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The Future of Hardware and Software Design Technologies
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The Future of Hardware and Software Design Technologies

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Trends in the consumer electronics industry including in IC design, analog and mixed signal IP, software design costs and outsourcing.

Trends in the consumer electronics industry including in IC design, analog and mixed signal IP, software design costs and outsourcing.

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  • 1. The Future of Hardware and Software Design Technologies James O’Riordan CTO Silicon & Software Systems (S3) CEIA Conference, 21st October 2008 Copyright © 2007-2008 Silicon & Software Systems Limited
  • 2. Agenda Industry Background Industry Trends Consumer Electronics IC Top Level IC Verification Analog / Mixed-Signal Software Outsourcing
  • 3. Industry Background •60 years since 1st transistor •50 years since 1st IC •Industry is in a maturing stage •No longer 17% average growth •Consolidation / re-structuring •To play requires ‘long-term’ ability •It can take 8 years to get to profits •It can be an expensive journey •Acknowledgements: Warren East (CEO, ARM), Maria Marced (VP Europe, TSMC), colleagues, ITRS (http://www.itrs.net/reports.html)
  • 4. Industry Trends • Emergence of the Fabs • Everyone has access to the same manufacturing capability! • Multi-project wafers (MPW) – share the cost of prototypes • Advancing geometries – 130, 90, 65, 40, 28 … – Cost a lot – Need volume to justify – What products have this volume? • But half of TSMC volume is <=0.18um Copyright © 2007-2008 Silicon & Software Systems Limited Slide 4
  • 5. Who are S3? The Connected Consumer Technology™ Company Brief Statistics Consumer Portable Founded in 1986 Size/weight 260+ Employees Battery Life 6 Design Centres Globally Function increase 2x / 2 years Consumer Electronics Focus Time to market: ASAP SoC Drivers Consumer Stationary Cost Processing performance Form Factor Mains powered (but regulations!!!) Connection speed Functionality in Software Reliability Life-in-Market longer
  • 6. IC Top Level Platform-based Re-use Design 2007: 38% re-use Speeds up design, 2010: 50% re-use both IC & SW Low power Electronic System Very important Level design Multi-core Going mainstream? All major players Supported suppliers
  • 7. IC Verification “Without major breakthroughs, design verification will be a non-scalable, show stopping barrier”ITRS2007 • Functional coverage • Constrained random verification • Formal verification
  • 8. Analog / Mixed-Signal (1) The drivers for wireless communication are: • Cost • Frequency bands • Power consumption • Functionality • Size of mobile units • Very high volumes • Standards and protocols • 2007: 80% of TSMC ICs have 20% mixed-signal content • 2010: 90% of TSMC ICs have 20% mixed-signal content
  • 9. Analog Mixed-Signal (2) • Mixed-Signal IP – Don’t start from scratch each time – Buy-in IP – Economy of scale advantage • DSP up to the Antenna – Software Defined Radio • Innovation in circuit design • Smarter Simulation • Redundant circuits(?)
  • 10. Software Software can account for 80% of the development cost Software is an integral part of the system • Good HW alone won’t get you Power savings • Total system design must be considered Move from proprietary micro-kernels to Linux / WinCE • Possible component based design? Multi-core • Diminishing returns from increasing clock speed • Enables multiple wireless stacks, richer applications etc. • Homogeneous and Heterogeneous processors Software Defined Radio Verification of Software • Traditionally on-chip • Virtual Platform?
  • 11. Software Design Costs - ITRS
  • 12. Outsourcing • A start-up should not attempt to do everything itself • Keep focused on market • Design is outsource-able – If you don’t do something very often, you have less experience at it, • slower • more errors • tool costs etc. – If you can’t utilise one of your resources 100% of the time, why pay for it 100% of the time? • Remember your competition is doing this … Copyright © 2007-2008 Silicon & Software Systems Limited Slide 12
  • 13. Questions? Copyright © 2007-2008 Silicon & Software Systems Limited