Sunday, August 20, 2017

Quick chat with Apurva Kalia : Keynote speaker DVCon India 2017

Apurva Kalia
The advancements in semiconductor industry starting picking up with the rise in performance of processors driving the computer industry. Next, the mobile segment opened floodgates when the PC market stagnated & then low power with smaller dimensions on top of performance drove the innovation in silicon implementation. The industry today is at cross roads once again awaiting the next big thing. Automotive is one of the key areas to get the ball rolling yet again. But then, each domain has its characteristics that needs to be aligned to!

Apurva Kalia, Vice President of R&D focusing on Automotive solutions at Cadence picks on an interesting topic for his DV track keynote on Day 1 at DVCon India 2017. With the auto industry shifting gears into autonomous cars, the question worth asking is – Would you send your child to school in an autonomous car? Yes, that’s the theme of Apurva’s keynote and here’s a sneak peek on this topic.

Apurva your keynote focusses on ‘autonomous cars’ – the talk of the town these days. Tell us more about it?

Well, there is major inflection point coming up in automotive electronics. We all know that Moore’s Law driven advances in cost per transistor and capacity have been holding up for many years. Complex chips are now possible within a cost factor that was not possible earlier. Moreover advances in algorithms, especially Machine Learning, now enables much more complex processing, especially vision based processing, to be done in real time. Both these trends coming together with advances in sensor technology has enabled systems to be created which can detect their environment quite accurately and in real time. This is the basis of autonomous driving. Also, as we know, every few years the semiconductor industry is looking for the next big trend which will drive the fab capacity. The above factors are pushing autonomous driving to be the talk of the town.

Security & Safety are emerging areas resulting from this topic. How does this change the way we verify our designs?

As I described above, with autonomous driving really taking off, these systems are becoming mission critical for the automobile. This means that the system needs to be safe and secure. It is inconceivable for a car to stop working at 80 kmph on a highway! Also, with the car needed to be connected to other cars and even to infrastructure and internet, this opens the system to attacks and makes it vulnerable. Therefore, these systems needs to make safe and secure to ensure safety and security of the automobile.

What are the solutions that the EDA industry is driving to enable ISO 26262 requirements from process & product perspective?

ISO26262 is the main standard that defines the safety requirements for automobiles. It is a very comprehensive standard which places requirements on all automotive systems. In fact edition 2 of the standard – coming out in Jan 2018 – will focus specially on semiconductors. Given the excitement around automotive electronics and autonomous systems, EDA industry needs to retool rapidly to address this need. Ensuring safety in these designs requires additional design and verification flows, methodologies and tool changes. The EDA industry needs to step up to define and create these flows, methodologies and tools required.

What are your views on the couple of accidents that happened in the US with autonomous cars? What could have been done better?

We are at early stages of this technology. Unfortunately as with any new technology, technology will take time to stabilize. In the meantime, during this stabilization time, unfortunate things like these accidents could happen. Organizations and individuals who are early adopters of these technologies take these risks, but they also contribute in a big way for advancement of these technologies. However, with the proper use of tools, implementation of standards, and focus on new solutions, we can avoid these kind of accidents.

How do you observe the adoption of autonomous cars across the globe & in India?

Autonomous cars are here to stay. They are solving real problems in real environments. We already have examples of autonomous cars on real roads – driving very safely. In fact, there are statistics which show that autonomous cars will actually cut down on accidents and fatalities – the most of which are caused by human error. Last year, I saw an engineering college in Delhi demonstrate an autonomous vehicle in Govindpuri – one of the most congested areas of Delhi. So this technology is real and works. I think it is just a matter of a few years when we will see this mainstream.

Do you see all workhorses (Simulation, Emulation & Formal) playing a critical role in realizing Auto grade designs?

Yes – all current EDA technologies – not just verification technologies, but even implementation technologies – need to be upgraded to support safety and security design and verification. All engines will need enhancements and special features to support these new requirements and flows.

This is the 4th edition of DVCon in India. What are your expectations from the conference?

I have seen DVCon India grow from humble beginnings to an excellent conference today. I think this conference provides a very good platform to share and discuss new trends in design and verification. I look forward to stimulating conversations on new flows and technologies. This conference attracts many design companies and all EDA vendors in India – what better assemblage of the right people for these discussions.

Thank you Apurva!

Join us on Day 1 (Sep 14) of DVCon India 2017 at Leela Palace, Bangalore to attend this keynote and other exciting topics.

Disclaimer: “The postings on this blog are my own and not necessarily reflect the views of Aricent”

Monday, March 27, 2017

Ni Hao China? says DVCon

Miniaturization of devices is marching into the range where the acceleration may not be contained in one dimension anymore. This is leading to growth in 2D & 3D for packing more functions on a given silicon area. One of the key factors that has enabled this race so far is also the globalization of workforce. Whether the reasons were tapping the talent world-wide or ensuring the work continues round the clock or reduce cost of development. With the tech world turning into a global village, there was a need felt to ensure different age groups, different cultures & different working styles, talk a common language. This has been the prime motive of Accellera working groups getting together from across the world to define standards and methodologies and providing a common ground for everyone to contribute. While rolling out standards is a key outcome of this consortium, encouraging the adoption & ensuring correct application of these standards is equally important. This is one of the prime reasons that the flagship conference DVCon was extended beyond geographies (DVCon goes GLOBAL!) a few years back when India & Europe embraced it with an overwhelming response. This year the 29th edition of DVCon US witnessed 1000+ participants  over a 4-day conference continuing the momentum year after year. However, this caravan would see another stopover before it reaches India in September this year. YES!!! DVCon would be debuting in the Mandarin land this year - DVCon China 2017!!!

If you have any doubts on why China? Let’s review a few interesting pointers from the latest report by PWC titled China’s impact on the semiconductor industry : 2016update

  • China’s semiconductor consumption growth continued to far exceed worldwide semiconductor market growth for the 5th consecutive year in 2015 reaching a new record of 58.5% of the global market. China’s semiconductor industry has grown at an equal or greater rate than its semiconductor market consumption for eight of the past ten years. In 2015, China’s semiconductor industry grew by 15.5% to a record US$89.3bn.
  • China’s IC industry grew by 17.1% in 2015 despite a decline in the global IC market. Since 2010 China’s IC industry revenues have more than doubled, growing 170%. Starting from a very small US$2.2bn base in 2000, China’s IC industry has grown much faster than the worldwide IC market for every subsequent year except 2010 with revenue touching 2015 to US$57.5bn.
  • Integrated circuit (IC) design continues to be the fastest growing segment of China’s semiconductor industry. During the ten years from 2005 through 2015 China’s IC design (fabless) industry has grown at a 30.1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from US$1.52bn to just over US$21bn in 2015.
  • The China Center of Information Industry Development (CCID) reports that the number of China’s IC design enterprises increased from 681 in 2014 to 715 by the end of 2015 with the total number of employees in China’s IC design totaling to about 155,000.
These pointers clearly confirm that the semiconductor industry is growing in China at an unparalleled speed and hosting a conference to bring in the stakeholders together would further stimulate the development process. Clearly a thoughtful decision by Accellera!

Coming back to the details of the event, the 1st edition of the Design and Verification Conference and ExhibitionChina is planned for 19, April 2017 at the Parkyard Hotel, Shanghai. DVCon China provides an excellent platform to bring together the global semiconductor industry in general & the China semiconductor industry in particular, along with academia and international standards development organizations. The 1 fullday event is completely packed with an assortment of keynotes from eminent speakers, tutorials from the gurus, papers & posters from practitioners and avenues for networking, learning opportunities, and exciting exhibits with different offerings. Along with experts from China there is an active participation from universities like Tsinghua and Fudan as part of the DVCon China steering and program committees. The day starts with keynote from Dr. Wally Rhines - CEO Mentor Graphics on the topic Design Verification:Challenging Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow while the event concludes with another interesting talk on What's Next in Verification from Yong Fu – Group Director, Synopsys. 

Leaders from the local industry with extended support from experts across the globe have put together a fantastic program for you to actively participate in person and be part of this enriching experience.

Reiterating the words of Benjamin Franklin that truly exhibit the spirits of DVCon–

Tell me and I forget.
Teach me and I remember.
Involve me and I learn.

 Get involved NOW!!! Registrations open with early bird discounts - here


Disclaimer: "The postings on this are my own and not necessarily reflect the views of Aricent".