Choosing Power-Saving Techniques


Engineers have come up with a long list of ways to save power in chip and system designs, but there are few rules to determine which approaches work best for any given design. There is widespread confusion about what techniques should be used where, which IP or subsystem is best, and how everything should be packaged together. The choices include everything from the proper level of clock and... » read more

Power State Switching Gets Tougher


Power state switching delay is a key factor in minimizing power, and getting it right frequently means the difference between a successful design and a dead chip. But tradeoffs are intricate, complex and often involve judgment calls, making this a place where designs can go completely awry. For years, traditional, full-swing [gettech id="31093" comment="CMOS"] process technologies were used ... » read more

Mobile Processors Move Beyond Phones


Mobile processors, also known as application processors, are well-known as the engines that run smartphones, tablet computers, and other wireless devices. But these chips increasingly are finding their way into autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things, unmanned aerial vehicles, virtual reality, and other applications far beyond phone calls and text messages. Moreover, they are gaining in com... » read more

2017: Manufacturing And Markets


While the industry is busy chatting about the end of Moore's Law and a maturing of the semiconductor industry, the top minds of many companies are having none of it. A slowdown in one area is just an opportunity, in another and that is reflected in the predictions for this year. As in previous years, Semiconductor Engineering will look back on these predictions at the end of the year to see ... » read more

Chip Advances Play Big Role In Cloud


Semiconductor engineering teams have been collaborating with key players in the data center ecosystem in recent years, resulting in unforeseen and substantial changes in how data centers are architected and built. That includes everything from which boxes, boards, cards and cables go where, to how much it costs to run them. The result is that bedrock communication technology and standards li... » read more

Embedded Software Verification Issues Grow


Embedded software is becoming more critical in managing the power and performance of complex designs, but so far there is no consensus about the best way to approach it—and that's creating problems. Even with safety-critical standards such as DO-178C for aerospace and [gettech id="31076" comment="ISO 26262"] for automotive, different groups of tool providers approach software from differen... » read more

Tuning Heterogeneous SoCs


It's one thing to pack multiple processor cores into a design, but it is much more difficult to ensure the hardware matches the software's requirements, or that the software optimally uses the hardware. Both the hardware and software teams are now facing these issues, and there are few tools to help them fully understand the problems or to provide solutions. Design teams continue to add more... » read more

Analog’s Rising Status


As more sensors and actuators are added into electronic devices, pressure is growing to more seamlessly move data seamlessly back and forth between analog and digital circuitry. [getkc id="37" kc_name="Analog"] and digital always have fit rather uncomfortably together, and that discomfort has grown as [getkc id="81" kc_name="SoCs"] are built using smaller feature sizes. While digital transis... » read more

Reflecting Back on 2016: Markets


Anyone can make a prediction, and sometimes the more outlandish they are the more they get noticed. But at the end of the year some people hit the mark while others may have been way off. Many people simply make projections based on the current trajectory of trends, while others look for the potential discontinuities that may lie ahead. Semiconductor Engineering examines the projections made... » read more

Teaching Computers To See


Vision processing is emerging as a foundation technology for a number of high-growth applications, spurring a wave of intensive research to reduce power, improve performance, and push embedded vision into the mainstream to leverage economies of scale. What began as a relatively modest development effort has turned into an all-out race for a piece of this market, and for good reason. Mark... » read more

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