Earlier this week, I attended the IDC Smart Technology World conference and heard many interesting presentations. Two back-to back presentations with some similar messages came from Reiner Klement, VP of Product Management at Qualcomm CDMA Technologies and Dr. Lisa Su, VP and GM of the Networking and Multimedia Group at Freescale. When asked about avoiding commoditization, Klement said that there’s only one way. “You can’t deliver just the silicon,” he said. “You must also deliver drivers, an adapted operating system, and an ecosystem.” It’s the full hardware and software stack that differentiates. It’s no longer “just” the silicon.
Su sang from the same hymnal. “It’s not how you put components on a chip. It’s how you develop a system,” she said.
These sentiments underlie the EDA360 vision of System Realization. You can no longer get by merely by being clever about building the silicon. You still need to be clever there, but you’d also better be plenty clever about developing all the software and ecosystem support that goes with the silicon at today’s nanometer complexity levels. Otherwise, you’re going to find your parts in the commodity bin with margins that may not be to your liking.