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The Building Blocks Of Future Compute


Eric Hennenhoefer, vice president of research at Arm, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about privacy, security, high-performance computing, accelerators, and Arm’s research. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Privacy, cybersecurity, silicon photonics, quantum computing are all hot topics today. What do you find really interesting with these emerging areas? ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 16


On-chip modulator Researchers at Harvard SEAS and Nokia Bell Labs boosted shrunk down an important component of optoelectronics with an on-chip modulator that is 100 times smaller and 20 times more efficient than current lithium niobite (LN) modulators. Lithium niobate modulators form the basis of modern telecommunications, converting electronic data to optical information in fiber optic ca... » read more

RISC-V: More Than a Core


The open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA) is attracting a lot of attention across the semiconductor industry, but its long-term success will depend on levels of cooperation never seen before in the semiconductor industry. The big question now is how committed the industry is to RISC-V's success. The real value that RISC-V brings is the promise of an ecosystem and the opportun... » read more

Making AI Run Faster


The semiconductor industry has woken up to the fact that heterogeneous computing is the way forward and that inferencing will require more than a GPU or a CPU. The numbers being bandied about by the 30 or so companies working on this problem are 100X improvements in performance. But how to get there isn't so simple. It requires four major changes, as well as some other architectural shifts. ... » read more

ML Becomes Useful For Variation Coverage


According to industry sources, it is quite a feat to get a chip back from the foundry that actually meets the specifications the design team worked towards, and because of this much effort is underway across the industry to understand what will happen to a design once it reaches the manufacturing stage, and what the effects of design choices actually are. AI and ML are absolutely the buzz wo... » read more

Re-using Common Simulation Set-Up Processes To Speed Regression


Functional verification of SoCs always has some kind of set up process. For complex SoCs, at least, this initial set up phase often consumes from 20 to 90% of each test’s total simulation time. And thousands of tests are run in the verification of a design. This set up phase could be either executing the exact same sequence of simulation steps, or programming the design to reach the same i... » read more

Overcoming Low Power Verification Challenges For Mixed-Signal SoC Designs


With increasing SoC complexity and advanced power-aware architectures, a robust low power verification methodology is important for signing off the design at different stages from RTL through netlist. For mixed-signal SoCs, the challenge is, there is no well-defined low power methodology, nor are the industry’s low power verification tools equipped to handle custom designs. This article propo... » read more

Functional Safety And Requirements Engineering


Currently, dramatically increasing design costs are being reported for safety-critical applications. This is caused by additional necessary actions to implement and verify functional safety requirements. Such requirements are appearing with a clearly increasing tendency in the area of mobility (automotive, transport, aerospace) as well as in industrial automation and medical technology. In many... » read more

Power Delivery Affecting Performance At 7nm


Complex interactions and dependencies at 7nm and beyond can create unexpected performance drops in chips that cannot always be caught by signoff tools. This isn't for lack of effort. The amount of time spent trying to determine if an advanced-node chip will work after it is fabricated has been rising steadily for several process nodes. Additional design rules handle everything from variation... » read more

Power Issues Grow For Cloud Chips


Performance levels in traditional or hyperscale data centers are being limited by power and heat caused by an increasing number of processors, memory, disk and operating systems within servers. The problem is so complex and intertwined, though, that solving it requires a series of steps that hopefully add up to a significant reduction across a system. But at 7nm and below, predicting exactly... » read more

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