Author's Latest Posts


Variables Complicate Safety-Critical Device Verification


The inclusion of AI chips in automotive and increasingly in avionics has put a spotlight on advanced-node designs that can meet all of the ASIL-D requirements for temperature and stress. How should designers approach this task, particularly when these devices need to last longer than the applications? Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss these issues with Kurt Shuler, vice president of... » read more

Over-Design, Under-Design Impacts Verification


Designing a complex chip today and getting it out the door on schedule and within budget — while including all of the necessary and anticipated features and standards — is forcing engineering teams to make more tradeoffs than in the past, and those tradeoffs now are occurring throughout the flow. In an ideal system design flow, design teams will have done early, pre-design analysis to se... » read more

New Approaches For Dealing With Thermal Problems


New thermal monitoring, simulation and analysis techniques are beginning to coalesce in chips developed at leading-edge nodes and in advanced packages in order to keep those devices running at optimal temperatures. This is particularly important in applications such as AI, automotive, data centers and 5G. Heat can kill a chip, but it also can cause more subtle effects such as premature aging... » read more

Data Strategy Shifting Again In Cars


Carmakers are modifying their data processing strategies to include more processing at or near the source of data, reducing the amount of data that needs to be moved around within a vehicle to both improve response time and free up compute resources. These moves are a world away from the initial idea that terabytes of streaming data would be processed in the cloud and sent back to the vehicl... » read more

The Increasingly Ordinary Task Of Verifying RISC-V


As RISC-V processor development matures and its usage in SoCs and microcontrollers grows, engineering teams are starting to look beyond the challenges of the processor core itself. So far, the majority of industry verification efforts have focused on ISA compliance to standardize the RISC-V core. Now the focus is shifting to be how to handle verification as the system grows, especially as this... » read more

FPGA Prototyping Complexity Rising


Multi-FPGA prototyping of ASIC and SoC designs allows verification teams to achieve the highest clock rates among emulation techniques, but setting up the design for prototyping is complicated and challenging. This is where machine learning and other new approaches are beginning to help. The underlying problem is that designs are becoming so large and complex that they have to be partitioned... » read more

Design For Narrowband IoT


Most low-power chips are designed with the assumption that batteries can be recharged or replaced, but there is a whole set of IoT devices under development that are expected to be always-on, communicate over a cellular infrastructure, and remain functional on a coin-sized lithium-ion battery for a decade or more. Welcome to the world of Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), a 3GPP standard (also known a... » read more

‘More Than Moore’ Reality Check


The semiconductor industry is embracing multi-die packages as feature scaling hits the limits of physics, but how to get there with the least amount of pain and at the lowest cost is a work in progress. Gaps remain in tooling and methodologies, interconnect standards are still being developed, and there are so many implementations of packaging that the number of choices is often overwhelming. ... » read more

Vehicle Communications Network Is Due For Overhaul


The Controller Area Network (CAN), one of the main communications networks in an automobile, is headed for a security overhaul — if not a wholesale replacement. Initially devised in the 1980s to allow electronic components in a vehicle to communicate directly without a central computer in between, the CAN bus has become a growing security risk as more functions are automated and integrated... » read more

The Murky World Of AI Benchmarks


AI startup companies have been emerging at breakneck speed for the past few years, all the while touting TOPS benchmark data. But what does it really mean and does a TOPS number apply across every application? Answer: It depends on a variety of factors. Historically, every class of design has used some kind of standard benchmark for both product development and positioning. For example, SPEC... » read more

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