look at the latest innovations in IC design and technology, featuring 120 technical papers from university and industry constituents on such topics as analog circuits, wireless and DSP design, and EDA advancements.” Education gets the nod through “four full-day educational sessions taught by scientific experts and three panels populated by IC industry leaders.” And Communications will emerge from “numerous opportunities to enhance community building through extended communications: technical exhibits, interactive panels, author interviews, and time for networking at the annual exhibitor reception and happy hour.” That last sounds quite good.
The keynote speaker will be Dr. Robert Lucky, author of the bimonthly "Reflections" column in IEEE Spectrum Magazine. The luncheon speaker, Dr. Tsugiu Makimoto, Corporate Advisor at Sony, who will address the role of chip technology in robotics development.
Ansoft Corp. announced that Ulrich Rohde has received a Marconi Memorial Gold Medal of Achievement from the Veteran Wireless Operators Association (VWOA) for his “exemplary achievements in the field of microwave circuit simulation and design.” Dr. Rohde has served on Ansoft's Board of Directors since 1997 and has 20+ years' experience with microwave circuit theory and technology. He is an IEEE fellow and was formerly President and CEO of Compact Software Inc. Currently, Rohde is President of Communications Consulting Corp., Chairman of Synergy Microwave Corp., a Partner at Rohde & Schwarz, and a member of the faculty of several universities.
Barcelona Design Inc. has named Susanne Hampe as a Sales Director for Europe. Hampe will be responsible for establishing sales operations for Barcelona's entire line of products in the European market, and will report directly to Bob Johnson, Executive Vice President of Worldwide Field Operations. Before joining Barcelona Design, Hampe worked for Simplex Solutions as General Manager for Central Europe. After Cadence Design System acquired Simplex, she assumed the role of Business Development Manager with responsibility for Europe.
Mentor Graphics Corp. announced that its customer support division has been certified for the fourth straight year under the Support Center Practices (SCP) Certification program. The Press Release says, “SCP Certification is an internationally recognized standard that defines best practices, quantifies the effectiveness of customer support, establishes a foundation to build on existing quality processes, and provides a clear focus on measurable results. Certified organizations must demonstrate their continued commitment to high performance standards through annual re-certification audits.”
Mentor says that certification was achieved “after extensive audits of the company's multiple support centers. In 2000, Mentor Graphics was the first electronic design automation (EDA) company to earn SCP Certification, and today remains the only EDA vendor with this certification. Achieving SCP Certification further demonstrates Mentor's commitment to providing consistent, high-quality support to its customers worldwide. To confirm that Mentor Graphics met the requirements of the more than 100 business elements defined in the SCP Certification program, comprehensive on-site audits were conducted in several Mentor Graphics locations in North America and Europe.”
Yet even more from Mentor Graphics - The company announced it has received a “Ten Best Web Support Sites” award from the Association of Support Professionals (ASP) and is the first EDA company to win the award. Mentor says it was recognized for its secure, full-service customer support Web site, SupportNet.
In the category of...
Another acquisition blows ashore during M&A season
There are acquisitions and then there are Acquisitions with a Capital A. With the Cadence Design Systems acquisition of Verplex Systems - announced this week, to be finalized in mid-August - you've really got an Acquisition, a powerful win-win situation for both Verplex and Cadence, but particularly Cadence. As acquisitions go, many would agree that this is one of the more notable of late.
In picking up Verplex, Cadence is bringing a solid EDA player into the fold. Verplex is a company with 90 employees and an established and respected technology initiative in formal verification. If all goes well, it promises to be a willing and able partner in Cadence's move to further address verification challenges in the world of big, complex designs.
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-- Peggy Aycinena, EDACafe.com Contributing Editor.
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