Support & Resources

The NVM Insider, Issue 4

June 2009

A quarterly look at embedded NVM/OTP happenings


Executive Opinion: Making Service a Key Component of "Value Added"

Rhéal Gervais, Vice President of Operations, Sidense

The term "value added" refers to the additional value added to an item's production flow from the initial production of its constituent parts until the final product is in consumers' hands.  For a semiconductor-based electronics product, value is added at each stage of product integration, from IP integration on a chip through final component integration into the saleable "box."  From a semiconductor IP vendor's viewpoint, adding value to a chip comprises not only the IP they offer but also the service they provide to the IP customer to make sure the chip works to that customer's satisfaction.  Very often, this service aspect is what differentiates one IP vendor from all the others.

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Outside Thoughts:  The IP Industry: One Big Happy Family

Warren Savage, President and CEO, IPextreme

A great deal is written about vendor consolidation in the semiconductor industry. However, this remains an elusive goal when it comes to IP. As system integration drives ever more complex devices, so does the appetite for a broad range of IP that no single vendor can possibly provide.

Read more

Sidense Out and About

Press Releases

Sidense Authored Articles

Editorial Coverage

Upcoming Conferences/Tradeshows of Interest

  • TSMC Technology Symposiums
    Sidense will be exhibiting at three TSMC Symposiums during June and July:
    • Hsin-chu, Taiwan (June 18) – Booth #12
    • Shanghai, China (June 25) – Booth #22
    • Yokohama, Japan (July 6) – Booth #TBD
    Contact Tom Schild (425-422-7376, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) if you would like to arrange a meeting at one of these shows.
  • Design Automation Conference (DAC)
    Sidense will also be attending DAC in San Francisco, CA (July 26-30). We will be giving presentations at the Chip Estimate booth (#1100) Monday through Wednesday at 2PM.
    Contact Jim Lipman (925-606-1370, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) to arrange a meeting at DAC.
  • Flash Memory Summit
    Sidense will be presenting a paper at the Flash Memory Summit – Santa Clara, CA (Aug. 11-13). The presentation, A Novel Embedded OTP Memory Bit Cell Based on Oxide Breakdown will be at the Life Beyond Flash: New Non-Volatile Memory Technologies session taking place from 8:30AM to 9:40AM on Thursday, Aug. 13.

NVM on the Mind

Recent Articles

  • Coming soon.

Your Two Bits!

What is your preferred way of receiving technical support? Select your choice on our online poll.

 


Executive Opinion: Making Service a Key Component of "Value Added"

Rhéal Gervais, Vice President of Operations, Sidense

The term "value added" refers to the additional value added to an item's production flow from the initial production of its constituent parts until the final product is in consumers' hands.  For a semiconductor-based electronics product, value is added at each stage of product integration, from IP integration on a chip through final component integration into the saleable "box."  From a semiconductor IP vendor's viewpoint, adding value to a chip comprises not only the IP they offer but also the service they provide to the IP customer to make sure the chip works to that customer's satisfaction.  Very often, this service aspect is what differentiates one IP vendor from all the others.

Because each target chip represents a different system environment to the IP embedded on that chip, every IP customer faces a different set of potential problems in successfully integrating third-party IP into a design.  IP integration success requires that both the IP supplier and customer work together and that the IP supplier has a good understanding of the customer's requirements.  Small IP vendors, in particular, need to be "close" to their customers to help them overcome any glitches that may come up during the deployment and integration of their IP in the customer's design.

When choosing an IP vendor, especially when the IP you might use can come from multiple sources, pick one that is known for a high degree of customer service, along with a successful track record of customer satisfaction, company stability and the technical expertise to understand your product and where and how it will be used.  There is an adage in the semiconductor industry that your best vendors are also your partners.  This has been true for EDA tool and ASIC vendors and is true for IP vendors as well.  After all, vendor success depends on your success and IP providers with good customer service records will always make the best partners for your business and provide the best added value in your chips.

At Sidense we not only strive to provide excellent "Value Added" service, but we do it for the right reasons – the ultimate success of our customers ...

 


Outside Thoughts:  The IP Industry: One Big Happy Family

Warren Savage, President and CEO, IPextreme

 

A great deal is written about vendor consolidation in the semiconductor industry. However, this remains an elusive goal when it comes to IP. As system integration drives ever more complex devices, so does the appetite for a broad range of IP that no single vendor can possibly provide.
IP is not like EDA, which is essentially a design translation business. RTL to gates, gates to placed gates, placed gates to GDSII, and so on. In EDA, differentiation is all about how well your design translation software works. No, IP is different. We are in the content business. Today’s SoC devices need a lot of content, which explains why there are more than a hundred IP companies in existence.

There are areas where customers should strive to find a single vendor. For example, USB is an example of an interface where it makes sense to buy the entire subsystem from a single vendor who can insure that the integration of the digital controller, PHY, and verification IP all work together seamlessly as a single subsystem.

nvm4_graphic1.jpgHowever, there are applications where the opposite is true, where there is value to the device to have a subsystem composed of IP from several suppliers to create a unique and differentiated device. In the following example, we show an HDMI solution where the controller is provided by one supplier, the key management system is provided by another, and the key storage by a non-volatile memory provider such as Sidense.

Such systems deal with data that has heavy digital rights management (DRM) and brings with it significant legal liabilities for the semiconductor company. If the keys are compromised, the semiconductor company could be held liable for quite large damages. A common solution to this problem is to divide the subsystem into separate elements that are procured from different suppliers and are then integrated by the chip designer to form a unique architecture. The unique architecture ensures that there is no single point of failure (e.g., the IP supplier) associated with security.

There are many examples of such inter-company collaborations in the IP industry and we are also starting to see it spread to the business side. Earlier this year, IPextreme launched the Constellations™ program along with a number of other IP companies, including Sidense. Constellations is a network of companies that work together introducing customers to complimentary IP within the network.

Such collaborations at the technical and business level are essential to the next era of the semiconductor industry where no single company can do it all. Our success as IP companies will largely depend on how well we work with each other.

 

 


Sidense Out and About

Press Releases

Sidense Authored Articles

Editorial Coverage

Upcoming Conferences/Tradeshows of Interest

  • TSMC Technology Symposiums
    Sidense will be exhibiting at three TSMC Symposiums during June and July:
    • Hsin-chu, Taiwan (June 18) – Booth #12
    • Shanghai, China (June 25) – Booth #22
    • Yokohama, Japan (July 6) – Booth #TBD
    Contact Tom Schild (425-422-7376, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) if you would like to arrange a meeting at one of these shows.
  • Design Automation Conference (DAC)
    Sidense will also be attending the DAC in San Francisco, CA (July 26-30). We will be giving presentations at the Chip Estimate booth (#1100) Monday through Wednesday at 2PM.
    Contact Jim Lipman (925-606-1370, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) to arrange a meeting at DAC.
  • Flash Memory Summit
    Sidense will be presenting a paper at the Flash Memory Summit – Santa Clara, CA (Aug. 11-13). The presentation, A Novel Embedded OTP Memory Bit Cell Based on Oxide Breakdown will be at the Life Beyond Flash: New Non-Volatile Memory Technologies session taking place from 8:30AM to 9:40AM on Thursday, Aug. 13.

NVM on the Mind

Recent Articles

  • Coming soon.

Your Two Bits!

What is your preferred way of receiving technical support?  Select your choice on our online poll.

 

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