Archive for April, 2007

ESL tool targets algorithm for FPGA, ASIC devices

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

Synplicity rolled out its Synplify DSP ASIC Edition software at the Design Automation and Test Europe conference in France. Their earlier ESL synthesis tool was aimed at FPGA designs. With this new offering, they are targeting customers who use FPGA prototyping for their DSP based ASICs.

Another recent news has been that TSMC is broadening its IP portfolio giving worries to IP providers and speculation in the industry whether TSMC is moving towards ASIC like biz model.

Gives a new meaning to the phrase “ASIC demise”………

TSMC’s IP moves stir up concern among providers

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

TSMC is broadening it’s portfolio of internally developed IPs and 3rd party IPs. It had started a program called IP-9000, later renamed to Active Accuracy Assurance Program, to qualify various IPs in its foundries. The objective was to expedite the design time with silicon proven 3rd party IPs.

With shorter design cycle time and with IPs becoming mandatory blocks in a design, the need for silicon proven IPs is not just desirable but also essential. Having a broad and quality IP portfolio is a big asset. If TSMC is getting into the ASIC like biz model, then indeed it is worrisome for the 3rd party IP vendors; especially the smaller ones who aspire to gain market share on the basis of their expertise in niche areas. The field gets all the more “unlevel”. But then it is a competitive world and TSMC would be leveraging on its resources and market reach.

A point to be noted is that, does this mean the resurrection of ASICs - often ranted about as dead ??

UMC joins CPF standard alliance

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

UMC is the latest one to join the Cadence camp. Earlier this month, Cadence and TSMC had announced the availability of 65nm libraries from TSMC supporting CPF (Common Power Format).

The market forces will decide who the winner is; but the poor user has to cope with this standards battle in the interim.

Medical field may push India’s IC industry

Monday, April 9th, 2007

TI’s CEO & President, Rich Templeton, mentioned the importance of medical equipment biz for India’s semiconductor industry during his visit to India.

Applications in the medical area, along with automotive applications hold prominence in the near future for the semiconductor industry in general, albeit a lot more in emerging markets like India and China. While consumer and telecom applications still remain strong contenders and are mainstream applications, the potential for these emerging segments is huge.

The shortened market window & pricing pressures for applications like entertainment/computing etc. falling under the generic consumer umbrella doesn’t give a leveling field to the smaller or niche players. This is where these yet to be fully tapped markets like medical and automotive hold the lure. Emerging market with strong potential which does not necessarily require the leading edge process ….. these can very well also pave the way for process choice in the soon to be set up foundries in India.