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VLSI conference tackles 2010 design challenges

Posted: 28 Dec 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:International Conference on VLSI Design  VLSI Design Conference  3D architecture  MEMS 

Why has the VLSI Design Conference added the Embedded Systems track?
Mehendale: The embedded systems track was added in recognition of the trend that no electronic product is complete without the embedded software running on the underlying silicon platform. Increasingly the embedded software and system-level considerations drive the silicon development right from the product definition phase through all aspects of the design—including functionality, performance and power dissipation, and is also central to the pre-silicon SoC verification. In some sense, SoCs today are really becoming "Software-on-Chip."

What major trends does the embedded systems conference aim to address?
Mehendale: The embedded systems conference is integrated with the VLSI design conference, so instead of having a parallel track/conference, we have embedded systems related topics covered as part of the conference technical programme. These include paper sessions on "efficient system modelling and design", "application specific architectures", "scheduling and operating systems" and "system design and IP protection." The paper sessions also feature embedded tutorials, such as one on "Video Coding Tools and Their Impact on Compression Engine Architecture", by Dr. Ajit Rao on Jan. 7.

Development of affordable (with emphasis on cost) technologies for applications, such as medical, connectivity, energy and education, is forcing Indian engineers to look at not just the sub-systems they are developing, but the complete system from application standpoint, to drive down the overall components and software costs. The theme session on affordable technology with talks from ISRO, Microsoft Research, and i2iTelesolutions throws the spotlight on this trend.

We also have two tutorials covering the embedded systems theme: "New Generation Integrated Multi-Core Modelling in Microprocessor Design", by Dr. Pradip Bose on Jan. 3, and "Model Based Design, Verification and Testing for Embedded Control Systems" by Dr. Ambar Gadkari and Dr. Ramesh S. on Jan. 4, 2010.

How effective are today's EDA tools in meeting current IC and embedded design requirements?
Mehendale: With the increasing level of integration, SoC is getting redefined as software-on-chip or systems-on-a-chip, as against system-on-a-chip. The increased complexity continues to widen the productivity gap, and thus poses a significant challenge and opportunity for the EDA tools and methodology. In addition to addressing the design implementation related challenges, the tools now need to handle system level design aspects including hardware-software co-design (partitioning and verification) and the ESL domain.

We have two keynotes—by Dr. Wally Rhines, Mentor Graphics and Dr. Prith Banerjee, HP labs—on Jan. 6 addressing the EDA challenges.

How has the 2009 recession affected India's design engineering community?
Mehendale: The recession has provided an opportunity to focus on developing skills and expertise to get ready for taking on bigger challenges as the industry recovers. The conference through its tutorials and education forum addresses these needs. We also have a fellowship programme and, this year for the first time, we are supporting VLSI professionals who are in transition—people who are out of their current jobs and are looking for other opportunities such as another job, entrepreneurship or higher studies.

Given the recession, we felt that there are likely to be such people in transition, and we would like to provide them an opportunity to build/enhance their VLSI expertise and understanding.

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