By Gabe MorettiApril 30, 2008 - edadesignline.com
A piece by Patrick Mannion (Opinion: The irrelevance of silicon, written just after the Embedded Systems Conference puts forward the thesis that software constitutes the added value in today's products and will become more important than hardware in future products. Nick Tredennick, technology analyst for Gilder Publishing, the main keynote speaker at the conference, went as far as stating that transistors are "good enough". Mr. Tredennick is obviously unaware of the many physics issues semiconductors designers are struggling with.
It is true that I myself have pointed out that there are applications that are well served with semiconductor technologies that are no longer leading edge. It is true that there is still a place for 8051 architectures built with 180 nm processes. But is also true that we have yet to reach true real time response for many applications, and that markets that require fast correlation of diverse data types are mostly still under served due to limitation in the hardware.
Only looking at either soft or hard components of a products is taking the wrong approach. It is the system that counts, and a leading product is the result of the correct tradeoff between hard and soft components to meet well thought requirements.
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