SAN FRANCISCO The semiconductor industry needs EDA to supply solutions that focus on both platform design and manufacturing, as well as tools that consider embedded software, according to Alessandro Cremonesi, strategy and system technology group vice president and advanced system technology general manager at STMicroelectronics.
Delivering the third and final keynote address at the 43rd Design Automation Conference (DAC) here Thursday afternoon (July 27), Cremonesi said, "More and more, the semiconductor industry needs to think of software as part of manufacturing."
The semiconductor industry also needs EDA's help in achieving a "quantum leap" in methodologies for managing exploding complexity, Cremonesi said, amid convergence between design methodology and computer science.
Convergence between technologies and within devices is driving electronics growth, Cremonesi said, but also creating enormous challenges for the industry, including a plethora of existing network technologies.
"Convergence creates a situation where the semiconductor industry needs to manage thousands of technologies," Cremonesi said. "The challenge is to take these new technologies and put them on silicon. It's clear that we" [the semiconductor industry] are at the center of this convergent. It's clear that we are one of the enabling technologies for that."
But the semiconductor industry needs to embrace collaboration and alliances on a much broader scale to handle increased complexity, Cremonesi said.
"We have to learn to work through alliances to deal with convergence in the ecosystem," he said. "We have to work together, even with our competition, through the creation of standards. We have to have R&D collaboration, even with competitors, in order to develop new technologies."
The semiconductor industry also needs to recognize convergence factors that are leading it to cross paths with other technologies, such as fluidics, nanotechnologies and other, Cremonesi said.
He suggested that the semiconductor industry "needs to change the paradigm" for the way we design-for-manufacturability (DFM) and said that DFM is "not an option," but a necessity.
While increasing complexity is driving revenue growth, Cremonesi noted that it is not without its drawbacks. He showed data depicting a notable drop in total device designs at each historical technology node.
"Complexity is becoming so big that it's more and more expensive to bring a device to market," he said. "This results in decline of overall design."
Cremonesi identified the two major issues increasing design complexity as software platform integration and verification signoff.