Sanyo Denki

<p>TSMC's IC Design Alliance includes electronic design automation (EDA) companies — including Avanti, Cadence Design Systems, Frequency Technology, Mentor Graphics, Simplex Solutions, Synopsys, and Ultima Interconnect Technology — and a global alliance of qualified IC design implementation experts.</p>

The fail-safe is built right into the G3MC's lead frame so the device would fail at the wire bond, rather than internally within the triac, or solid-state relay output, Massie said. He emphasized that the device is designed for catastrophic failure, not minor overloads. It's just one more level of protection for the device.” Omron is offering a white paper on the technology, called A new solid-state relay, which prevents short-failure caused by short-circuit.”

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The critical enabler of design reuse will be the intellectual property (IP) repository, according to panelists at an IP2000 session on Monday (March 20). Such a database will give system companies and ASIC developers a place to store reusable design elements, and give design engineers a way to access those elements.


The repository allows not only the storage of cores but acts as a platform where the system designer enters design goals. It will be the engine that comes up with 40 or 100 times more choices than the designer had in the past,” said Gary Smith, chief EDA analyst with research firm Dataquest Inc. (San Jose, Calif.), in opening the panel session. Those companies that are 'getting it' are achieving significant competitive advantage over those that don't understand.” .

After presenting overviews of their individual companies' efforts on an IP repository, representatives from Alcatel Microelectronics, Cadence Design Systems Inc., Mentor Graphics Corp. and Motorola Inc. opened the floor to questions from the audience.

Among its general conclusions, the panel agreed that introducing such IP repositories is difficult and must be accompanied by significant changes in attitude from both engineers and managers — changes that are not always forthcoming. In addition, even companies that have not yet introduced embedded software modules to complement semiconductor IP cores in such repositories recognize that they must add embedded modules to provide an effective reuse infrastructure. And to support geographically diverse design teams and IP sources, such infrastructures should be based on Internet technology, whether for intra-company or inter-company use.


The primary benefits of such repositories are increased design productivity and reduced turnaround time for designs, but panelists said that accurate benchmarking of these benefits is not yet possible — mainly because of an inability to make strict comparisons of such company-wide changes.

Moderator Smith told the audience that the United States and the rest-of-the-world regions are lagging behind Europe on IP, with a lot of advanced thinking coming from southern France.


Pierre Bricaud, director of marketing for the Inventra division of Mentor Graphics, said that an IP repository cannot include only descriptions of cores, but should also include all necessary elements to ensuring the quality, ease-of-use, and support of a core to get a designer to what-if analyses. It is becoming clear, Bricaud said, that IP repositories should support the extensible markup language (XML) format.

Thomas Zimmerman, IP repository program manager at Motorola's Semiconductor Products Sector, echoed Bricaud's comments. A quick search and find system is nice, but eventually we need to evaluate the real core IP data,” he said.

Rambus Inc. today carried its patent infringement suit against Hitachi Ltd. to the U.S. International Trade Commission, and added Sega Enterprises Ltd. to the latest complaint.

In the ITC filing, Rambus, Mountain View, Calif., reiterated the claim it brought before a federal court earlier this year that Hitachi is violating Rambus patents related to clock timing technology used in semiconductor chips. The ITC suit specifically identifies the Hitachi SH microprocessor family and SDRAM and double-data-rate (DDR) SDRAM memory. The Sega Dreamcast game console uses Hitachi's SH processors.

Rambus asked the ITC to uphold its patents and bar all imports of the Hitachi processors and DRAMs, as well as Sega game players using the Hitachi chips.

Adding Sega to its complaint extends Rambus' broadening patent battle into the electronic games market, where the company has found a home by selling its Direct Rambus DRAM into the rival Sony PlayStation II game console.

Most memory chip makers have rallied behind Hitachi in its legal skirmish with Rambus. So far, Rambus has not expanded its suit to include other chip makers.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Intel on Tuesday announced an agreement to acquire privately held Basis Communications for $450 million in cash and assumed options.

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