Author's Latest Posts


Could DVCon Be Better?


DVCon is undoubtedly the best conference in the industry if your interest is functional verification. In the past, it has also had a slant toward design. The focus is quite simply based on the standards activity going on within [getentity id="22028" e_name="Accellera"], the EDA industry's body that turns problems into solution in a short space of time. As those standards mature, they are handed... » read more

Fault Simulation Reborn


Fault simulation, one of the oldest tools in the EDA industry toolbox, is receiving a serious facelift after it almost faded from existence. In the early days, fault simulation was used to grade the quality of manufacturing test vectors. That task was replaced almost entirely by [getkc id="173" comment="scan test"] and automatic test pattern generation (ATPG). Today, functional safety is cau... » read more

New Memories And Architectures Ahead


Memory dominates many SoCs, and it is rare to hear that a design contains too much memory. However, memories consume a significant percentage of system power, and while this may not be a critical problem for many systems, it is a bigger issue for Internet of Things ([getkc id="76" kc_name="IoT"]) edge devices where total energy consumption is very important. Memory demands are changing in al... » read more

Devices Threatened By Analog Content?


As the amount of analog content in connected devices explodes, ensuring that the analog portion works properly has taken on a new level of urgency. Analog circuitry is required for interpreting the physical world and for moving data to other parts of the system, while digital circuitry is the fastest way to process it. So a sensor that gives a faulty reading in a car moving at high speed or ... » read more

Uncovering Unintended Behavior


Very few companies ever had to worry about security until recently. Over the past couple of years, we have seen increasing evidence that our connected systems are vulnerable. The recent distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which made many Internet sites unavailable, has focused attention on Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as digital video recorders and cameras that have Internet a... » read more

Ethics And The Singularity


A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article entitled The Multiplier and the Singularity. That article has been well received and I thank those who have made some kind and interesting comments on it. Such articles can be difficult to write without inserting writer's bias. As a writer, I have many of my own thoughts and possibly even prejudices, but those are not meant to make their way into my wri... » read more

2017: Tool And Methodology Shifts


As the markets for semiconductor products evolve, so do the tools that enable automation, optimization and verification. While tools rarely go away, they do bend like plants toward light. Today, it is no longer the mobile phone industry that is defining the direction, but automotive and the Internet of Things (IoT). Both of these markets have very different requirements and each creates their o... » read more

The Multiplier And The Singularity


In 1993, Vernor Vinge, a computer scientist and science fiction writer, first described an event called the Singularity—the point when machine intelligence matches and then surpasses human intelligence. And since then, top scientists, engineers and futurists have been asking just how far away we are from that event. In 2006, Ray Kurzweil published a book, "The Singularity is Near," in whic... » read more

2017: Manufacturing And Markets


While the industry is busy chatting about the end of Moore's Law and a maturing of the semiconductor industry, the top minds of many companies are having none of it. A slowdown in one area is just an opportunity, in another and that is reflected in the predictions for this year. As in previous years, Semiconductor Engineering will look back on these predictions at the end of the year to see ... » read more

Crazy Christmas Patents


For the past several years, I have been writing a blog that pokes fun at patent applications related to Christmas. It now appears that I am an expert in this subject matter because I received two e-mails during the course of this year. One asked how they should go about getting their Christmas ornament manufactured and marketed. The other asked if I would feature their newly released ornament i... » read more

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