Bright Future Expected For Configurable Processors - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Bright Future Expected For Configurable Processors

Speakers at ARC International's ConfigCon Silicon Valley conference said configurable processors have many opportunities and predicted a strong growth curve.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Configurable processor cores are on a rapid growth curve and have "great opportunities" in many embedded applications, said analyst Jim Feldhan, keynote speaker at the ConfigCon Silicon Valley 2006 conference here Monday (Oct. 30). Other speakers also described a bright future for configurable processors.

ConfigCon, which has been held in Taiwan and China but is appearing for the first time in Silicon Valley, is sponsored by ARC International. Presenters included representatives of EDA vendors, real-time operating system (RTOS) providers, silicon intellectual property (IP) suppliers, and foundries.

Feldhan, president and founder of Semico Research Corp., said that total processor cores account for around 2.5 billion units today and will approach 4 billion units by 2010. Configurable processors account for 200 million units today and will reach 1 billion units by 2010 — a much faster overall growth curve than non-configurable cores, Feldhan said.

"There's a great deal of design work going on right now, and there's a great opportunity for ARC, Tensilica and other vendors as well," Feldhan said. Good opportunities for configurable cores, he said, include markets with new standards that are in flux; applications that require the processing of a large amount of data in a limited time; and power management for portability, where reducing clock cycles is important.

Feldhan said that configurable cores should do well in applications such as wireless networks, multimedia, streaming video, image processing, HDTV, and old and new portables. He said that configurable cores provide product differentiation, address multiple standards, support multicore designs, and protect designers' IP.

Feldhan also reiterated a previous Semico forecast that predicts a short downturn in semiconductor industry growth in 2007, followed by strong market growth through 2010.

Meanwhile, speakers from ARC presented configurable processors as a new chip design methodology for the 21st century. "We believe this represents the future of SoC [system on chip] design," said Carl Schlachte, ARC president and CEO.

Schlachte said that Moore's Law actually inhibits the creation of low-cost SoCs, because increasing complexity results in high design costs. "We need to be able to utilize SoCs without touching every transistor," he said. "The IP industry was born on the back of this fact."

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
1 of 2
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
IT Careers: Top 10 US Cities for Tech Jobs
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  1/14/2020
Predictions for Cloud Computing in 2020
James Kobielus, Research Director, Futurum,  1/9/2020
What's Next: AI and Data Trends for 2020 and Beyond
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/30/2019
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
The Cloud Gets Ready for the 20's
This IT Trend Report explores how cloud computing is being shaped for the next phase in its maturation. It will help enterprise IT decision makers and business leaders understand some of the key trends reflected emerging cloud concepts and technologies, and in enterprise cloud usage patterns. Get it today!
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll