ESD Guns, Transients And Testing…Oh My!


With the pervasiveness of power management techniques like clock gating and power gating, transient power is on the rise, accompanied by the requirement to closely examine a system for such phenomenon as electrostatic discharge. I was interested to recently learn more about ESD testing, some of which is done with software tools, but much is still done in the lab with prototypes of the end d... » read more

Power Just One Piece Of The Puzzle At 10nm And Below


With dynamic power density and rising leakage power becoming more problematic at each new node, it is more important than ever to look at designs today with power in mind from the very start. As part of this complex picture of electronic design today, every piece in the design flow must tie together for the greatest efficiency and optimization. While this is partly power, there are more... » read more

Understanding Voltage Drop Mechanics


As a fundamental concept of electronic design, voltage drop ranks highly as one to understand well. I particularly appreciate when industry folks come up with creative ways to get the point across. Jerry Zhao, a product management director at Cadence and I were discussing how to best manage dynamic and static voltage drop, but I first asked him to explain the difference between the two. I p... » 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

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

What’s Missing In Deep Learning?


It is impossible today to be unaware of deep learning/machine learning/neural networks -- even if what it all entails is not even clear yet. Someone who is intimately familiar with this area, and has some thoughts on this is Chris Rowen, founder of Tensilica (now part of Cadence), who is now a self-described hat juggler. He is still active Cadence several days a month, working technically on... » read more

Architecting For Energy


Most of the time, electrical design engineers create their designs by putting in the functions first, then going back later to figure out what they can afford to shut down. But with energy harvesting, this is flipped, and the systems must be built to normally be ‘off,’ and with a clear understanding of the minimum power requirements. Also, most of the time, energy harvesting systems are ... » read more

Accuracy, Waveforms, And Power


The entire topic of power analysis, estimation, and exploration never ceases to amaze me given that opinions on how to approach this are so varied. It is that diversity of opinions that makes it that much more intriguing. I’ve been particularly interested in how I now regularly hear that users are increasingly interested in taking activity from simulation and emulation and using that to dr... » read more

Accuracy Is Relative


I've been doing some thinking on the concept of accuracy lately in my article, Does Power Analysis Need To Be Accurate? And, I’ve come to the conclusion that there isn’t a single conclusion to be had. Accuracy is very relative to the task at hand, as well as the use case, and the very specific power requirements. And maybe the focus shouldn't be always on the accuracy, but on what the chan... » read more

Power Confounds, Challenges


I have to admit I’m always surprised to hear that design teams are not using tools to the fullest extent possible, leaving valuable power saving opportunities on the table, until I remember how daunting it is to get it all right without tremendous experience, expertise, and the right tools. I’m also always fascinated to learn about less-obvious effects from power. To this point, Aveek... » read more

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