Author's Latest Posts


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

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

← Older posts