Building Smart Homes On A Secure Foundation


News outlets recently covered the new paper, “Security Analysis of Emerging Smart Home Applications,” and its findings about the security vulnerabilities in common “smart home” applications. Originally published in the 2016 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, the paper describes the operation of, and potential issues with, the programming framework in smart home devices on the marke... » read more

Is Low Power Coverage Achievable?


Back in 2005, yes, before the invention of the iPhone, I made a slide to educate users on what to cover in Low Power Verification. Using a simple 3 island test case, I illustrated that verification had to be done in 4 states of operation, with 8 transitions and 16 sequences to be verified. This is after pruning the theoretically possible set of 8 states for on/off voltage islands. More than ... » read more

Using Multi-Channel Connections for Optimized LPDDR4 Power & Performance


LPDDR4, the latest double data rate synchronous DRAM for mobile applications, includes a number of features that enable SoC design teams to reduce power consumption of discrete DRAM in mobile devices. Desktop devices like PCs and servers commonly utilize DDR devices mounted on dual inline memory modules (DIMM) hosted on 64-bit wide buses. This board-level solution allows field-upgradeable DRAM ... » read more

What’s Next for System-Level Power Modeling?


Availability of models and libraries has long been one of the biggest barriers to the adoption of new EDA tools and methodologies, whether due to the investment needed to create these models and libraries or because of the “at-risk” nature of developing complex models in proprietary formats. With the approval of UPF3.0 (IEEE 1801-2015) this past December, we now have an industry standar... » read more

Achieving Numerical Precision And Design Customization With Flexible Floating-Point IP


Floating-point operations in application-specific hardware have gained in popularity mostly because they are easier to use than fixed-point operations and they are a better match to numerical behavior in software algorithms. Fixed-point operations present design challenges in the definition of input/output ranges and internal precision for each operation. On the other hand, floating-point opera... » read more

Power-Performance-Thermal


People like me are challenged in the culinary department. We believe that all we have to do is put the meat, vegetables, sauce and everything else in the recipe into the crockpot and a few hours later, out comes dinner. We (desperately) believe that we can dump the ingredients into a Ninja blender and get a healthy, tasty shake in a few minutes. (I have been politely informed that it is NOT the... » read more

2026: I Can Only Imagine…


It was fun to see all of the new products that were rolled out this year at CES. It got me thinking about how much technology has advanced in the past 10 years. In 2006, the iPhone was still a year away from being introduced and we hadn’t discovered tablets yet. The Internet wasn’t mobile and the cloud was still something in the sky. Never mind Fitbits, smart watches, augmented reality or a... » read more

Remove The Bus From Your Embedded System


For many years, the 8-bit microcontroller has been the workhorse of embedded systems. Design teams favor the size and power benefits that a tightly coupled processor, such as the 8051 microcontroller, brings to their designs. The compact and ultra-low power 8-bit architecture improves battery life and reduces bill-of-material costs. However, embedded systems increasingly require higher perfo... » read more

Stop Getting Burned By Power Consumption Surprises


Very rarely these days do we get silicon back and find that we have missed our timing or test constraints by a significant margin. We have robust EDA tools, libraries and design methodologies in place to ensure that we can cleanly signoff against these constraints. However, we do continue to see too many unfortunate “surprises” in silicon related power (energy) consumption and thermal issue... » read more

Outbound Power Management


Many years ago when I first suggested that we should do platform-level power instead of focusing on the CPU, I was considered somewhat of a heretic. Yet, within 10 to 15 years of that recommendation, most of the platforms around us have moved to that method using operating system functions to keep track of the overall power, battery life, etc. As we move into the era of billions of connected de... » read more

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