Semiconductor IP News and Trends Blog
Semi IP Update – March 2015
Xilinx in space; lensless optics; the AMBA coherent host interface; the downside of silos; vertical companies; gender inequity; PCIe Gen 4; and the de-evolution of the SoC
Here’s an update of several IP-related stories of interest (with help from Hamilton Carter):
- The European Space Agency’s solar orbiter will use space-grade Xilinx FPGAs for data processing. And to think, I used to think military grade parts were cool!
- Of scallops, lensless smart sensors, and the IoT: How devices can see without really ‘seeing’. Rambus points out that not every sensor needs to see perfectly.
- Speaking of lensless optics, the Schosche Rhythm+ heart monitor uses an IR photodiode and a heap of DSP code to monitor your heart rate from a wrist-watch sized package that doesn’t require a chest strap.
- Get the basics of AMBA CHI verification from Cadence’s Dimitry Pavlovsky. If you’d like to find out what the CHI, (Coherent Hub Interface), is first then checkout ARM’s announcement of the technology.
- IPextreme’s McKenzie Mortensen, talks about Lean In moments and gender equality in the semiconductor industry. And… well… Wow! Everyone should read this. All I can say about the story is, “Stan, WTF!?” I grew up in an environment much like the one McKenzie describes, and often wondered if gender discrimination in the engineering field was a real thing. Turns out it is. If you’d like more ideas about how to get rid of it, but don’t have time to read the article, checkout the Lean In website, andHeForShe.
- Is the SoC slowly evolving back into the system on a board? With ever increasing die costs, “Because we can.” isn’t always the answer to moving to the next level of on-chip integration anymore. Atmel’s Ron Wilson provides an in-depth discussion of design trends in the digital and analog world and the reasons for breaking away from SoC.
- DVCon vs. DAC: Peggy Aycinena showcases her French phraseology and ponders which conference will be the wave of the future. DVCon is looking like the agile new kid compared to DAC’s (s?)lumbering giant.
- Learn about the PCIe Gen 4 specification with Cadence’s Sandeep Brahmadathan.
- Corner Cube’s President, Fernando Espana, discusses how project execution has gone awry with the development of silos between project stakeholders. This is an introduction to a larger white paper available from Dassault, but still serves as a thought evoking cautionary tale. How many of the items on Fernando’s list of ineffective practices is your current project team guilty of?
- Cadence’s Lip-Bu Tan spoke about the increasingly vertical application structures in systems design companies and how Cadence is addressing the new demands of these organizations. He states that companies are pulling more capabilities in-house in order to increase differentiation. What do you think?