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Chip designers go mobile

Synopsys, IBM and Intel tout the efficiencies of using wireless applications among engineering work groups.

Semiconductor design firm Synopsys is working with IBM and Intel on using wireless to help engineers speed up the process of bringing new chips to consumers, the three companies announced during this week's Design Automation Conference in Anaheim, Calif. The partnership, part of a "mobile-aware" campaign focused on infusing wireless in applications to improve collaboration between work groups, was prompted in part by an Intel pilot study that showed design engineers can work 10 percent faster if they use wireless workstations.

Depending on their complexity, semiconductors can take between a year to five years to design, produce and ship, says Illuminata analyst Gordon Haff. The Synopsys/IBM/Intel collaboration includes working with selected customers using IBM ThinkPad notebooks and Intel Centrino wireless chips.