A post by Gabe Moretti set me thinking. Exactly how critical is RTL handoff going to be ? By critical, I do not mean to the designers - but rather to the upper management of the semiconductor companies, who are the only ones with clout to influence a radical change in the revenue model. Design for Manufacturing is not a new keyword. But I think this keyword now has competition - One of which could be Platform Based Design and the other could be design methodologies like the RapidChip environment. This essentially reduces the argument for profit sharing by foundries and semiconductor cos alike. Atleast this is the bargaining chip that could be used by them to push for RTL Signoff as just any other methodology and being priced similarly. There was also an interesting article by Aycinena on how foundries may end up acquiring EDA companies, for much the same reasons that Gabe puts forward. However, I feel that, given the step-fatherly treatment that semicos mete out to their EDA underlings, it is far more probable that EDA tools will remain a commodity item. Then who will solve the problem of RTL signoff, if indeed it needs to be solved (refer to alternative methodologies above) ? Well Gabe gives the answer himself - VC’s and startups. Oh and if I may point out an earlier article by Gabe Dieter Ernst , it may well be done by people having Tandoori chicken for lunch!
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