Where The Rubber Hits The Road: Implementing Machine Learning On Silicon


Machine learning (ML) is everywhere these days. The common thread between advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) vision applications in our cars and the voice (and now facial) recognition applications in our phones is that ML algorithms are doing the heavy lifting, or more accurately, the inferencing. In fact, neural networks (NN) can even be used in application spaces such as file compressi... » read more

Scaling Up Vision And AI DSP Performance


Imagine these futuristic scenarios: you hold your phone up to your face, and it automatically recognizes you and unlocks, so you can access content. A sensor at your front door recognizes that you are not an intruder, no matter what the wind has done to your hair or whether your face is obscured by a scarf. How about an autonomous car that recognizes your driving style, so not only can you turn... » read more

By the Power Vested in Me, I Now Pronounce You (The SoC Designer)…


…Doomed. Well, maybe that’s a little harsh, but your job won’t be getting any easier; that “happily ever after” may be harder to achieve than you think, and there are a number of reasons why. And by “me” (of vested power), here I’m really talking about the power of the consumer market as a whole and our collective insatiable demand for newer, shinier…well, just plain “coo... » read more

What Was Everywhere At CES? Voice.


I still don’t know why I’d ever want a voice-enabled washing machine, but the display in the Samsung booth with voice recognition for appliances was indicative of one of the strongest trends at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Everything is becoming voice enabled. Samsung has Bixby, Amazon has Alexa, Google has “Hey Google,” and Apple has Siri. These big-name voi... » read more

Self-Driving Cars And Kobayashi Maru


Kobayashi Maru. If you know what I am talking about, you are a bona fide Star Trek fan. If not, let me indulge. Kobayashi Maru is a computer simulation for a training exercise in the fictional Star Trek universe, where Starfleet Academy cadets are presented with a no-win scenario. But they do have to make a decision. The primary goal of the exercise is to rescue a disabled civilian vessel... » read more

Expanding Ecosystem Drives Auto Chip Gold Rush


Semiconductor chips designed to support automotive applications have been around for more than 40 years, which is a very long time in the technology business. These chips have been developed by semiconductor integrated device manufacturers (IDMs), which control every step of the design, manufacturing, test, qualification, reliability and quality aspects of these automotive chips. Special se... » read more

The 5G Design Dilemma


Nothing says low power and high performance like an emerging wireless standard that promises to increase link bandwidth, latency, and overall capacity by orders of magnitude while also reducing power. That emerging standard, of course, is 5G. With the number of devices that are projected to use 5G, it’s no surprise that 5G is a strategic initiative for many companies. This explains why des... » read more

High Performance, Low Power, And Test: DFT’s Impact On System PPA And Safety


Back in the day, test was an afterthought in system design and implementation. It was a separate task that could be added to the end of a project schedule—essentially, a checkbox before sending a design for manufacture or during product qualification. Nowadays, test is no longer an afterthought, and we’ll see it continue to grow in importance. Safety-critical semiconductor applications h... » read more

Expanding Ecosystem Drives Automotive Semiconductor Gold Rush


Semiconductor chips designed to support automotive applications have been around for more than 40 years, a very long time in the technology business. These chips have been developed by semiconductor integrated device manufacturers (IDMs), who control every step of the design, manufacturing, test, qualification, reliability and quality aspects of these automotive chips. On top of that, special s... » read more

I Say ‘High’ [Performance], You Say ‘Low’ [Power]


“…You say ‘why’, and I say ‘I don’t know…’” Actually, I do know. Everybody loves a high-performance product. Even just hearing that a product is high-performance sets higher expectations than if the product is simply described as “fast” or “powerful.” When it comes to SoC design, “high-performance” refers to a set of designs that run at very high clock freque... » read more

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