SemIsrael Blogs
Jack Browne

Jack Browne

What do Design & Reuses’ IP-SoC conferences have in common with an Icelandic volcano?  While several analogies come to mind, suffice it to say the folks at D&R are like evangelists spreading the IP message, much like molten lava, over the widest terrain possible.  I participated in the latest in a series of conferences by Design & Reuse – IP SoC Days hosted by SemIsrael in Tel Aviv, April 15th, during the eruption of Iceland’s now infamous volcano.

With the growing need for SoC developers to license IP, the goal of Design & Reuse is to expand the worldwide footprint of conferences and market the clear advantages of IP around the globe, despite unforeseen acts of nature.

There are now more than 450 IP companies and these seminars are helping to match buyer and seller by making information available and to demonstrate the needs of the industry from both the consumer and supplier perspective.

I was busy with the seminar and not paying attention to world news.  If I had, I would have taken more notice of all the emerging travel challenges the volcano eruption was causing. Friday morning I entered Tel Aviv airport at 2:30 a.m. for my 5 a.m. flight to SFO via Frankfurt, planning to see my wife and family by noon the same day (CA time).  Despite all the travel difficulties (and with the help of a great travel agent), I turned out to be one of the lucky ones, being stranded for only one day compared to several days for many of the other show attendees.  I got on a direct flight from Tel Aviv to Newark and spent the night in Newark (home in the USA at least).  The best part of the trip was that I had an opportunity to play with the new iPad courtesy of one of the flight attendants.

It turns out, Israel was an excellent location for this event, given all the SoC design activity in the region.  The design community in Israel is a small but loyal and tightly linked group that supports the progression of SoC design.  The seminar had a solid turn out, more than 70 attendees.  Shuka Zernovizky and Tal Oren the creators of the SemIsrael portal were gracious hosts, so check-out their website when you have a moment: (http://www.semisrael.com).

Conference highlights – information for IP Seekers
Cadence, one of Sonics’ key partners, presented an overview of the ChipEstimate tool that helps guide users navigate through the plethora of IP choices.  The company also shared its verification IP solutions that are critical for customers to meet their time-to-market needs.

My presentation focused on the direction of the IP industry, including the necessity for more abstraction.  In the face of growing SoC complexity, more abstraction is necessary to counter increasing design costs along with design strategies that dramatically increase design reuse.  As software costs continue to rise, now estimated to be greater than 50 percent of the SoC design cost, this has accelerated subsystems that reuse both hardware and software from prior designs.

We’re seeing SoC designs bifurcate into either value designs or high-performance designs. Value designs focus on leveraging mature process nodes and pushing to meet design cycle times. High-performance designs are leaning into the advanced process nodes working to reach the right level of platform functionality to meet some of the most demanding design opportunities faced by semiconductor companies and OEMs.  Sonics’ broad portfolio offers a wide array of solutions to meet the needs for the on-chip network that connects the on-chip IP, while providing the desired level of data- flow services (e.g. QoS, power management, security, firewalls). 

Joao Vital, of Synopsys, another key Sonics partner, was up next and discussed the challenges of analog IP along with the range of solutions that Synopsys offers for analog design.  He also gave a nice overview showing the top line advantages in basic analog functions and the ways Synopsys builds a large library of sophisticated analog subsystems.

We’re Back….Sonics is back in Israel again this week, as Grant Pierce, our CEO and co-founder, participates in Sol Goodman’s second annual ChipEx conference and exhibition, and attends the GSA Israel Executive forum Tuesday, May 4.   Best wishes and shalom!

Jack Browne, Sr. VP of Sales and Marketing
Sonics, Inc.

The worldwide semiconductor market is finishing a tough year with IHS iSuppli forecasting 2012 at $303B down 2.3% from 2011.  At first blush this is not very exciting, but just take a moment and think about the increasing capabilities of the chips shipping in 2012 due to Moore’s law advancing capabilities across all semiconductors. Mobile devices like smart phones, media tablets and mobile PCs are driving semiconductor innovation and revenues.  But these devices are the most visible part of the iceberg.