Author's Latest Posts


Thomas Dolby’s Very Different View Of Progress


Thomas Dolby’s hit songs “She Blinded Me with Science” and “Hyperactive!” catapulted him to international fame in the early '80s as a pioneer of New Wave and Electronica by combining a love for invention with a passion for music. The result defined an era of revolutionary music. As record company politics began to overshadow the joy of performing, Dolby turned his attention to Holl... » read more

Using Emulators For Power/Performance Tradeoffs


Emulation is becoming the tool of choice for power and performance tradeoffs, scaling to almost unlimited capacity for complex chips used in data centers, AI/ML systems and smart phones. While emulation has long been viewed as an important but expensive asset for chipmakers trying to verify and debug chips, it is now viewed as an essential component for design optimization and analysis much ... » read more

Why EV Battery Design Is So Difficult


Automotive batteries always have been treated as plug-and-play parts of a vehicle, but that approach no longer works in electric vehicles. In fact, the battery is now a differentiating factor, and it is the heaviest and most expensive component. What used to be a relatively simple component has been replaced by a variety of sensors to measure complex static thermal and aging effects, as well... » read more

Open ISAs Gaining Traction


Open instruction set architectures are starting to gain a foothold, often in combination with other processors, as chipmakers begin to add more specialized compute elements and more flexibility into their designs. There are a number of these open ISAs available today, including Power, MIPS, and RISC-V, and there are a number of permutations and tools available for sale based on those archite... » read more

EDA Revenue Up 6.6% For Q2


Highlighted by double digit growth in semiconductor IP and the Asia/Pacific region, EDA industry revenue increased 6.6% for Q2 2019 to $2,472.1 million, compared to $2,318.5 million in Q2 2018, according to the ESD Alliance Market Statistics Service. The four-quarters moving average, which compares the most recent four quarters to the prior four quarters, increased by 6%, which represented a... » read more

FPGA Design Tradeoffs Getting Tougher


FPGAs are getting larger, more complex, and significantly harder to verify and debug. In the past, FPGAs were considered a relatively quick and simple way to get to market before committing to the cost and time of developing an ASIC. But today, both FPGAs and eFPGAs are being used in the most demanding applications, including cloud computing, AI, machine learning, and deep learning. In some ... » read more

Trading Off Power And Performance Earlier In Designs


Optimizing performance, power and reliability in consumer electronics is an engineering feat that involves a series of tradeoffs based on gathering as much data about the use cases in which a design will operate. Approaches vary widely by market, by domain expertise, and by the established methodologies and perspective of the design teams. As a result, one team may opt for a leading-edge des... » read more

Challenges To Building Level 5 Automotive Chips


It’s an exciting time in the automotive space, and this is especially true when it comes to all of the activity around autonomous driving and the path to achieving full Level 5 autonomy. The technology is complex, the ecosystem seems to get more complex by the day, and simulating autonomous systems safely makes this an extremely fascinating area from an engineering perspective. At the heart o... » read more

IP’s Growing Impact On Yield And Reliability


Chipmakers are finding it increasingly difficult to achieve first-pass silicon with design IP sourced internally and from different IP providers, and especially with configurable IP. Utilizing poorly qualified IP and waiting for issues to appear during the design-to-verification phase just before tape-out can pose high risks for design houses and foundries alike in terms of cost and time to... » read more

Taking Energy Into Account


Considering power throughout the SoC design flow is common practice. The same cannot be said for energy, although that is beginning to change as chips increasingly incorporate heterogeneous processing elements. Combined with this, AI/ML/DL technologies increasingly allow engineering teams to explore and optimize design data for more targeted and efficient systems. But this approach also requ... » read more

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