Author's Latest Posts


Supporting CPU Plus FPGA


While it has been possible to pair a CPU and FPGA for quite some time, two things have changed recently. First, the industry has reduced the latency of the connection between them and second, we now appear to have the killer app for this combination. Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss these changes and the state of the tool chain to support this combination, with Kent Orthner, system... » read more

The Hunt For A Low-Power PHY


Physics has been on the side of chipmakers throughout most of the lifetime of [getkc id="74" comment="Moore's Law"], but when dealing with the world outside the chip, physics is working against them. Pushing data at ever-faster rates through boards and systems consumes increasing amounts of power, but the power budget for chips has not been increasing. Could chips be constrained by their int... » read more

The Problem With Clocks


The synchronous digital design paradigm has enabled us to design circuits that are well controlled, but that is only true if the clocks themselves are well controlled. While overdesign techniques ensured that to be the case in early ASIC development, designs today cannot afford such luxuries. As we strive for lower power and higher operating frequencies, the clock has become a critical desig... » read more

Supporting CPUs Plus FPGAs


While it has been possible to pair a CPU and FPGA for quite some time, two things have changed recently. First, the industry has reduced the latency of the connection between them and second, we now appear to have the killer app for this combination. Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss these changes and the state of the tool chain to support this combination, with Kent Orthner, system... » read more

Supporting CPUs Plus FPGAs


While it has been possible to pair a CPU and FPGA for quite some time, two things have changed recently. First, the industry has reduced the latency of the connection between them and second, we now appear to have the killer app for this combination. Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss these changes and the state of the tool chain to support this combination, with Kent Orthner, system... » read more

What Is Portable Stimulus?


When [getentity id="22028" e_name="Accellera"] first formed the [getentity id="22863" comment="Portable Stimulus Working Group”] and gave it that name, I was highly concerned. I expressed my frustration that the name, while fitting with what most people thought [getkc id="10" kc_name="verification"] is about, does not reflect the true nature of the standard being worked on. In short, it is no... » read more

Users Talk Back On Standards Process


One of the major themes of DVCon this year was the standard that currently goes by the name of Portable Stimulus (see related story, Portable Stimulus – The Name Must Change). It is not ready for prime time yet, but there was plenty to hear and learn about the emerging standard, including what users think about it and the standardization process. The panel gave the users the opportunity to vo... » read more

Power Impacting Cost Of Chips


The increase in complexity of the power delivery network (PDN) is starting to outpace increases in functional complexity, adding to the already escalating costs of modern chips. With no signs of slowdown, designers have to ensure that overdesign and margining do not eat up all of the profit margin. The semiconductor industry is used to problems becoming harder at smaller geometries, but unti... » read more

The Ultimate Shift Left


Floorplanning is becoming much more difficult due to a combination of factors—increased complexity of the power delivery network, lengthening of clock trees, rising levels of communication, and greater connectedness of [getkc id="81" kc_name="SoC"]s coupled with highly constrained routing resources. The goal of floorplanning is to determine optimal placement of blocks on a die. But connect... » read more

Dealing With Unintended Behavior


Functional verification was already tough enough, but having to identify behaviors that were never defined or intended opens up the search space beyond what existing tools are capable of handling. However, while you may not be able to eliminate unintended behaviors, a design team is not helpless. There are several steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of these problems getting int... » read more

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