Prototyping the Future of Semiconductors! | SemiWiki.com
Sep 28, 2015

Daniel Nenni  Published on 09-28-2015  10:00 AM

With major semiconductor mergers and acquisitions running rampant in 2015 (more than double the M&A activity in 2014), the question is where will we go from here? There are many different ways to slice this but for this blog let's talk about the thousands of semiconductor professionals that will be changing jobs as a result of this M&A hyper activity and the recent reduction in forces (QCOM just riffed 18%).

I see two things happening here:
  1. Semiconductor people will join system houses as they ramp up internal IC development. Apple is the best example of a systems house becoming a major fabless semiconductor player (vertical integration) and now everyone wants to be like Apple, right?
  2. Semiconductor entrepreneurs will start new fabless companies. The problem here is capital but of course that has always been a problem and as the saying goes “Where there's a will, there's a way."


One of the things I do during my day job is help emerging technology companies get funding. Some of it is from angels, banks, or other traditional sources. Sometimes customers or partners make investments and of course there are always crowd funding sites (Gofundme, Kickstarter, etc...). Unfortunately a slide deck will not always get you funding for a chip project, you really need working silicon but of course that is a chicken/egg kind of thing. 

You may have noticed we have been writing about FPGA prototyping quite a bit lately and of course there is a reason for that. Paul McLellan even did a "Brief History of FPGA Prototyping" blog last week. You can also check out a new video from S2C on Prorotyping the Future or you can get the white paper FPGA Prototyping Primer.

Bottom line: You can easily do architectural exploration, block design, system integration, and embedded software development for a proof of concept design to raise money for your project. Using FPGA prototyping you can also get it right the first time which is critical for emerging technology companies, absolutely.

FPGA Prototyping: The next best thing to silicon!

Speaking of FPGA prototyping, S2C just released their new rapid prototyping solution: "Quad Kintex UltraScale Prodigy™ FPGA prototyping Logic Module Addresses Designs with Massive Parallel DSP Algorithms." This is the latest addition to S2C's Prodigy Logic Module family aimed at large DSP algorithm development and is ideal for applications such as voice processing, graphics imaging, military, instrumentation, disk controllers, and digital mobile. 

"Designers that must deal with a huge number of DSP calculations now have a highly reliable and fast solution that can help them achieve their stringent time-to-market goals,” commented Toshio Nakama, CEO of S2C. “An added benefit is that our Quad KU115 Prodigy Logic Module is thoroughly integrated into our Prodigy Complete Prototyping Platform giving users access to a vast array of prototyping tools and our expansive library of 80+ daughter cards to quickly build their prototyping targets."

With over 200 customers, S2C's focus is on SoC/ASIC development to reduce the SoC design cycle. Our highly qualified engineering team and customer-centric sales force understands our users’ SoC development needs. S2C systems have been deployed by leaders in consumer electronics, communications, computing, image processing, data storage, research, defense, education, automotive, medical, design services, and silicon IP. S2C is headquartered in San Jose, CA with offices and distributors around the globe including the UK, Israel, China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. For more information, visit www.s2ceda.com.

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