Optimization Challenges For 10nm And 7nm

Optimization used to be a simple timing against area tradeoff but not anymore. As we go to each new node, the tradeoffs become more complicated involving additional aspects of the design that used to be dealt with in isolation. Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss these issues with Krishna Balachandran, director of product management for low-power products at [getentity id="22032" e... » read more

Abundant Change Ahead

There is nobody who would question the amazing ride that semiconductors have been on for the past 50 years. It has been described as the longest running exponential that humankind has ever been a part of—and it is not over yet. Still, the future is very likely to be substantially different from the past. It is almost natural for us to see a trend and assume it will continue. There have bee... » read more

System-Level Verification Tackles New Role

Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss advances in system-level verification with Larry Melling, product management director for the system verification group of [getentity id="22032" e_name="Cadence"]; Larry Lapides, VP of sales for [getentity id="22036" e_name="Imperas”] and Jean-Marie Brunet, director of marketing for the emulation division of [getentity id="22017" e_name="Mentor Gr... » read more

Why Power Modeling Is So Difficult

Power modeling has been talked about for years and promoted by EDA vendors and chipmakers as an increasingly important tool for advanced designs. But unlike hardware and software modeling, which have been proven to speed time to market for multiple generations of silicon, power modeling has some unique problems that are more difficult to solve. Despite continued development in this field, po... » read more

Who’s Profiting From Complexity

Tool vendors' profits increasingly are coming from segments that performed relatively poorly in the past, reflecting both a rise in complexity in designing chips and big improvements in the tools themselves. The impacts of power, memory congestion, advanced-node effects such as process variation, [getkc id="160" kc_name="electromigration"] and RC delay in [getkc id="36" kc_name="interconnect... » read more

Abstraction: Necessary But Evil

Abstraction allows aspects of a design to be described in an executable form much earlier in the flow. But some abstractions are breaking down, and an increasing amount of lower-level information has to be brought upstream in order to provide estimates that are close enough to reality so informed decisions can be made. The value of abstractions in design cannot be overstated. High levels of ... » read more

Is SystemC Broken?

In order to perform architectural exploration, performance analysis and optimization, early validation of software, improved productivity in hardware development and many other tasks, the industry needs a viable [getkc id="104" kc_name="virtual prototype"]. That requires a suitable language in order to express necessary concepts at a high enough level of [getkc id="101" kc_name="abstraction"] s... » read more

Drowning In Data

By Ed Sperling The old adage, “Be careful what you wish for,” has hit the SoC design market like a 100-year storm. After years of demanding more data to understand what’s going on in a design, engineering teams now have so much data that they’re drowning in it. This is most obvious at advanced process nodes, of course. But it’s also true these days at more mainstream nodes such as... » read more

Experts At The Table: The Growing Signoff Headache

By Ed Sperling Low-Power/High-Performance Engineering sat down to discuss signoff issues with Rob Aitken, an ARM fellow; Sumbal Rafiq, director of engineering at Applied Micro; Ruben Molina, product marketing director for timing signoff at Cadence; Carey Robertson, director of product marketing for Calibre extraction at Mentor Graphics; and Robert Hoogenstryd, director of marketing for design ... » read more

Traversing The Abstraction Landscape

By Ann Steffora Mutschler Back in the early days of semiconductor design engineers could count the number of transistors on their chip with their own two eyes. They designed and worked at the same level of design abstraction when doing the timing analysis. Tools were SPICE-like, maybe abstracted with slightly simpler timing models than the SPICE-level transistor models. Thanks to Moore’... » read more