In 2012 Lip-Bu Tan, CEO of EDA software vendor Cadence Design Systems Inc., speaking at the Cadence Live Europe user conference held on the outskirts of Munich, Germany, said that his company, a relative latecomer to large-scale IP provision, would expand its IP cores offering but be selective in terms of the cores it provides.
This week, at the same annual event a year later, Tan was able to say that he had delivered on that promise. But he also hinted that as well supplying tools, hardware blocks, the company is also going to be addressing software issues. After all that is where the engineers are. There are far more software engineers than there are hardware engineers.
The company started its voyage into IP with the acquisition of Denali for memory compilation back in 2010. But since the arrival at Cadence of Martin Lund as senior vice president of R&D in the SoC realization group from Broadcom in March 2012, the pace has picked up. Cadence has initiated a series of acquisitions including data-plane processor provider Tensilica for about $350 million and to acquire analog IP provider Cosmic Circuits. Cadence also acquired a SERDES development team from PMC-Sierra Inc. At this year's event Tan announced the intention to acquire Evatronix
And with the Tensilica acquisition comes the first steps into providing software. Tensilica includes application-specific software to implement certain functions in imaging, audio, cellular communications and so on. "Tensilica has a software-driven approach and in vertical applications they effectively pre-integrate the software in the core," said Tan. He added: "We have a system realization group. A year ago we recruited Jim Ready, former chief technology officer of MontaVista Software." Ready now serves as chief technology advisor to Cadence on software and embedded systems. "He is helping us work out what we can put on top of Tensilica cores," said Tan.
Tan makes the point that the EDA business must rest on sales of EDA tools, IP cores and design services to help customers get the job done, first-time right and on time. And the job is not just a chip. It is often a platform with many cores and much software programmability.
Lip-Bu Tan, CEO of Cadence, speaking at the Cadence Live Europe user conference in 2013.
I believe so. We cannot stop civilization process and transition to 32 bit MCUs is unstoppable, but still there's a place for other, innovative solutions - no matter if they are 8051 or 68k. Mentioned earlier DQ80251 can compete with eg M0...
There's also something more: http://www.soccentral.com/results.asp?EntryID=40462
It shows clearly, that there's a lot of place both for 8/16/32 and 32-bit MCUs - as long as they're innovative.
Thanks Peter for taking my point. As I mentioned, I don't say that being bigger is something wrong, but in many cases "big structure" can kill or at least weaken the spirit of innovations.
And re 8051, you're right, there's another Polish IP provider, who introduced the DQ80251 IP Core. Quality confirmation for this solution came not only from customers but you'd probably heard about EDN's Hot 100 products of 2012. Of the many thousands of products announced during the past year, EDN has chosen 100 that especially caught the attention of editors and readers. They range from ICs and components, to software, test instruments, development tools and sensors, and more. http://www.edn.com/electronics-products/other/4401454/EDN-Hot-100-products-of-2012--Microcontrollers--processors-and-programmable-logic . So would "a bit old-fashioned core" awarded by editors and readers of EDN?
I take your point.
Most of the innovation in IP has been done at small, privately-held companies. After they get bought by Synopsys or Cadence does the innovation continue?
But Lip-Bu Tan's point is also valid and has been true for EDA tools vendors for a long time as well as IP cores.
Larger companies do not like to depend on small privately-held companies in case they go bust or get bought by the competition.
By the way who do you think produced the most advanced 8051 cores? Another Polish IP provider perhaps?
Is 8051 core a bit old-fashioned?
Let me just comment from other perspective, cause "the bigger, the better" is not always true in IP market. Many times stuff from the 800-pound Gorilla IP vendors is not as much innovative and reliable as from smaller, but highly specialized IP providers. Just let's take as an example, which company has the most advanced IP solutions eg in 8051? And what about other IPs?
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.