ArtistDesign Automotive Systems Day 2008

March 12th, 2008       Munich, Germany organised and funded by ARTIST 

Guest Comment

Dr. Peter van Staa, Robert Bosch GmbH, Director of Design of Integrated Circuits
Peter van Staa was born in Osnabrück, Germany, on October 26, 1950. He studied Physics at the Universities of Göttingen and Münster, where he received the diploma in 1977 and the Dr. rer. nat. with a thesis on semiconductor physics in 1983.
After different management functions on CAD, IC qualification and testing today he heads the Advanced Microelectronics Engineering department, which includes the development of new tools and methods for automated IC design and EDA-support as well as technology assessement and library development.
Automotive applications is one of the most challenging areas for designers of electronic systems: They have to deal with a large and demanding chain of customers, from OEMs, Tier1 and Tier2 levels. They have to develop analogue circuits up tp high frequencies, high voltages and high currents, to synthesize complex digital circuits and to generate the apparent software, and last but not least to combine all these modules together with also non-electronic peripheral components to a system with zero-defect-quality and, of course, moderate prices.

EDA is going to develop tools and apparent methodologies to make electronic design deterministic. Looking on Automotive Electronics (AE) from the perspective of an EDA methodologist, we recognize AE-designers more as High-tech-Artists than as engineers. But more surprising, AE works and is one of the most successful and stably continuously growing area of microelectronics today. How can that happen?

The answer is quite simple: The right combination of determinism and creativity, of discipline and pragmatism, of innovation speed and quality assurance is the key for the success of a high-tech engineer. EDA has to understand the kernel of the design methodology in each application area and to support it, also adding value by changes which can improve the performance of the designers. Not 100% deterministics, that means full automation of the design process, is the final goal of EDA, but to develop an integrated, complete and harmonized design process, which generates a powerfull symbiosis of the methodology strengths of the designers and the EDA environment.

From the perspective of Moore’s law, which is the valid forecast tool for the innovation speed of microelectronics since decades, we recognize furthermore the existence of the design gap, which describes the simple fact, that design efficiency improvement is slower than the increase of chip complexity which is enabled by a new generation of semiconductor technologies. The conclusion from the design gap is simple: The battle for market shares is fought on the design area.
The EDA industry’s goal is to develop methodologies and tools that make electronic design deterministic. The automotive industry’s goal is to have ready access to a complete, integrated, and harmonized design process that symbiotically leverages AE designers’ methodology strengths and the EDA environment. To fulfil the requirements of AE design, the EDA industry must understand the core issues in the design methodology in any given application area and support it with innovations that improve designer performance. For its part, the automotive industry has already increased its effort to improve EDA methodology and technology for automotive applications in close cooperation with both the EDA industry and academia. It was in this context that the edacentrum in Germany was born.

The success of such initiatives needs strong interaction and exchange of ideas and experiences between the people involved. Thus also the DATE as the largest and most important EDA conference in Europe plays a very important role to bring the EDA world and the designers together especially in such challenging areas like Automotive Electronics Design. Therefore I highly appreciate the various activities during the coming DATE dealing with Automotive Electronics:, the DATE exhibition where you will find many EDA companies presenting new solutions, the Tutorial on Monday, and the Special Day "Automotive Systems" on Wednesday, together with a lot of contributions during the different sessions of the DATE.

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