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News by Design: Reflections: The Best of 2013
December 2013
Cadence at ARM TechCon

Brian Fuller
Rest, Recharge, and Reflect
It's that time of year: A time to rest and recharge for the year ahead. It's also a time to reflect, and if 2013 had any single theme, it was verticalization: Silicon technology went vertical (FinFETs and 3D-ICs) and system companies began stepping up the pace at which their design expertise got more and more vertical.

The technology verticalization is driven by the perceived limits to Moore’s Law, which are prompting silicon vendors to go vertical to keep up the torrid pace of productivity gains the industry has enjoyed for six decades. This evolution doesn’t come without its challenges, but design engineers are working hand-in-glove with EDA vendors and the rest of the design ecosystem to leap these hurdles together.

At the same time, astonishing business-model changes are changing the face of system design. Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Samsung, and other companies are hiring their own engineering teams to build their own silicon. Why? Because their various businesses are at such a scale that they can build systems to their own specifications, reaping the technical and business benefits along the way. This systems-company change has enormous consequences for the electronics ecosystem.

Those are some of a number of highlights for which I’ll remember 2013. I expounded on a few in this blog post. Separately, Richard Goering reflects on a year of astonishing innovation in design automation, and he does it through the lens of the top blog posts on Cadence.com. What’s your guess? (Hint: Think 16nm, FinFET, functional verification, and Hybrid Memory Cubes, and you’ll be getting warmer!)

From all of us at Cadence, we wish you a restful holiday season and prosperous and productive new year!

Brian Fuller
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