OpenText offers secure collaboration environment

At the 52nd Design Automation Conference in San Francisco, we talked to Rod Simon of OpenText about their collaboration platform, Exceed VA Turbo X that was introduced to the EDA industry at the conference.  With a web-based interface, Exceed VA TurboX is a hybrid solution intended to improve users productivity by enhancing collaboration from any location, securely. Exceed VA TurboX is designed for the enterprise data center so administrators to easily manage and monitor access to sensitive applications and data. Here's the interview:

Quest for the $10K Chip: The wild west of design services

In the fourth installment of our Quest for the 10K chip series, We return to the last part of the interview with EDA Analyst Gary Smith to discuss the reemergence of design services and their role in reducing the cost of chip design. Smith believes the industry is headed toward a new generation of ASIC houses, and says the advantage of ESL is that it allows designs to be handed off at any number of various sign off points. Smith believes the design services segment is in for big growth in the coming years.

Esencia weighs in on the $10K Chip

ESL startup Esencia has been making noise about the changing of the guard in IC design as the industry moves from RTL to ESL. In this third part of our series on the Quest the the 10K Chip, Karl Kaiser, VP of engineering for Esencia, talks about Gary Smith's view of the cost of IC design and where ESL can continually lower that cost.

Gary Smith, ESL and the Quest for the $10K Chip

In part two of our Quest for the 10K chip series, EDA Analyst Gary Smith discusses the need for ESL, how it will reduce the cost of designs, and why the time is right for ESL to be implemented now. Smith says in the past, we’ve leveraged IP reuse as a way to solve our design challenges, but we are now seeing 100 block designs with 100 million gate counts; IP reuse alone will not solve these challenges. In this video Smith discusses what he sees coming next to solve these challenges.

See Part 1 here.


Gary Smith considers the quest for the $10K chip

At the Design Automation Conference in June 2012, tech blogger JL Gray posed a question: Can you build a chip to prototype, that would interest a potential investor to take it all the way to production, for $10,000?  The question launched a 6-month investigation by New Tech Press to get an answer.  Dozens of entrepreneurs, analysts, investors and engineers accepted invitations to discuss the subject.  While most wished to remain anonymous a few agreed to go as far as to be captured on video. We will be rolling out the series for the next few weeks with links to several articles in other publications.  The video platform we are using is from meBox! Media that will allow viewers to interact with and share the content on a broad level.  We encourage your input in comments on this site, however if you wish to remain anonymous, you can send private comments directly to us by clicking on the email button on each video.  Hover your cursor over the screen to expose the engagement buttons. The series we start today is the best of those meetings, anchored with a three-part interview with Gary Smith, chief analyst for GarySmithEDA.  Gary starts with the basics of the question, starting from the use of low-cost FPGAs and free tools, through the actual costs of manufacturing and ways to keep tool costs low.

Gary Smith on the Cost of IC design

Esencia Technologies tool boosts programmable logic design

This year, as almost every year Gary Smith of Gary Smith EDA states that electronic system level (ESL) design is now here. Reality has not always agreed but there are often many signs that say Gary might be on to something. One of them was a tiny startup on the DAC floor called Esencia technologies with an interesting tool kit called Escala. Among their claims was that Escala could make it possible to replace ASICs with low-end FPGAs in low-volume production systems. Lou Covey from Footwasher Media checked them out in this video interview.


Univa filling Sun gap in EDA industry

Sun Microsystems had been an active partner and participant in the EDA world until Oracle completed its acquisition in 2010.  Suddenly the Sun logo disappeared quite conspicuously from the EDA exhibitions in 2010 and 2011 where Sun had previously been prominent and ubiquitous. A little of that came back in 2012 with Univa taking their first active presence at the Design Automation Conference. In 2007 Univa helped Sun create the Sun Grid Engine, a job resource and management tool, developed the software to meet Sun’s HPC go-to-market requirements and became a reseller of the engine.  In 2010, however, Oracle decided the grid engine division was not as profitable as they would like and dropped it altogether, giving Univa an instant gift of thousands of dedicated users and a rapidly growing service business. Nearly 30% of the company’s customers are in the EDA / Semiconductor space.

In January 2011, Univa hired the Sun Grid Engine team and redesigned their business model to continue to support and update the Grid Engine. over the following year Univa delivered more code to their new community than any third party, patching holes and adding new functionality, something that had not been done for close to 2 years.

In March of this year, Univa released the results of a Technical Computing User Survey, that showed 70 percent of the respondents expected an increase in use of high performance computing this year and 75 percent expected an increase in 2013.  No one indicated a decline in use.

The information of the survey was instrumental in Univa's decision to begin making their presence in the EDA industry obvious and the plan, according to Gary Tyreman, President and CEO is to grow that presence steadily.  New Tech Press's Lou Covey sat down with Tyreman to talk about Univa and where the EDA industry is headed.


Component Engineering Community Launches

This week, a free, online community for components engineering (CE) professionals has been launched at www.componentsengineering.com. This new site offers a forum for engineers to resource information, as well tools to create and maintain a CE department within their respective organizations. The site includes free, downloadable content of procedures, processes, flowcharts, and guidelines, as well as tools and resources for learning the basic disciplines of components engineering. The site also provides resources for both fundamental and advanced component-specific education.

Douglas Alexander, the founder and principle consultant, created this website to capture and increase the knowledge of experienced of CEs.  In addition to the current content, contributions of original white papers and other related document contributions are welcomed.

“After working in this field of electronics for over 30 years, and finding no website or book dedicated to this core discipline, I was determined to develop a site giving proper recognition to the community of engineers working behind the scenes at almost every manufacturing and engineering company known today.”

The title of components engineer has been around for many years, Alexander said. There is a vast body of knowledge and capability resident in those who, for various reasons, have not worked in their field for some time but are not ready to retire. “Experience and knowledge should not be retired even if you are. Now, here is where you keep it alive.”

Retired, semi-retired, and full-time CE professionals are welcome to submit their credentials, work-experience, and working locations on the site by email. Fees are confidential between the consultant and the clients.

“There is a catch,” Douglas explained, “The individual requesting a posting as a consultant, must demonstrate a competency level by submitting white papers and/or other CE specific documentation that will be reviewed by members of the site for acceptability.” These documents will be credited to the authors and will be reviewed by prospective clients to determination of the consultant’s applicable knowledge and ultimately “worthiness” for hire.

Alexander said the site is a collaborative effort and will fulfill its full purpose as the community grows with the individual contributions from experienced practitioners. “It is my sincere desire to provide an opportunity for those who want to consult in this special field of engineering to contribute to these pages and form or reestablish peer-to-peer relationships with others of like mind and spirit.”

New CEO at Tanner EDA Brings SAAS perspective

Greg Lebsack took the reigns as CEO of Tanner EDA less than four months ago, and still had time to talk to us at New Tech Press. He came over from the same position at ASP Global Services (SaaS supply chain software) and says EDA is an industry with “potential for growth” which either means he’s smoking something really interesting, or he sees something a lot of people are missing.  At least it’s good to hear from someone with a fresh perspective.