Rupert Baines

“It’s a small world”

The old adage could have been invented for the semiconductor industry: despite the fact that the chip business tops $300bn globally, it’s often a parochial place, that sometimes feels like it’s populated by the same old faces and ideas. It’s tempting to tar the semiconductor IP industry with the same brush – although it, too, represents a multi-billion dollar market with a healthy annual growth rate.

And yet our industry has had – and continues to have – a profound impact on the way people live and on how they make a living. It seems to me that we are entitled to be much more confident in our achievements and our importance in the wider world. And one way we can do that is to get together in initiatives that strengthen the industry and give us a voice in the wider world: to explain “why people should care” about the IP ecosystem and semiconductors in general.

That’s the thinking behind Constellations, a collective of independent IP companies and industry partners of which UltraSoC is the newest member. As a group, we collaborate for mutual benefit and for the benefit of our customers. UltraSoC’s first public participation within Constellations will be at the upcoming 52nd Design Automation Conference (DAC) in San Francisco: we’ll be delivering a paper at the conference, showing off UltraDebug, and announcing some exciting news of a big-name partnership!

Why is Constellations important? Well, it’s true that SoC designers today are used to the complexities of combining standard processor cores from multiple vendors with purchased IP from domain specialists and foundation IP sourced from the EDA ecosystem. Semico tells us that the average SoC now has more than 100 IP blocks. Our intention with Constellations is to make the ecosystem that supplies those components and tools even stronger, and give it a voice.

If you’d like to find out more about Constellations, why not check out my post on their blog, “It’s Not a Blog… It’s a Feature”, where you can also find out more about events at DAC and news from other members of the community, as well as some more tangential topics like the joys of programming in Ruby!