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DESIGN AUTOMATION CONFERENCE, SAN DIEGO, Calif - 07 Jun 2004: IBM and Intel Corporation today announced their collaboration on a new Linux-based mobile workstation pilot designed to increase the productivity of engineers working in one of today's most demanding computing fields -- Electronic Design Automation (EDA). The new platform combines the strengths of Intel® Centrino™ mobile technology, IBM ThinkPad notebooks and Cadence Design Systems software.
With IBM ThinkPad mobile workstations, engineers will be able to design and collaborate virtually anywhere while away from their offices. Intel developers are already using the solution in pilot form for engineering and product development functions, with plans for broader deployment starting in the second half of the year. Cadence, IBM and Intel representatives are demonstrating the solution this week at booth #1031 at the Design Automation Conference, an international meeting of electronics design professionals.
"With this new platform, mobility is taking a significant step forward," said Guru Bhatia, general manager of engineering computing at Intel Corporation. "Engineers will get the flexibility and productivity of Intel Centrino mobile technology with the outstanding performance that Electronic Design Automation software requires. This will help accelerate product development cycles so that semiconductor manufacturers can get products to market faster and ultimately be more competitive."
"This solution will change the way engineers work," says Kevin Reardon, general manager, IBM global electronics industry. "Engineers will have a ThinkPad mobile workstation with the ability to do advanced design work wirelessly and securely, expanding their options of where and when they work. Beyond the freedom they gain to do mobile circuit-design work, they will also have the ability to perform routine office tasks -- they will no longer be required to switch workstations between the office and the lab. Configuring workstations with the tools needed by engineers is one of the ways IBM is enabling an on demand world."
Electronic Design Automation has historically been conducted on desktop workstations, offering the processor speeds and memory requirements necessary for industrial-strength applications. However, new technologies and solutions introduced during the last six months have made an IBM ThinkPad-based mobile workstation a viable solution for EDA:
"Cadence has been fully engaged on the pilot projects with IBM and Intel and is working hard to deliver the highest performance solutions for our customers," said Lavi Lev, executive vice president and GM, Implementation Division, Cadence Design Systems, Inc. "The combination of Intel mobile technology inside IBM notebooks, and running our Virtuoso custom design platform, provides our customers with the flexibility and productivity to further reduce design cycle time and time to market for complex ICs."
The IBM ThinkPad platform will enable customers to select and acquire their choice of operating environment. The Linux operating system is being used in the current pilot project, and has become increasingly popular for engineering in key industries such as automotive, energy, electronics, pharmaceutical and life sciences - sectors that have traditionally relied on UNIX-based platforms for collaborative product design and development.
The combination of the latest IBM ThinkPad mobile workstations, Intel Pentium M processors and Cadence software delivers a significant performance improvement and faster design throughput. Initial testing with Cadence's Virtuoso* Spectre Circuit Simulator indicates that the Intel Pentium M processor 745 (1.8 GHz, codenamed Dothan) delivers a performance gain of 56 percent when compared with the Pentium M processor at 1.7 GHz (codenamed Banias).*** This improved performance, combined with the benefits of mobility, can enable significant productivity improvements in the field of EDA.
In addition to Intel, engineers at National Semiconductor and IBM Microelectronics are using the IBM ThinkPad mobile workstation in pilot form.
"We are now experiencing a paradigm shift in the way we design our chips, and this shift is being accelerated by the advent of mobile computing," said Steven Klass, CAD technical manager, National Semiconductor, and chair of the International Cadence Usergroup SysSIG. "Mobile computing enables an environment that un-tethers our design engineers, which in turn improves productivity, and reduces time-to-market. In short, it allows us to design from any where at any time."
"The MicroElectronics Division is committed to the mobile engineering platform as a long-term use model," said Dale Hoffman, director of business development and CTO, IBM Electronic Design Technology Solutions. "The platform's flexibility has already generated significant productivity gains and we're actively looking to expand this usage model."
Mobile workstations also have the potential to transform computing for the energy, oil and gas industry, enabling high-performance mobility for geoscientists and engineers. Similar IBM ThinkPad mobile workstation solutions for the energy industry will be demonstrated at the European Association of Geophysicists and Engineers (EAGE) Conference in Paris this week.
The mobile workstation solution is available in custom deployments from IBM Global Services, which offers consulting, deployment and implementation services for Linux-based solutions.
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