Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Industry should enable key capabilities of EDA360: John Bruggeman

Delivering his keynote at the ongoing CDNLive India 2010, John Bruggeman, CMO, Cadence Design Systems, said: “Everything is changing very rapidly in the way you never expected. That was Lip-Bu’s comment. Cadence’s EDA360 is a vision for the industry. EDA360 is a vision — a transformation is underway. This isn’t a vision for Cadence or marketing, but for the entire industry.”According to him, the semiconductor and EDA industries have new and complex problems, and there is a growing need to come together to solve those problems.

Application driven model rules
Touching on application driven models, Bruggeman gave an example of his new TV, which came preloaded with eight applications, such as YouTube, Pandora, NetFlix, etc.

Interestingly, there was also a link within the TV on to the application store where one could buy up to 200 additional applications.

“This is very important – it is at the heart of the fundamental sea change that is happeing in the industry,” he said. “Users want apps. They want to take their devices and want to be able to cusomize those into doing things they are most interested in. Users want their devices to have apps and content that they can customize.”

The fact that one can link to an app store – from either a washing machine or a toaster — that’s the seminal shift!

He added: “The life expantancy of a TV set in North America is 15.1 years. Wouldn’t it be better if I got revenue once every month, or week or day? An application driven model means a continuous revenue model!”

He said that had Nokia started off with such a revenue model, perhaps, it would not be losing market share. Nor would BlackBerry. “That’s why the Apple iPhone and Google Android are gaining. They offer new revenue streams. This is not an anecdote, It is about the industry.”

Android’s growing influence
Bruggeman shared some figures of some leading mobile OS, from last July to this year.

Last July, Symbian had 51 percent share, which has since dropped to 41.2 percent. RIM had 20 percent share in July 2009, which dropped to 18.2 percent in July 2010. The Apple iOS moved up from 13 percent to 14.2 percent.

However, MS Windows Mobile dropped from 9.3 percent in July 2009 to 5 percent in July 2010. Similarly, Linux had dropped from 4.6 percent to 2.4 percent during the same period.

Nevertheless, the same period has witnessed phenomenal growth for the Google Android — from around 1.8 percent share in July 2009 to a significantly higher 17.2 percent share in July 2010. Now, that’s some influence!

Bruggeman added: There are challenges at each layer of design.You will have to deal with new challenges you never faced in the past. We also continue to march on to the next node, as well as to even more lower power.” Consequently, the traditional problems continue to remain and become more challenging, besides the new emergence of new challenges.

The time has now come for the global industry to enable the key capabilities of EDA360!

EDA360 capabilities
It is well known that the EDA360 comprises of system realization, SoC realization and silicon realization. On system realization, the goal is to enable device companies to develop the complete system before the hardware is available.

In this regard, where do the models come from? Cadence has made two investments around models — partnerships. Bruggeman said: “We annouced a significant partnership with ARM in June. We are working with other companies as well. Wind River is a good example. The second investment we are making is in the tools to enable you to create and modify models.”

Further on system realization, he added that Cadence is trying to make sure that models are available. “We are also making sure that a virtualization prlatform is available to make those models run. Therr are three fundamental capabilities in our platform — virtual prototyping,physical/rapid prototyping and emulation and acceleration,” he said.

All of these have to be provided on a single platform. Cadence is also delivering a powerful set of tools to deal with the models running on the virtualization platform.

On SoC realization, Bruggeman said that it all starts with the IP. There are three critical IP components — PHYs, controllers and drivers. Cadence will deliver soft IPs for most advanced protocols. It will also deliver drivers that complete the entire solution. In stage 2, all of thse get integrated.

He said: “Once you have the IP stacks, we, as a tool vendor, can help you verify them more effectively. You can plan your SoC. We plug the SoC realiztion into the next layer — silicon realization.”

On the subject of silicon realization, in the old days, designs were manageable. In the new environment, with the requirement of complex applications, the status quo will not work. How does one optimize the entire chip? Or how does one deliver an advanced node chip? “We believe that people say end-to-end and holistic. We want to give them meaning,” he added.

Bruggeman took this opportunity to touch upon a project Cadence has done with Open-Silicon. “At Open-Silicon, we worked together to deliver a 2.4GHz solution, the fastest chip in the world. It was a tremendously complex problem.”

Cadence has built up a number of EDA360 alliances — in Star IP, IP and design services, foundries and hardware dependent software areas. “We have made great progress since the announcement of EDA360,” he noted.

Bruggeman concluded that today, it is an application driven environment. It will take an ecosystem to achieve superior products and values.

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