Author's Latest Posts


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

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

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