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Lip-Bu Tan, president and CEO, Cadence, on global semiconductor trends

November 21, 2009

Lip-Bu Tan, president and CEO, Cadence Design Systems @ CDNLive in Bangalore, India.

Lip-Bu Tan, president and CEO, Cadence Design Systems @ CDNLive in Bangalore, India.

I recently attended Cadence Design Systems’ CDNLive event in Bangalore this week. Here’s a snapshot of Lip-Bu Tan, president and CEO, Cadence, touching upon global semiconductor trends during his keynote address.

According to Tan, the semicon industry is recovering and stabilizing, and gradually improving. The semiconductor revenue is also improving, but is still down, as compared to last year.

JP Morgan conducts a CEO survey with the GSA (Global Semiconductor Association), known as the Semicon CEO Sentiment Index. It shows that the CEO sentiment has improved from 29 percent in Jan. 2009 to 51.4 percent in Oct. 2009.

Innovative products are most likely to drive recovery. These include 4G phones, smart grid power, medical electronics and emerging markets. In 4G, WiMAX is growing, while in smart grid, semiconductors play a critical role. Medical electronics is also growing rapidly, and emerging markets such as China and India are very important. Video traffic is another big market.

SoCs facilitate innovative products and capital efficiency
How will you deliver innovative products? Perhaps, by capital efficiency! You require to develop very close partnerships with your foundry partners. IP or intellectual property is becoming very important as well. For example, a complex chip could well have over 50,000 IPs that would need to be integrated. There are EDA tools as well.

SoCs facilitate the delivery of innovative products and capital efficiency. Advantages of the SoC include developing multifunction devices, allowing the setting of aggressive price targets, and also developing products in innovative form factors. SoC designs are leading the industry. Most chips are today mixed signal in nature.

An example is the iPhone, which has several SoCs. It uses a very complex chip that integrates everything and runs on low power.

Implications of SoC development and integration
The implications of SoC development and integration include collaboration, mixed signal and system-level design and verification. SoCs require extensive collaboration.

Software will be driving the differentiating factors. Next, all SoCs are mixed signal designs. Incidentally, Cadence is a leader in mixed signal. SoCs also require a system level of improvement. Cadence has solutions for system level design and verification.

Later, Cadence will move into virtual prototyping. This will help the company in moving forward as per its roadmap. Cadence delivers leadership core products, and complements those products with the ecosystem and service offerings. “Our foundation business — we want to be SoC realization partner with our customers,” said Tan.

Here are some announcements from Cadence at CDNLive:
* TLM-to-GDS design and verification flow announced.
* 450+ customers for RTL Compiler and Conformal.
* Customers switching to OVM for verification re-use.
* Encounter adds 230+ new customers.
* Virtuoso speeds Spectre simulation up to 60 percent for mixed signals.

Lip-Bu Tan said that Cadence is a trusted and open EDA partner of the electronics industry, and is committed to the leadership technology creation. It will deliver and enable leading solutions in SoCs. Cadence is also organizing to optimize in efficiency creation and delivery of its offerings globally.

“We are committed to our customers’ success. The key is to find the right role within the ecosystem. We are again profitable as well, with $570 million in cash,” he concluded.


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