Alexa, Can You Help Me Build A Better SoC?

Consumers have fallen love with clever products like Amazon Echo, Nest, Google maps, Waze and Zillow that somehow make life a little easier and more fun. The underlying technology that makes these apps so rich and useful is machine learning and it seems to be showing up everywhere. Maybe it’s time to ask, “Alexa, can you help me build a better SoC?” The Next Frontier in SoC Architectur... » read more

Got System Cache?

Similar to the world we live in, a coherent SoC system has truly become a hodgepodge of often conflicting desires, wants, and needs. While some traffic flows are highly sensitive to CAS latency, others have rigid coherent bandwidth requirements, and others are more concerned with “must have” real-time needs to fulfill their tasks. Varying vastly from "must haves" to "best-effort," finding t... » read more

Adapt Or Perish: A Unified Theory Of Coherency

Evolution is a natural process and more importantly a relatively slow process that has eventually got us here, capable of perceiving, analyzing, and handling complex tasks. As our environment, society, and surroundings became more complex we learned how to adapt at a brisk and instantaneous manner, in this melting pot of a heterogeneous world. The evidence can be seen in all ages, from the poli... » read more

From Game Theory To The Unified Theory of Coherency

Adam Smith said that the best result comes from everyone in the group doing what is best for himself. But he’s only half right because the best result would come from everyone in the group doing what is best for himself and the group. If you are wondering where you might have heard this before, it was Russell Crowe playing John Nash in the movie “A Beautiful Mind.” John Nash was an Ame... » read more

The Making Of A System Architect

I mentor young people from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where I got my MSEE. When I talk to them, they tell me they’re applying for chip architecture jobs. But when they graduate with their computer science degrees they all get channeled into verification jobs. Why verification jobs rather than architecture jobs? Because they don’t have a feel for the full architecture. T... » read more

Advancing SoC Technology

As chip designers, we take logic synthesis for granted. It’s hard to imagine the days when engineers had to design digital logic by hand. But then, it’s no less mind-boggling to believe that NASA engineers used slide rules to calculate and plan the Apollo 11 mission that first landed on the moon. Were engineers just a whole lot smarter in the old days? Maybe. But it’s also true that c... » read more