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garydpdx
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CEO
re: Innovation gap calls for new processes, survey shows
garydpdx   5/31/2013 6:12:16 PM
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I believe that it was Henry Ford who once said that were he to ask his customer what they wanted, they would answer: a faster horse. Electronics firms need to more widely embrace system-level design (at the upcoming 50th DAC in Austin, Texas there is still a very strong emphasis on RTL and device level design) and to bridge the divide between hardware and software - not only in the adoption of (e.g.) new hardware/software co-design technologies and methodologies (disclaimer: I am with Space Codesign) but also in the structure of their teams, reflecting the way that their companies are organized. And as long as companies are organized in hardware and software silos, companies will sell their engineering tools (faster horses) to them accordingly. Well, can you blame them?

garydpdx
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CEO
re: Innovation gap calls for new processes, survey shows
garydpdx   5/31/2013 6:12:16 PM
NO RATINGS
I believe that it was Henry Ford who once said that were he to ask his customer what they wanted, they would answer: a faster horse. Electronics firms need to more widely embrace system-level design (at the upcoming 50th DAC in Austin, Texas there is still a very strong emphasis on RTL and device level design) and to bridge the divide between hardware and software - not only in the adoption of (e.g.) new hardware/software co-design technologies and methodologies (disclaimer: I am with Space Codesign) but also in the structure of their teams, reflecting the way that their companies are organized. And as long as companies are organized in hardware and software silos, companies will sell their engineering tools (faster horses) to them accordingly. Well, can you blame them?

dick_freebird
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re: Innovation gap calls for new processes, survey shows
dick_freebird   5/31/2013 6:34:40 PM
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This has been a constant refrain in the semiconductor industry, particularly, since I can remember. Companies are judged on R&D outlay as a percent of sales, and on new products as percent of sales. Companies that invest a large percentage in R&D are held up as models. But if you take the contrary view, it may mean instead that they are bad at capitalizing on innovation. Or innovating in markets that do not quickly adopt technology. In either of these cases, more invention helps nothing in the near term. Formalizing innovation will tend to drive out the freer thinkers and load up your R&D groups with middle manager metric munchers. Good luck getting anything mold-breaking out of that. More useful would be to make sure the creative pool is engaged with the applications and the sales guys who are exposed to what's needed, so they can be thinking about useful (key word) invention.

dick_freebird
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re: Innovation gap calls for new processes, survey shows
dick_freebird   5/31/2013 6:34:40 PM
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This has been a constant refrain in the semiconductor industry, particularly, since I can remember. Companies are judged on R&D outlay as a percent of sales, and on new products as percent of sales. Companies that invest a large percentage in R&D are held up as models. But if you take the contrary view, it may mean instead that they are bad at capitalizing on innovation. Or innovating in markets that do not quickly adopt technology. In either of these cases, more invention helps nothing in the near term. Formalizing innovation will tend to drive out the freer thinkers and load up your R&D groups with middle manager metric munchers. Good luck getting anything mold-breaking out of that. More useful would be to make sure the creative pool is engaged with the applications and the sales guys who are exposed to what's needed, so they can be thinking about useful (key word) invention.

garydpdx
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CEO
re: Innovation gap calls for new processes, survey shows
garydpdx   6/2/2013 4:16:38 AM
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Formalizing innovation need not be introducing committees to manage the process. Google is famous for allowing one day per week (on average) for its team to experiment with new ideas ... and most of its innovation (e.g., the driverless car) has come out of that. In electronics and EDA, the struggle seems to be finding the strength to break out of the same old, same old.

garydpdx
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CEO
re: Innovation gap calls for new processes, survey shows
garydpdx   6/2/2013 4:16:38 AM
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Formalizing innovation need not be introducing committees to manage the process. Google is famous for allowing one day per week (on average) for its team to experiment with new ideas ... and most of its innovation (e.g., the driverless car) has come out of that. In electronics and EDA, the struggle seems to be finding the strength to break out of the same old, same old.

garydpdx
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CEO
re: Innovation gap calls for new processes, survey shows
garydpdx   5/31/2013 6:35:40 PM
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P.S.: the above opinion is my own ...

garydpdx
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CEO
re: Innovation gap calls for new processes, survey shows
garydpdx   5/31/2013 6:35:40 PM
NO RATINGS
P.S.: the above opinion is my own ...

old account Frank Eory
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re: Innovation gap calls for new processes, survey shows
old account Frank Eory   5/31/2013 8:34:41 PM
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"Electronics firms need to more widely embrace system-level design." Absolutely. The ironic thing is people have been saying that for about 20 years now, but for various reasons it is easier said than done. And thanks also for reminding me to mention the disclaimer, which applies to all my comments on eetimes.com -- the opinions expressed in my comments are my own and are not intended to represent the views of my employer.

old account Frank Eory
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re: Innovation gap calls for new processes, survey shows
old account Frank Eory   5/31/2013 8:34:41 PM
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"Electronics firms need to more widely embrace system-level design." Absolutely. The ironic thing is people have been saying that for about 20 years now, but for various reasons it is easier said than done. And thanks also for reminding me to mention the disclaimer, which applies to all my comments on eetimes.com -- the opinions expressed in my comments are my own and are not intended to represent the views of my employer.

garydpdx
User Rank
CEO
re: Innovation gap calls for new processes, survey shows
garydpdx   6/1/2013 1:55:24 AM
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Yes, Frank, the whole ESL thing did languish for many years since its start 20 years ago (platforms like CoWare and Vista are about 15 years old, aren't they?) but from Gary Smith info, it has started to take off, relatively speaking. IMHO, the 2000 tech bust and the recent Great Recession probably contributed to the delay in take-up, as the uptake coincided with the start of the official recovery (a la NBER) in mid-2009. So that's my hypothesis, would you like to share yours? There was a strong inflection point to HDL design (Verilog, VHDL) in the early 90's from schematic capture, etc. The system level inflection is there but it's not as huge (so far). As a result, we stick to RTL for larger and more complex designs, looking for faster horses. TI told the Synopsys monthly newsletter a couple of years ago that every OMAP first silicon that comes back DOA costs them $2 Million. Electronic company execs are pulling out wallets and writing checks to save projects at the back end, with deadlines looming. Shouldn't they be taking a closer look at the earlier stages of design, to try and prevent that?

garydpdx
User Rank
CEO
re: Innovation gap calls for new processes, survey shows
garydpdx   6/1/2013 1:55:24 AM
NO RATINGS
Yes, Frank, the whole ESL thing did languish for many years since its start 20 years ago (platforms like CoWare and Vista are about 15 years old, aren't they?) but from Gary Smith info, it has started to take off, relatively speaking. IMHO, the 2000 tech bust and the recent Great Recession probably contributed to the delay in take-up, as the uptake coincided with the start of the official recovery (a la NBER) in mid-2009. So that's my hypothesis, would you like to share yours? There was a strong inflection point to HDL design (Verilog, VHDL) in the early 90's from schematic capture, etc. The system level inflection is there but it's not as huge (so far). As a result, we stick to RTL for larger and more complex designs, looking for faster horses. TI told the Synopsys monthly newsletter a couple of years ago that every OMAP first silicon that comes back DOA costs them $2 Million. Electronic company execs are pulling out wallets and writing checks to save projects at the back end, with deadlines looming. Shouldn't they be taking a closer look at the earlier stages of design, to try and prevent that?

tmccorm
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Rookie
re: Innovation gap calls for new processes, survey shows
tmccorm   6/1/2013 7:20:48 PM
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The term "innovation" has (unfortunately) become a bit of a marketing buzzword. It commonly appears in public facing literature, but seems to be rare otherwise in more recent days. As innovation is, by definition, doing something new, does a company that aspires to be innovative look for new ways to do things or does it encourage (or even enforce) the status quo? Creativity is the root of innovation and it is all too fragile. A formal system of innovation encouragement is a significant step, but I would think that a company that aspires to be innovative should be taking a long look at its corporate culture in general and the fate of anyone that utters, "hey, I have an idea" in particular.

tmccorm
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Rookie
re: Innovation gap calls for new processes, survey shows
tmccorm   6/1/2013 7:20:48 PM
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The term "innovation" has (unfortunately) become a bit of a marketing buzzword. It commonly appears in public facing literature, but seems to be rare otherwise in more recent days. As innovation is, by definition, doing something new, does a company that aspires to be innovative look for new ways to do things or does it encourage (or even enforce) the status quo? Creativity is the root of innovation and it is all too fragile. A formal system of innovation encouragement is a significant step, but I would think that a company that aspires to be innovative should be taking a long look at its corporate culture in general and the fate of anyone that utters, "hey, I have an idea" in particular.

garydpdx
User Rank
CEO
re: Innovation gap calls for new processes, survey shows
garydpdx   6/2/2013 4:05:52 AM
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Innovation is often confused with invention, but it does go beyond that. Southwest Airlines is often cited as an example of a company that innovates, taking ideas from line workers (and, interestingly, it is the most unionized of all major US airlines; the secret sauce is the flexibility that both sides negotiated into their contracts, which is ... an innovation!). Bringing this back to electronics design, the major innovation of the 90's was the move to RTL design with HDL's like VHDL and Verilog. Along with synthesis technology, which has helped to boost Synopsys to #1 in the EDA industry. How much resistance was there to moving to RTL from schematic capture, back then? And how does it compare to the struggle to move to ESL from RTL? One definition of insanity is repeating the same action, hoping to get a different result next time. When will electronics firm executives scream "Wake Up!!!" a la Jim Morrisson on "Live Doors" after signing another cheque for a couple million to bail out a chip project on the back end?

garydpdx
User Rank
CEO
re: Innovation gap calls for new processes, survey shows
garydpdx   6/2/2013 4:05:52 AM
NO RATINGS
Innovation is often confused with invention, but it does go beyond that. Southwest Airlines is often cited as an example of a company that innovates, taking ideas from line workers (and, interestingly, it is the most unionized of all major US airlines; the secret sauce is the flexibility that both sides negotiated into their contracts, which is ... an innovation!). Bringing this back to electronics design, the major innovation of the 90's was the move to RTL design with HDL's like VHDL and Verilog. Along with synthesis technology, which has helped to boost Synopsys to #1 in the EDA industry. How much resistance was there to moving to RTL from schematic capture, back then? And how does it compare to the struggle to move to ESL from RTL? One definition of insanity is repeating the same action, hoping to get a different result next time. When will electronics firm executives scream "Wake Up!!!" a la Jim Morrisson on "Live Doors" after signing another cheque for a couple million to bail out a chip project on the back end?

DavidAQS
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Rookie
re: Innovation gap calls for new processes, survey shows
DavidAQS   6/3/2013 1:47:08 PM
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My question is how do Contract Manufacturers that provide extensive design support prepare for advances? How do we stay abreast of rapid changes to stay more competitive?

DavidAQS
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Rookie
re: Innovation gap calls for new processes, survey shows
DavidAQS   6/3/2013 1:47:08 PM
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My question is how do Contract Manufacturers that provide extensive design support prepare for advances? How do we stay abreast of rapid changes to stay more competitive?

chipmonk0
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Manager
re: Innovation gap calls for new processes, survey shows
chipmonk0   6/3/2013 4:12:14 PM
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a quick glance at the Accenture report revealed one nugget - " design systems affordable for the growing middle class in developing countries - they may also become competitive & disruptive products in the developed world ". Both Taiwan & China seem to be following that path - e,g. mid to low end SoC processors for SmartPhones & Tablets .

chipmonk0
User Rank
Manager
re: Innovation gap calls for new processes, survey shows
chipmonk0   6/3/2013 4:12:14 PM
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a quick glance at the Accenture report revealed one nugget - " design systems affordable for the growing middle class in developing countries - they may also become competitive & disruptive products in the developed world ". Both Taiwan & China seem to be following that path - e,g. mid to low end SoC processors for SmartPhones & Tablets .



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