Category Archives: General

General post about EDA

Giving Away a HP TouchSmart 600 PC

On my dad blog, I’m giving away a HP TouchSmart 600 computer. The HP TouchSmart 600 PC is a multi-touch computer that features full HD display, integrated webcam, wireless LAN, and Bluetooth. Currently, there are two series in the TouchSmart 600 family: 600t and 600xt (same as 600t, but with a faster processor, bigger hard drive, discrete graphics, HDMI and game console connectivity). The deadline to enter the giveaway is Wednesday (December 23, 2009 Pacific time).

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Enter to Win a $100 VISA Gift Card on EDA Blog

IDG TechNetwork Visitor SurveyOne of our ad partners is conducting a visitor survey. The survey should take less than five minutes. As a thank you for participating in the survey, you will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win a $100 VISA Gift Card. Your participation in this survey is important to our ad partner. Thank you in advance for your participation.

More info: Visitor Survey

OSGi Alliance Supporter Class

The OSGi(TM) Alliance recently announced a new, free participation level. The new supporter level is the alliance’s third membership class. Each level offers a different set of benefits and value to members with different needs. OSGi Alliance members develop and facilitate the deployment of OSGi specifications, which serve as the platform for universal middleware in server and embedded environments. Deployment of the open standard greatly increases the value of a wide range of computers and devices that use the Java(TM) platform.

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Design For Manufacturability Coalition

The Design For Manufacturability Coalition (DFMC) was recently formed to build on previous efforts to ensure that ICs can be manufactured in accordance with the original design. Founding members include Cadence, Freescale Semiconductor, IBM, Ponte Solutions, Samsung, Sagantec, ST Microelectronics, and Texas Instruments.

As semiconductor features shrink in size and pitch, the challenge of manufacturing them at acceptable yields increases dramatically. New materials, new processes, new equipment are being employed to challenge the laws of physics and are pushing the limits of known manufacturing science. More and more, manufacturing cycles and yield must be considered as an integral part of design of the library elements and the IC as a whole. IC production must become a collaborative effort across the disaggregated supply chain where business partners can share knowledge in a trusted environment – an integrated enterprise. The DFMC was formed to address these issues.

More info:
Si2 Forms Design-For-Manufacturability Coalition
Silicon Integration Initiative (Si2)

IBM Acquires MRO Software

IBM will acquire MRO Software in an all-cash transaction at a price of approximately $740 million, or $25.80 per share. The acquisition is subject to MRO Software shareholder and regulatory reviews and other customary closing conditions. It is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2006.

MRO is the leading provider of asset and service management software and consulting, used by many of the world’s top companies to efficiently manage how they buy, maintain and retire assets — such as production equipment, facilities, transportation and information technology (IT) hardware and software — in a wide variety of industries including utilities, manufacturing, energy, pharmaceutical, and telecommunications. This acquisition builds upon IBM’s strategy to leverage business consulting, IT services and software to develop repeatable tools that help clients optimize and transform their businesses.

As more types of corporate assets are touched by technology, companies are looking for ways to consolidate how they manage these assets — both operational and IT-related. IBM’s acquisition of MRO addresses this need by providing customers with a consistent, comprehensive set of asset management solutions and services. MRO asset management technology and consulting services will be integrated into IBM Software and IBM Global Services offerings. As a result of the acquisition of MRO, IBM will be the only company to provide the solution to this convergence of IT and industrial assets.

Source: IBM

Outsourced Fabs and Process Technology

There was an interesting statement in the TI blog yesterday. It appears TI doesn’t think too highly of outsourced fabs, especially the fabs in Taiwan and China. Here’s a blurb from the post:

“The bottom line is that we (TI) are putting millions of transistors on the silicon, which would be worthless if we couldn’t be sure that all the components work together optimally. An outsourced fab cannot possibly have the same level of knowledge as a company that has invested heavily in understanding the physics I (Gene Frantz, TI Principal Fellow and Business Development Manager, DSP) have outlined previously. Furthermore, there has to be a tie between IC design and process design. You really can’t have one without the other: love and marriage, horse and carriage and all that…”

Week in Review – 2006.06.30

Here are some of the interesting articles I found this week:

Intel Ranks First in Latest Supercomputer Rankings
According to the supercomputer rankings released at the International Supercomputer Conference, a total of 301 systems on the latest list use Intel processors, down from 333 systems just six months ago. Intel’s 64-bit x86 processors are being rapidly adopted in popular cluster configurations rising from 81 to 118 systems. However, the Itanium chip dropped from 46 to 36 supercomputers.

IBM’s Power processor was ranked second, with 84 systems on the list. The custom PowerPC 440 used in the high-end BlueGene system is now installed on 26 systems on the list. AMD was third with 81 Opteron systems in the Top 500. That’s up from 55 systems six months ago and just 25 in the list a year ago. Twenty-six of the Opteron systems are based on dual-core processors.

Where’s the Semiconductor Market Headed?
Handelsbanken Capital Markets projects that the semiconductor market will now grow 5% in 2006 over 2005, down from 6% in its previous forecast. The lowered forecast is a result of the worldwide PC slowdown. On the other hand, iSuppli has slightly upgraded its semiconductor forecast for 2006. iSuppli expects the semiconductor industry to grow by 7.9%, up from 7.4% forecasted previously.

Xilinx Recalls Spartan-3 FPGAs (pdf)
Xilinx issued a quality alert and recalled the Spartan-3, Spartan-3E, and Spartan-3L FPGA families. According to their alert, specific lots of wirebonded PBGA packages were found to exhibit bond lift failures through a single customer experience as of this date. An ongoing investigation of this issue points to specific lots of industry-standard mold compound in combination with industry-standard wirebond and molding process as main contributors to this issue. This Quality Alert is an effort to proactively communicate potential impact.

Interconnect Models Curb Chip Power
Semiconductor researchers are constantly seeking power-saving techniques as they scale chips to ever-smaller sizes. At 45 nanometers and below, interconnects, rather than the transistors themselves, become the bottleneck to maintaining low power. At the recent International Interconnect Technology Conference, two technical papers showed the direction in which interconnects-on-chip are heading.

Week in Review – 2006.06.23

Here are a bunch of interesting articles I found this week, but didn’t have time to post until now. Sorry, I’ll do better next week.

A Data-Centric OS for MCUs Using a Real-Time Publisher-Subscriber-Mechanism: Part1
Dirk Braun of BST International outlines a data-centric method for simplifying the synchronization problems in multithreaded systems. He believes it is superior to real-time operating systems. Throughout the article Braun discusses the proposed system and its features theoretically, provides example code and links it to the effect it has on overall software design, the software development process, reusability and code-maintenance.

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