This is a roundup of news or activities in the past few days that may be of interest to people.
Forte Design Systems capped 2012 with 22% growth and was named the #1 provider of electronic system-level (ESL) synthesis software by Gary Smith EDA, the leading provider of market intelligence and advisory services for the global Electronic Design Automation (EDA) market. 2012 was the seventh consecutive year of revenue growth. Cynthesizer was also deployed more widely in several large semiconductor companies throughout the US, Korea, and Japan. Its CynWare™ and CellMath™ intellectual property (IP) businesses expanded in 2012 as design teams implemented the IP into GPUs and custom processors.
OneSpin Solutions closed 2012 with double-digit growth as adoption of its formal ABV solutions continued for both application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) and field programmable gate array (FPGA) designs. In addition, co-founders Dr. Raik Brinkmann and Dominik Strasser assumed the roles of president and chief executive officer and vice president of engineering, respectively.
Global Unichip has announced a Silicon Integrated Passive Device (IPD) service. The new service encompasses all design chain aspects from design to turnkey product delivery and uses TSMC’s IPD process technology as its manufacturing component. Silicon IPD integrates a number of passive components on a single device to create a smaller, thinner foot print that also provides improved performance, less capacitance variation, high stability and improved reliability. It is one on a number of multi-chip integration services that includes System-in-Package (SiP), 2.5D ICs and 3D-IC.
Hemlock Semiconductor Group has announced it will lay off approximately 400 employees in Michigan and Tennessee in the coming weeks in response to significant oversupply in the polysilicon industry and the threat of potential tariffs on its products sold into China. These actions will affect approximately 300 employees at Hemlock Semiconductor’s Tennessee site and 100 at its Michigan site, as the company evaluates the longer-term impact of these conditions on its business. Should market conditions persist, these layoffs could become permanent.
IC Manage has announced that its IP Central platform for IP reuse was selected as a top 2 pick by conference attendees in a Design Automation Conference (DAC) report, where each year, hundreds of users review the products exhibited at the EDA industry's premier conference.
Arctic Sand Technologies has announced that it closed $9.6 million in Series A financing at year-end 2012. A syndicate of financial investors awarded the funding to the MIT spin-off, which is commercializing energy-efficient power-conversion chips for multiple markets. Arctic Sand’s technology platform targets DC-to-DC power-conversion chips, used to convert power inside the devices for telecom, datacom, industrial and mobility markets.
IC Insights’ 2013 McClean Report analyzes the top 12 IC foundries. TSMC remained the leader; in fact, TSMC’s 2012 sales were almost 4x that of second-ranked GlobalFoundries and more than 10x the sales of the fifth-ranked foundry SMIC. There were only three IDM foundries in the ranking—Samsung, IBM, and MagnaChip. Samsung was by far the largest IDM foundry in 2012 with almost 10x the sales of IBM, the second largest IDM foundry.
United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) has introduced a Thick Plated Copper (TPC) process for power management IC (PMIC) applications. The TPC solution, developed with Taiwan-based packaging house Chipbond Technology, provides thick plated copper layers to achieve higher current flow and better thermal dissipation, reducing chip resistance by 20% or more compared with conventional Aluminum top metal, thus increasing power conversion efficiency and extending battery life.
Although overall semiconductor industry growth was nearly flat in 2012, sales of mobile semiconductors reached $31 billion in 2012 according to The Linley Group, an increase of 18 percent over the previous year. Though the application processor market has typically been dominated by smartphone vendors Samsung and Apple that design their own chips, Qualcomm edged out Apple for the first time, shipping 249 million units and holding more than a 25 percent share of the market. Qualcomm is benefiting from explosive growth in lower-cost smartphones, particularly in China and other emerging economies.
Real Intent has signed TBS Technologies as a distribution partner. The move brings local sales and support expertise to design teams in Israel to address the growing need for Real Intent’s advanced verification solutions. TBS Technologies was formed in 2003 to answer the growing need for professional IP, design services and embedded products in Israel. The company is well recognized for its in-depth knowledge of embedded system and VLSI design houses in Israel.
Altium will evolve its DXP Development Platform into an open platform that accepts applications and content from third parties. Altium plans to introduce a SDK for the platform sometime in the first half of this year. The DXP Development Platform supports native 3D and provides a consistent user interface and enhanced tool interoperability with a unified data model. About 80,000 designers are currently using it. The move is part of Altium's new strategy to open its platform, tools and content and create strategic industry partnerships that complement its System on Board design capabilities. Altium underwent a leadership change late last year and appointed Kayvan Oboudiyat as the new CEO, Aram Mirkazemi as the new CTO and Frank Hoschar as the new CMO. Oasys Design Systems
says that orders more than doubled in 2012 by the addition of several of the top semiconductor and IP vendors to its previous list of customers. Oasys orders increased throughout 2012 as companies designing SoCs and ASICs continued to transition to advanced process nodes and novel device structures such as FinFETs, further stressing the capacity of their existing, traditional block-level synthesis tools. Oasys ended 2012 with a cash flow positive fourth quarter that sets the stage for continued growth in momentum in 2013Brian Bailey
– keeping you covered
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