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Design automation in MEDEA: present and future

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1 Author(s)
Borel, J. ; STMicroelectron., Crolles, France

The semiconductor industry has been growing at an unprecedented level since its start in the early 1960s. Capitalizing on the outstanding properties of silicon and its stable oxide permitted the introduction of the CMOS industry, the leading semiconductor industry process. However, the average 15% to 16% annual growth in semiconductor sales has also presented tremendous problems of huge investments in manufacturing. Mandatory now is a rapid return of investment through advanced products (in the latest available processes) that have high added value at the system level. Sometimes the system is the product itself, which raises thoughts of new ways to design these complex systems on a single chip that mixes several functionalities. This article explores a future European evolution of design automation, discussing the present status of Europe's lack of local industrial developments as well as its tremendous knowledge reservoir. Earlier MEDEA activities paved the road to new design solutions and gave European companies the chance to influence US developments, as is evidenced by frequent technology partnerships with US software vendors. Recently, we have seen a significant increase in European start-ups in advanced design automation domains (hardware-software codesign, intellectual property reuse, deep-submicron effects)

Published in:

Micro, IEEE  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 5 )