Power, Performance And Electronic Surveillance


The disclosure that smart TVs can be used as for surveillance purposes is hardly a revelation. Makers of these devices have been advertising gesture recognition features for several years. Far from being evil, TV makers were responding to market research that showed voice inputs were a good way to boost sales in a saturated digital TV market. They added cameras so buyers could wave their han... » read more

Smart Antennas Come Into View


Antennas are getting smarter, particularly in light of their increasing complexity, along with the intricacies of the environments — existing and new — they play in. There are interesting ways in which antennas are being integrated into the latest vehicles, some examples of which are in-vehicle approaches that range from a single antenna in the infotainment (behind the screen in front of... » read more

HBM2: It’s All About The PHY


HBM DRAM is currently used in graphics, high-performance computing (HPC), server, networking and client applications. HBM, says JEDEC HBM Task Group Chairman Barry Wagner, provides a “compelling solution” to reduce the IO power and memory footprint for the most demanding applications. Recent examples of second-generation HBM deployment include NVIDIA’s Quadro GP100 GPU which is paired wit... » read more

10nm And 7nm Routability – How Is Your CAD Flow Doing?


At DesignCon in January, I was a panelist at a panel session entitled “Power Integrity For 10nm/7nm SoCs - Overcoming Physical Design Challenges And TAT.” I was on the panel together with Arvind Vel, Sr. Director Applications Engineering, ANSYS, Inc. and Ruggero Castagnetti, Distinguished Engineer, Broadcom Limited. This topic is of course extremely broad, but it was interesting getting fee... » read more

New USB Audio Class For USB Type-C Digital Headsets


The ¼” phone jack was invented more than 100 years ago to connect people using a new invention called the “telephone.” Today, the modern variant - the 3.5mm phone jack - is widely used. As modern mobile phones are used for more than phone calls and do not have room for multiple connectors, a new approach for audio connectivity is needed, so product designers are retiring the 3.5mm jack. ... » read more

Correlating Software Execution With Switching Activity To Save Power In SoC Designs


There is probably no more pointless waste of energy than lighting and heating a room that is empty. The obvious optimization: notice that no one is there and turn off the lights. It works the same on an SoC or embedded system. To save energy, system developers are adding the ability turn off the parts of the system that are not being used. Big energy savings but with no compromise to functional... » read more

Debug Is About To Get Really Interesting Again


One of the great unheralded chapters in the history of electronics design is debug. After all, where there have been designs, there have been bugs. And there was debug, engaged in an epic wrestling match with faults, bugs and errors to determine which would prevail. Think about system in the 1970s and '80s. A typical system would consist of a CPU, (EP)ROM, RAM, Peripherals (PIC, UART, DMA, T... » read more

Fix Processes, Then Silos


Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, was a big proponent of what he called a "boundaryless corporation." It was a good sound bite, but it pales in comparison to former Intel CEO Andy Grove's philosophy of working out of a cubicle, just like the rest of his staff. While it's great to have corporate buy-in for breaking down silos, which are vertically integrated, the real problem for semiconductor c... » read more

Adapting Formal


With more pressure to make designs efficient — from a power perspective, as well as from an overall design view — finding what can be removed from a design is one step closer. As discussed in the article published today, “What Can Be Cut From A Design?” — sequential analysis, based on formal verification technology, is gaining traction. I specifically asked Mentor Graphics’ direc... » read more

Confidence In 7nm Designs Requires Multi-Variable, Multi-Scenario Analysis


As designs move toward 7-nanometer (nm) process nodes, engineering and production cost dramatically increases and the stake in getting the design right the first time becomes significantly higher than ever before. You are faced with the question, “how confident are you in your design analysis coverage?” Tighter noise margin, increasing power density, faster switching current and greater ... » read more

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