Hewlett-Packard's PICO is a tool capable of overcoming some of the roadblocks inherent to traditional methods of producing embedded architectures for computer processors.
Hardware-software trade-offs--such as the more functionality or logic a chip designer embeds in a chip, the less memory that will be required--have been a key problem.
See news story:
HP shifts chip design work to computers
In simpler terms, advanced automation will helo chipmakers design chips more intelligently to produce higher performance in chips and systems alike.
Microprocessor manufacturing costs and time to market have been largely overhyped when discussing design tools. Functionality is what it is about--that is, how much complexity can a chipmaker get into a design. ARC Cores is one example of a vendor that has been successful at doing that.
Gartner believes HP's challenge will be a lack of sales channels. Although HP is known for its design skills and great reputation, Gartner doesn't see that translating into actual sales channels. HP will have to work extra hard to establish distribution channels for its chips because it is not a semiconductor/core vendor.
(For related commentary on the demand for chip designers, see TechRepublic.com -- free registration required.)
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