The convergence of several new technologies, such as 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), the industrial internet of things (IIoT), autonomous vehicles, and hyperscale computing have brought about a wave of unprecedented innovation. At the same time, these technologies have also pushed electronic design toward a higher level of integration and facilitated the development of diverse vertical applications. To accelerate this innovation, computational software has become a critical part of overcoming system design challenges. To face this new era, Cadence, a U.S.-headquartered computational software firm, has expanded the role of a traditional electronic design automation (EDA) tool provider. By providing a comprehensive platform that encompasses design and analysis software, the company is helping businesses develop the next generation of innovative products.
Cadence Taiwan Country Manager Brian Sung notes that as process nodes get smaller and heterogeneous integration requires ever more complex design processes, the industry is now at a turning point in its system design evolution. Demand for the integration of system design and analysis software will be greater than ever before. Given this, Cadence has already broadened its horizons with a higher level view. The company has built a more complete full-flow design platform with the mindset of “thinking beyond the chip” to help the industry solve the challenges associated with developing next-generation products.
Sung says that in terms of current overall system design, “thinking beyond the chip” involves three major trends. First, the More-than-Moore paradigm will give rise to more three-dimensional integrated circuit (3D-IC), system-in-package (SiP), or multi-chip module (MCM) layouts, bringing to fruition complex chip/chiplet package design. Second, the ultra-high data transfer rates of packaging, printed circuit boards (PCBs), connectors, cables, and backboards require more accurate signal integrity (SI) analysis to ensure optimal functionality and compliance with regulatory requirements. Third, the future will be a world in which radio frequency (RF) is ubiquitous; various wireless technologies such as 5G, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Zigbee will continue to be more widely used.
Only by being able to fully accommodate these design needs can Cadence collaborate with companies completing highly reliable designs. As an example, current interface speeds of circuit boards can already reach 112Gbps, ensuring SI requires robust electromagnetic (EM) analysis capabilities. Since the rise in temperature created by high frequencies can affect power supply and SI, co-design analysis of heat/power/electromagnetism has also become necessary to achieve greater product reliability.
Complex system design requires dependably powerful software, and individual point tools of the past are no longer feasible if the aim is to accelerate development of the new generation of system design. Cadence has built a full-flow platform integrating design, construction, and analysis for digital and 3D-IC, which can achieve the best design results. At the same time, this is also Cadence’s unique technical advantage.
Beyond this, software must be able to divide up and expand its computing load to accommodate thousands of CPU cores and servers in order to keep pace with the increasing complexity of chips and systems. This will allow businesses to accomplish larger-scale design at a more reasonable cost. At the same time, we also began to adopt machine learning (ML) algorithms to improve design optimization and efficiency. Cadence is always working to address the industry’s most pressing trends with the goal of helping the industry achieve better design quality both faster and smarter.
Taiwan In An Optimal Position In The Semiconductor Industry
As everyone knows, Taiwan is not only a global leader in the manufacturing of silicon wafers, but its packaging and testing capabilities are also world-class. Furthermore, Taiwan’s semiconductor clusters and the complete upstream and downstream portions of its industrial supply chains are unmatched. Given Taiwan’s great strengths in this area, says Brian Sung, Taiwanese industry will benefit from the diverse market demand and opportunities brought on by innovative applications, as well as the movement of design needs to the Asia-Pacific region and the reorganization of semiconductor supply chains.
Sung emphasized that right now is a critical moment for Taiwan’s semiconductor industry to take on the opportunities it is presented with. To that end, Cadence continues to invest in Taiwan, actively cultivating semiconductor industry talent and strengthening its computational software capabilities. With its “thinking beyond the chip” mindset, the company will maintain its dedication to offering complete flows and solutions, enabling businesses to welcome global market opportunities as part of the new system design era.