Author's Latest Posts


What Makes A Chip Design Successful Today?


"Transistors are free" was the rallying cry of the semiconductor industry during the 1990s and early 2000s. That is no longer true. The end of Dennard scaling made the simultaneous use of all the transistors troublesome, but transistors remained effectively unlimited. This led to an era where large amounts of flexibility could be built into a chip. It didn't matter if all of it was being use... » read more

The Cost Of Accuracy


How accurate does a system need to be, and what are you willing to pay for that accuracy? There are many sources of inaccuracy throughout the development flow of electronic systems, most of which involve complex tradeoffs. Inaccuracy leaves an impact on your design in ways you are not even aware of, hidden by best practices or guard-banding. EDA tools also inject some inaccuracy. As the i... » read more

Patently Absurd


One thing I like about the holiday season is that it gives me the opportunity to be a little less formal and have a little fun. I find humor within the patent system. I can remember growing up and being told that our next-door neighbor was crazy—but brilliant because he had a patent. Everyone looked to him as though he was a technology god. Later in life I learned how easy it is to get a p... » read more

Looking Beyond The CPU


CPUs no longer deliver the same kind of of performance improvements as in the past, raising questions across the industry about what comes next. The growth in processing power delivered by a single CPU core began stalling out at the beginning of the decade, when power-related issues such as heat and noise forced processor companies to add more cores rather than pushing up the clock frequency... » read more

IP Tracking and Management


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss IP tracking and management with Ranjit Adhikary, VP of marketing for ClioSoft; Jim Bruister, director digital systems (since retired) at Silvaco; Marc Greenberg, product marketing group director at Cadence; and Kelvin Low, VP of Marketing at Arm. What follows are excerpts from that conversation. SE: What is the scope of the problem? What are ... » read more

Why Chips Die


Semiconductor devices contain hundreds of millions of transistors operating at extreme temperatures and in hostile environments, so it should come as no surprise that many of these devices fail to operate as expected or have a finite lifetime. Some devices never make it out of the lab and many others die in the fab. It is hoped that most devices released into products will survive until they be... » read more

Design For Advanced Packaging


Advanced packaging techniques are viewed as either a replacement for Moore's Law scaling, or a way of augmenting it. But there is a big gap between the extensive work done to prove these devices can be manufactured with sufficient yield and the amount of attention being paid to the demands advanced packaging has on the design and verification flows. Not all advanced packaging places the same... » read more

The Impact of Domain Crossing on Safety


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss problems associated with domain crossings with Alex Gnusin, design verification technologist for Aldec; Pete Hardee, director, product management for Cadence; Joe Hupcey, product manager and verification product technologist for Mentor, a Siemens Business; Sven Beyer, product manager design verification for OneSpin; and Godwin Maben, applications en... » read more

The Impact of Moore’s Law Ending


Over the past couple of process nodes the chip industry has come to grips with the fact that Moore's Law is slowing down or ending for many market segments. What isn't clear is what comes next, because even if chipmakers stay at older nodes they will face a series of new challenges that will drive up costs and increase design complexity. Chip design has faced a number of hurdles just to get ... » read more

Reduction In First Silicon Success


Every two years, Harry Foster, chief scientist for Mentor, a Siemens Business, works with Wilson Research to do a verification study. Those studies have influenced many in the industry, indicating where users are experiencing the most pain, spending their time, growing their team sizes and where money would be best spent. However, over the past four years, the ASIC industry has basically been i... » read more

← Older posts