Semiconductor design: TIM, Functional safety, and IP reuse are big concerns

Perforce Software recently released results of its first State of Semiconductors Report that looked at trends, challenges, and projections for the future of Semiconductor design. The report, which surveyed semiconductor professionals across job roles, revealed that the biggest issues facing them are time to market (TIM), IP reuse, and functional safety/compliance.

Semiconductor design: TIM, Functional safety, and IP reuse are big concernsA key finding revealed that the three most important issues facing organizations were time to market (48%), IP reuse (40%), and functional safety/compliance (35%). Survey findings indicate that the “semiconductor industry is trending toward component-based design and IP reuse to expedite time to market and maintain margins,” according to the report.

Limited visibility into the lifecycle of an IP impacts productivity and diminishes IP reuse, said researchers. The survey found that nearly 40% of survey participants said it takes one day or longer to locate the correct IP and 75% report difficulty in determining the context of an IP and its quality.

“Chips are becoming more complex. They are being used in technology that requires rigorous compliance processes,” said Simon Butler, general manager, Methodics by Perforce, in a statement. “With the current pace of innovation overtaking the market’s capacity, companies need to have a more granular approach to design. This survey supports the ongoing trend of organizations looking to component-based and IP-centric design to help close this productivity gap and transform their business.”

The survey also found that nearly 75% of the professionals surveyed said their organizations are required to meet compliance and safety standards, including ISO 26262 and ITAR. But most (73%) are using manual processes for compliance management, indicating a lack of automation, according to the report, and are struggling to determine if requirements are being met without comprehensive traceability.

Other key trends include:

  • 66% of respondents said embedded software is part of their product portfolio. This is “creating a need for tighter hardware/software co-design and validation,” said researchers.
  • Almost half of respondents revealed that there is 40% or more custom-IC (analog/mixed signal, etc.) ON a die in a typical chip. This indicates that “analog designs remain a vital component, as an increasing number of analog components are being combined on the SoC,” according to the report.
  • 76% of respondents are somewhat or very concerned about the lack of semiconductor manufacturing domestically.

A live webinar will be held on January 27, 2022, to discuss the results of the survey. Click here to register for Future of Semiconductor Design: 2022 Predictions & Trends webinar.