Design for context and its impact on EDA


At the recent CEO panel, Ed Sperling used the term “Design for Context” as one of the top trends, identifying what others called “domain-specific” or “workload-specific.” The term has struck a chord with me, as I see it in numerous meetings with clients in various industry verticals in the context of a specific industry driving tool and IP requirements. There’s no doubt that semiconductor design is going through a renaissance, leading some industry experts to call us the “Roaring Twenties.” In most industries, the transformation to a digital world is visible to us almost everywhere we look. And in this context, most aspects are referred to as ‘hyperlatives’, with systems companies becoming ‘hyperscalers’ in a ‘hyperconnected’ world.

Today, product managers can interact with audiences more directly, immediately. My team and I have done this in several ways over the past year, with client surveys and LinkedIn polls like the one below.

These immediate results closely matched an international set of consumer panels that we used in our study with Northstar, “Hyperconnectivity and You, A Roadmap for Consumer Experience.” More than 3,000 consumers from the US, Germany, UK, China and Israel saw mobile, healthcare, consumer, industrial and military activities most affected in this study.

Established sectors, such as Aerospace and Defense field, talking about the need for digital transformation. They realize the need to modernize development processes that seem outdated compared to techniques already at the forefront of consumer electronics, where missing key events like Christmas or a consumer electronics show can be the difference between life and death of companies. I also often hear about the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) transforming and optimizing the way industry develops, manufactures and services our everyday consumer goods.

We experience the health the digital transformation of the industry every day when checking our latest cholesterol levels on our apps, interacting digitally with our doctors, and receiving notifications of potential infectious exposures. Behind the scenes, medical staff simulate the processes and impact of surgeries using digital representations of hospitals and factual medical information about us, the consumers.

The automotive The industry is undergoing a substantial transformation from a world dominated primarily by mechanical engineering to a digital world that seemingly shortens development cycles and makes our cars safer and more convenient. New car buyers expect a user experience in which our vehicle knows better than we do when to go to the dealership for service.

The portable The industry continues to deliver mind-boggling advances to Millennials and Baby Boomers, but it’s considered normal for Gen Z and the next Gen Alpha. Having to pack our mobile devices at events to prevent digital copies of the protected intellectual property of actors, comedians and musicians from smuggling the venues quickly exposes our reliance or even reliance on them.

Some other surveys we’ve recently run give a deeper look at what we sometimes call “horizontals” that cover industry-specific “verticals.” These are technologies such as AI/ML, 5G/6G, security, safety and digital twinning:

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are transforming the consumer industry. We gamify our daily life with step counting to compete with friends and families. We take games on the road in augmented realities, like how some of my family members experienced Paris a few years ago more through Pokémon Go than in the real world. And we are now discussing the emergence of even more deeply virtualized digital experiences like the metaverse. By using digital representations of supply chains, we now have a real chance of limiting or even eliminating food waste.

Advances in computing and connectivity are key enablers of the above transformations. Their associated industry sectors are less visible to consumers like you and me. The computing the industry has already seen at least four distinct waves ranging from mainframes to computers in every home, with the internet connecting them, followed by the last decade of mobile computing and the cloud.

The networking/communications the industry is simultaneously talking about 6G while currently rolling out its fifth-generation network. It evolved from the first generation of voice-centric brick phones that only businessmen like Gordon Gecko would use, through 2G networks opening up to voice-only consumer devices. 2G also enabled texting on non-QWERTY keyboards, which is just as foreign to Gen Z as turntables and mix-tapes. 3G was once again business-centric, with Blackberry transforming email, and 4G and 4G/LTE brought mobile Internet to consumers. Today, 5G meets a mix of consumer and business demands. Experts expect its evolution to 6G will unleash communication needs for truly immersive virtual reality, for digital replicas often referred to as “digital twins”, free-view mobile TV and high-fidelity mobile holograms. .

While the hyperscaling of computing and communication, combined with advances in artificial intelligence in machine learning (AI/ML), enables a bright future for consumers, it is not without challenges and questions regarding durability. Advances in electronic design automation (EDA), computational software and semiconductor technology have been key to keeping data center power consumption growth to “just” 6% of 2010 to 2018 while in return providing six times more workloads, ten times more. more Internet traffic and twenty-five times more storage. And our surveys seem to confirm that we engineers are ready to contribute to sustainability:

We live in fascinating times, and “design for context” in electronics will be at the heart of life-changing transformations.

Frank Schirrmeister

Frank Schirrmeister

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Frank Schirrmeister is senior group director, solutions and ecosystems, at Cadence. He leads a team responsible for translating customer challenges across large-scale communications, consumer, automotive, aerospace/defense, industrial and healthcare verticals into requirements and solutions. specific. His team focuses on cross-product technical solutions such as 5G, artificial intelligence, machine learning, safety, security and digital twins, as well as collaborations with key partners.


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