Cloud EDA Round 2

Silicon Cloud, IBM Give It a Go

by Bryon Moyer

Four years ago, EDA in the Cloud was cool. Since then, it seems to have, well, cooled off. Until recently: it’s once more showing signs of heating up in an attempt to become cool again.

Cloud computing has always been problematic for EDA. Anything requiring the transfer of company jewels into unknown hands has too often been a deal breaker. The noise made by Synopsys and Cadence several years ago has noticeably subsided. OneSpin added a cloud capability, but only by promising not to send design information into the cloud – only abstracted proof requests.

 

A View from Above

Design Enablement in the Cloud

by Amelia Dalton

In this week’s Fish Fry, we examine the future of cloud-based computing in electronic engineering. My guest Mojy Chian (CEO - Silicon Cloud) and I discuss the benefits of cloud-based computing in the engineering world, what the Silicon Cloud Design Enablement Cloud is all about, and why there is still resistance against cloud-based EDA tools. Also this week, we take a closer look at a brand new startup called Tortuga Logic that looks to solve our most critical hardware security problems with their unique technology, expertise, and design tools.

 

Who Watches the Watchers?

Subjecting your Design to an Audit Can be Painful and/or Enlightening

by Jim Turley

The German put out his hand. “Do you have ze papers?”

Of course I had my papers. I’d been planning this for weeks. My papers were all in order, I’d practiced my rudimentary German, and I’d anticipated every question he might ask me, along with my answers. Just act cool, I told myself. Confident, but not over-confident. Just give the man what he wants and he’ll let you go on your way.

This man stood between me and freedom. But there was something about his manner that told me he wasn’t going to let me past his desk without a struggle. This could get ugly.

 

Making SoCs Easier to Debug

A New Technology Aims to Track Both Software and Hardware Bugs

by Dick Selwood

System debugging used to be fairly straightforward. Components were on a board, linked by tracks, and, with a 'scope and probes, you could look at signals and work out what was happening. Of course it didn't seem so simple at the time - isn't hindsight great? In time, systems got more complex, microcontrollers got more complex, and the companies building ‘scopes and other tools for hardware debugging came up with more and more sophisticated (which implies expensive) products. Digital 'scopes, logic analysers and emulators all helped engineers in their efforts to keep up. JTAG was created to provide an interface - now frequently to a PC as well as to specialist tools - as multilayer boards hid tracks, and it was then used to provide visibility of operations within the chip. The JTAG interface is now also used for software debugging, as through JTAG it is possible to control program execution, stepping through line by line, or to set breakpoints. JTAG can also be used to program flash memory. Processor manufacturers started fairly early on to provide proprietary analysis tools, and ARM, for example, provides a range of interfaces and on-chip capabilities for advanced debugging and analysis.

 

Trust

Proving You’re Legit – to Yourself and Others

by Bryon Moyer

[Editor’s note: this is the second in a series on Internet-of-Things security. You can find the introductory piece here.]

So you’re buying a car. I don’t know how it works in other countries, but in the US, it’s one of the least favorite purchases someone can make. Partly it’s because it’s our only haggling purchase, and, as buyers, we’re not used to haggling, so we’re not skilled at it. That aside, all too often, when the deal is done, buyers come away feeling like there’s a good chance they’ve been owned in the process.

Let’s start with the sales guy that slithers out of the office when you walk onto the premises. You’re probably being approached by half a dozen sales folks, like so many hungry zombies, each wanting to be the first to you but not wanting to look over-eager or to turn it into an outright race. One guy wins and you’re stuck with him. Granted, he (or she; we’ll assume he for our purposes) may seem to be a very nice person, and he’ll work hard to earn your trust.

 

The Zen of Verification and IoT Maintenance

Finding a Holistic Way to Verify Your IoT

by Amelia Dalton

Welcome to the Fish Fry commune my friends. This week we're bringing zen to your IoT verification process. My guest is John Koeter from Synopsys and we are taking a closer look at holistic ways to verify our IoT designs. John and I discuss verification in IoT, the unique challenges of IP in IoT, and the best places for foodies in the Bay Area. Also this week, we check out how you can lower your BOM bottom line (that might not be obvious by simply looking at component costs) and we're giving everyone another chance to win an Odyssey MAX® 10 FPGA and BLE Sensor Kit.

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