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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

Mentor Graphics: Facilitating the next generation high level design

Walden C Rhines
Chairman & CEO- Mentor Graphics Corp
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Walden C Rhines
After a period of slump, the EDA industry is back to its feet. The Semiconductor industry itself has witnessed quite a change, thanks to the shift in focus post recession. During a recent visit to India, Dr. Walden C Rhines, Chairman & CEO, Mentor Graphics Corp. talked to siliconindia in an exclusive interview about the changing industry, the new trends and what EDA players need to look out for in coming days.

Trends driving the EDA industry today

We are now in a big process transition — working on 20 nanometers chips. The EDA industry and the semiconductor industry are working closely together to solve a significant technology challenge-to get processes, technology and design in place for 20 nanometers.At the same time 28 nanometer technology,is now in place and has production capacity. So there are lots of growth in the next generation of design, software, tools, and infrastructure support. At the same time EDA is expanding for embedded software used to be a relative small part of chip design and now has grown in importance. Although none of the other major companies in EDA are in embedded software, for Mentor Graphics embedded software is one of our fastest growing businesses.

Another one is system design for automobile, planes, trains, and more, and that is a very fast growing part of electronic design automation. This is because the electronics in cars and planes have become so complex that it has to be automated and several companies like us, who have been investing significantly for the last couple of decades in this, are finally seeing the results of that investment. As a result of this, we also foresee that there will be an increase in the capabilities in the functional verification area since all the structures that are being put into the chips have to be verified more than ever. With the increasing number of functions put into a chip the challenges in verification also increases. We already see that one aspect of verification, i.e. hardware emulation starts to pick up very strongly that is also in connection with software verification. This is because, the take out on a 20 nanometer chip is very expensive, and you want to validate at least most of the software in it. Hence, emulation is going to come back strongly again.

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