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Synopsys will do less benchmarking, says senior executive

November 04, 2008 //

Faced by an increasing burden of cost for leading-edge R&D, something has got to change at the 32-nm and 22-nm nodes, according to Antun Domic, senior vice president and general manager of implementation at EDA leader Synopsys Inc. (Mountain View, Calif.).


MONTREUX, Switzerland — Faced by an increasing burden of cost for leading-edge R&D, something has got to change at the 32-nm and 22-nm nodes, according to Antun Domic, senior vice president and general manager of implementation at EDA leader Synopsys Inc. (Mountain View, Calif.).

And part of that change is that there should be less playing off of one EDA company against the others in benchmarking exercises, Domic said. It is arguable that such benchmark exercises prove more about how a team is able to tweak the software than which EDA software will be the best to use over an extended period.

Speaking on a panel session at the European Tech Tours Semiconductor Summit here, Domic, pointed out that for EDA companies the percentage of sales that has to be spent on R&D has increased from 24 percent at the 90-nm node to 35 percent at the 45-nm. Percentage costs have also increased for the IDMs and the fabless chip companies while they have fallen from 13 percent to 9 percent for the OEMs. "At 32- and 22-nm I don't think we will be able to do things this way anymore. Collaboraton is needed."

After his presentation Domic told EE Times "In terms of software development we've always done what's been asked us of us without any commitment. Now we're going to need a commitment. Not money for development but a different sort of commitment," he said.

When asked what sort of commitment Domic said Synopsys has had as many as five different benchmark exercises going on within the same major customer, because different divisions had discretion on spending and claimed that another division's benchmark exercise did not test factors they were interested in.

"We do not have the financial structure to support that," said Domic. "We'll be doing less benchmarks," he added. Domic said that it needs to be more collaborative so that if Synopsys works on a technology with a process developer and a number of tier one companies they commit to using that technology for a period.

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