The NVM Insider, Issue 23

December 2014

A quarterly look at embedded NVM/OTP happenings


Andrew Faulkner, Sr. Director of Product Marketing, Sidense

Executive Opinion:
The Next Big Thing(s)

Andrew Faulkner, Sr. Director of Product Marketing, Sidense


It would seem that the accelerated growth in smartphones, phablets, tablets and Ultrabook PCs has somewhat slowed. Latest forecasts (from IC Insights) show that growth has slowed from over 50% annually to low double digits. Still strong growth, but given that collective semiconductor revenue from this segment is estimated to be in the order of $100B, a drop of this magnitude represents quite a change in fortunes for many. A slowing economy and slowdown in end-product churn are likely the key culprits. Expensive smartphones and tablets are unlikely to be discarded (like cell phones of old) but passed on or sold.

Read more


Emerson Hsiao, Senior VP, Sales and Technical Service, North America, Andes

Outside Thoughts: Innovative CPU IP Core Memory Subsystem Boosts Performance, Reduces Power

By Emerson Hsiao, Senior VP, Sales and Technical Service, North America, Andes


With Gartner estimating that product and services for the Internet of Things will generate over $300 billion in 2020, the number of designs for new "things" continues to increase. Most are built around microcontrollers but most CPU architectures within these MCUs lack the memory system architecture that reduces power while increasing performance. Andes Technology Corp. founded in Taiwan in 2005, is a CPU IP company that achieves these goals by developing the AndeStar architecture, now in its third version.

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Randy Smith, Vice President of Marketing, Sonics

Outside Thoughts #2: Now is the Time for ESL to Really Take-Off

By Randy Smith, Vice President of Marketing, Sonics


In the last half of the 1990s EDA industry analysts began talking about the growing market for tools above the RTL handoff level. This new electronic systems level (ESL) tools market was supposedly going to explode and dramatically change the design landscape. Many companies were funded, but the market never really took off as forecasted. What happened?

Read more


Sidense Out and About

Press Releases

Conference Proceedings

  • OTP for Mobile Applications
    Published in TSMC OIP Book (Sept. 30, 2014)

Articles and Whitepapers

Tradeshows and Conferences

  • ARM Technology Symposium Europe
    Thursday, December 4
    Cap 15 - 1/13 Quai de Grenelle
    75015 Paris, France

    To schedule a meeting with Sidense at the European ARM Technology Symposium, please contact:

    Wim van Seters
    +33 6 89 12 31 69
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Press Coverage

  • Sidense overlays OTP on TSMC 16nm FinFET
    Don Dingee, SemiWiki (Sept. 13, 2014)

    Process shrinks, which have served us well for most of the Moore's Law journey, are reaching their limits. For switching transistors, the biggest problems of leakage current and gate oxide vulnerability in planar MOSFETs have led the industry to new 3D microstructures such as FinFET. For non-volatile memory, the problem is generally not speed, but endurance and reliability.
  • Kilopass v. Sidense Update!
    Daniel Nenni, SemiWiki (Aug. 24, 2014)

    It looks like Sidense finally has closure on their request for attorney fees. Based on recent legislation "exceptional" now has a much less stringent definition as reflected in recent case law and our own Kilopass v. Sidense is one of those cases.
  • Chipmaker's Return Trip From Federal Circuit Is a Bumpy Ride/strong> (Aug. 13, 2014)

    Two years ago, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston saw nothing exceptional about one semiconductor designer's patent case against a competitor. Illston dismissed Sidense Corp.'s motion for attorney fees in a single paragraph, saying there was no showing of bad faith by Santa Clara-based Kilopass Technology Inc. On Tuesday, the judge reconsidered in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's Octane Fitness decision this April that reset the law of "exceptional case" attorney fees. Illston's 25-page decision in Kilopass Technology v. Sidense is believed to be the first from a Northern District of California judge awarding fees under Octane Fitness.


NVM on the Mind

Recent Articles

  • Did we forget non-volatile memory?
    By Don Dingee, SemiWiki (Oct. 15, 2014).
    In our rush to shrink SoC nodes more and more to achieve better performance and more complex devices, we may have forgotten a passenger in the back seat: non-volatile memory. There has been little discussion of this in the pages of SemiWiki until now. Let’s give it a closer look
  • What is STT-MRAM?
    By Michael Ofstedahl, EETimes (Aug. 11, 2014).
    STT-MRAM can replace low-density DRAM and SRAM, especially for mobile and storage devices. But what is it and how does it differ from MRAM?


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