Week in the News

by Sebastien Mirolo on Sun, 7 Oct 2012

In the bare metal space, there is a lot more going on these days than shrinking technology process. FinFET, 3D ICs and Producing Semiconductors from Graphene are just a few of the advances putting pressure on the current generation of EDA tools - translate space for innovative companies.

If you are to believe the following announcement, the economics to continue 8-bit and 16-bit micro-controller product development are not good. Manufacturing cost compared to 32-bit alternatives might still be cheaper; though maybe not for long.

On the other side of the spectrum, between Bezos, CIA invest $30M in quantum computing startup and Spurned by VCs, a chip startup turns to Kickstarter, there is funding for innovative high-end processors. Not convinced yet? Take a look here; $25M in 2008, at the heart of the financial crisis.

Finally, this latest article fits in a long series of indicators that the future will be heterogeneous multi-cores system-on-chips. While the ripples into operating systems, compilers, programming languages, etc. will soon be felt, some of my personal predictions are:

  • Future languages, optimizers and linkers will have to be built with heterogeneous target in mind.
  • We will see more of the new programming languages borrowing from verilog and vhld because most of the future problems will require parallel thinking.
  • FPGA are unbelievably cheap and older processor technology are becoming accessible to smaller budget so maybe we will have some language and tools that can do both, compile to an Hardware macro and executable code on a SoC at the same time.
  • Compilers are next to move into the cloud because compilation is a compute-intensive problem that benefits from readily available compute clusters.