Archive for October, 2010

Oct 28 2010

Conference on Directions for sub28nm Foundry

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On Nov 16th, the SFBAC IEEE Nanotechnology Council is holding a half day conference in Santa Clara on the directions in nanoelectronics.  The half day event features TSMC, Global Foundries, Samsung and Applied Materials presenting on the directions of processes and design for 28nm and below.  The end of the day will feature a panel discussion with all the speakers on challenges and breakthroughs that are needed to address the sub 17nm process node in production.

While a lot of the discussion will be on what the processes offer and how they work, there will also be discussion on that the design impact of these features are.  Power constraints and device variability are the central drivers for these aggressive designs, and attendees should come away from the 1/2 day event (1pm-5pm at the NSC conference center in Santa Clara CA) with a better understanding of how to address the design tradeoffs at these nodes.

Information on the event can be found at IEEE Nantechnology web site – http://www.ieee.org/nano .  The cost for the event is $25 for IEEE members and $30 for non-members in advance.  There is a $5 adder for registering at the door.

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Oct 27 2010

Cadence EDA360 Highlights Mixed Signal as Key

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At the CDN Live San Jose event on 10/27, the morning was devoted to the new program called EDA360.  As one of the chief architects of the  plan program John Bruggeman, CMO for Cadence, evangelized about the program.  The overview of EDA360 is that is more than a company direction, it is a strategy of survival and  growth for the EDA industry.  Cadence, along with EDA leaders Synopsys and Mentor, have now all acknowledged that at 30+ years of age, the EDA industry has to change from just point tools and support services to being an integrated solution provider in the electronic products ecosystem.  The EDA360 concept relates to the interconnected nature of modern design where process technology through SOC design to full system and software creation are dependent on each other.

One of the pillars of the system is Silicon Realization.  This is now a collaborative effort with designer, IP providers, fabs, tools, models and service providers working together to provide a solution for an SOC creation.  Historically this was solely the task of the designer and  rest were just providers of information or “components”.  In the new scenario, there is a common solution end point identified, and the efforts to reach that endpoint are done by whoever has the available resources and capabilities, rather than the tasks being divided up by “roles” in the ecosystem.

An integral part of the Silicon Realization stage is the  acceptance that all SOCs are now mixed signal devices.  With high speed I/Os, display controls, memory interfaces,  PLLs, Power State Control and RF being part of most new systems, there is a requirement to have these parametrically defined  device level “analog” blocks  have to be verified in their “digital” context.  This now bring AMS and AMS modeling technologies to the forefront of SOC design.  Cadence has improved and enhanced their custom design tools and incorporated in-situ device and component awareness into their  ”digital” workflow tools.  This heavily leverages their deep market penetration in custom design and analog into the SOC marketplace.  The evidence of this success was shown with historic custom design customer Texas Instruments, presenting a advanced node ARM core implementation for the mobile compute space.

The EDA360 model is based on the Android OS deployment and “app” ecosystem model.  It is supposed to be an open collaborative environment dominated by partner relationships rather than customer/vendor relationships.  This is new for the EDA industry which traditionally followed a predatory and somewhat adversarial vendor / client relationship model.   To help promote this ecosystem, John B indicated that Cadence would be launching a new version of a program that features open solutions integration and third party tool integration as a replacement for the Connections Program that was terminated a few years back.  A launch date, structure and name for the new program have not been announced as yet, but the plans for the program are in progress.

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Oct 01 2010

ISQED 2011 Extends Submission Deadline

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The ISQED Organizing committee has received multiple requests to extend the amount of time for papers and panel idea submissions for the upcoming event in March 2011.  In order to accommodate the majority of these requests, the committee has extended the submission deadline until Oct 14th.

The conference, in its 12th year,  is focusing on Systems, SOCs and System manfacturability and reliability as the theme for the event.

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Oct 01 2010

Maxim Editors Day Overview

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Maxim Integrated Products, one of the largest players in the mixed signal, power and telcom markets, had their one of their first big formal editors & analyst day event since the got started as a company back in 1983.  The event was organized around the three major product lines at Maxim – Smart Grid and Energy Efficiency; Consumer and Entertainment; and Enterprise, Medical and Industrial Markets.
To give the group an overview, the staff at Maxim covered 25 product segments in 10 minute increments.  A large part of the presentations set was showing the results of the integration of the numerous acquisitons into the Maxim fabs and product lines.  The net result is that Maxim, in addition to their small device count, high accuracy and operating voltage analog parts, has million plus device designs in the mixed signal and telcom arena.
A large number of the applications were based on their expertise in high precision data converters.  A number of the commercial, consumer and industrial/medical applciations now routinely require 12-16 bit converters or 20+ bit converters.  They reviews a large number of architectures, including multi-channel simultaneous sampling designs, that are in production in these data sizes.
One of the big areas of innovation that was disclosed was their new MEMS oscillator.  This device is built on a standard CMOS process and operates over the full industrial temperature range of -40C to +85C.  As the device is based on silicon processing, it is highly repeatable, and very linear.  These characteristics allow Maxim to create a stacked die in a single package product, that has a very high level of stability and accuracy.  This MEMS oscillator is the basis for their real time clock (RTC) products.  These RTCs are integrated into a large number of their system products, telcom products, data converters and most of their timing interface chips.  At this time, the product is being released as a standard part, and over the next few years, will migrate into the rest of the product line as their preferred RTC technology.
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Maxim Integrated Products, one of the largest players in the mixed signal, power and telcom markets, had their one of their first big formal editors & analyst day event since the got started as a company back in 1983.  The event was organized around the three major product lines at Maxim – Smart Grid and Energy Efficiency; Consumer and Entertainment; and Enterprise, Medical and Industrial Markets.

To give the group an overview, the staff at Maxim covered 25 product segments in 10 minute increments.  A large part of the presentations set was showing the results of the integration of the numerous acquisitons into the Maxim fabs and product lines.  The net result is that Maxim, in addition to their small device count, high accuracy and operating voltage analog parts, has million plus device designs in the mixed signal and telcom arena.

A large number of the applications were based on their expertise in high precision data converters.  A number of the commercial, consumer and industrial/medical applciations now routinely require 12-16 bit converters or 20+ bit converters.  They reviews a large number of architectures, including multi-channel simultaneous sampling designs, that are in production in these data sizes.

One of the big areas of innovation that was disclosed was their new MEMS oscillator.  This device is built on a standard CMOS process and operates over the full industrial temperature range of -40C to +85C.  As the device is based on silicon processing, it is highly repeatable, and very linear.  These characteristics allow Maxim to create a stacked die in a single package product, that has a very high level of stability and accuracy.  This MEMS oscillator is the basis for their real time clock (RTC) products.  These RTCs are integrated into a large number of their system products, telcom products, data converters and most of their timing interface chips.  At this time, the product is being released as a standard part, and over the next few years, will migrate into the rest of the product line as their preferred RTC technology.

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