The Week In Review: Design


M&A Synopsys finalized its acquisition of Black Duck Software, which provides software for managing and securing open source software in projects, adding to Synopsys' burgeoning software analysis and security business. The cash deal was approximately $547 million net of cash acquired. STMicroelectronics acquired Atollic, maker of the Eclipse-based TrueSTUDIO Integrated Development Envir... » read more

Big Challenges, Changes For Debug


By Ann Steffora Mutschler & Ed Sperling Debugging a chip always has been difficult, but the problem is getting worse at 7nm and 5nm. The number of corner cases is exploding as complexity rises, and some bugs are not even on anyone's radar until well after devices are already in use by end customers. An estimated 39% of verification engineering time is spent on debugging activities the... » read more

Using FPGAs For Emulation


For many years, emulators were available only to verification teams working on the largest projects in companies with deep enough pockets. Due to size rather than capabilities they were called “Big Box” emulators and typically were used in order to recover some of the time lost on RTL simulation. Meanwhile, FPGA technology has been available long enough to mature to the point where FPGA bas... » read more

Prototyping Partitioning Problems


Gaps are widening in the prototyping of large, complex chips because the speed and capacity of the FPGA is not keeping pace with rapid rollout pace of advanced ASICs. This is a new twist for a well-established market. Indeed, prototyping with FPGAs is as old as the [gettech id="31071" t_name="FPGAs"] themselves. Even before they were called FPGAs, logic accelerators or LCAs (logic cell ar... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


Tools Aldec released the latest version of its Riviera-PRO verification platform, adding QEMU Bridge to enable hardware/software co-simulation of designs intended to run on SoC FPGAs. Other features include improved performance when using code containing many inline randomized calls and up to 29% faster simulation speed of UVM. Pulsic added new features to its Unity Bus Planner for planning... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


M&A PLDA is divesting its Reflex CES brand. The FPGA board maker will become wholly managed by its own management and investment teams. In 2015, Reflex CES took over the hardware businesses of PLDA, including FPGA-based boards and the System-on-Module product lines. Tools Mentor uncorked a new tool for in-system test and diagnosis of automotive ICs. Tessent MissionMode provides infrast... » read more

Inside UVM


We have all been witnesses to the rapid improvements of the iPhone processor chip every year. With the iPhone 8 featuring the newest A11 Bionic at 10 nm FinFET with 4.3 billion transistors, I can’t personally fathom the amount of the verification effort needed for this type of SoC - the required manpower and time to get the job done is absolutely mind-boggling. Thankfully, we have several pre... » read more

Dealing With Deadlocks


Deadlocks are becoming increasingly problematic as designs becoming more complex and heterogeneous. Rather than just integrating IP, the challenge is understanding all of the possible interactions and dependencies. That affects the choice of IP, how it is implemented in a design, and how it is verified. And it adds a whole bunch of unknowns into an already complex formula for return on inves... » read more

Starting Point Is Changing For Designs


The starting point for semiconductor designs is shifting. What used to be a fairly straightforward exercise of choosing a processor based on power or performance, followed by how much on-chip versus off-chip memory is required, has become much more complicated. This is partly due to an emphasis on application-specific hardware and software solutions for markets that either never existed befo... » read more

Blog Review: Oct. 4


Synopsys' Prishkrit Abrol digs into how USB Type-C Alternate Mode allows MHL, DisplayPort, HDMI, and Thunderbolt over cable. Mentor's Paul Morrison dives into how hardware emulation can help verify the complexities of new storage devices. Cadence's Madhavi Rao listens in as Somshubhro Pal Choudhury of Bharat Innovations describes the IoT stack, hype cycle, and why it's happening now. R... » read more

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