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

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

Timing Closure Issues Resurface


Timing closure has resurfaced as a major challenge at 10nm and 7nm due to more features and power modes, increased process variation and other manufacturing-related issues. While timing-related problems are roughly correlated to rising complexity in semiconductors, they tend to generate problems in waves—about once per decade. In SoCs, timing closure problems have spawned entire methodolog... » read more

Blog Review: Dec. 7


Mentor's Harry Foster looks at verification results findings in terms of schedules, number of required spins, and classification of functional bugs, in the latest installment of the Wilson Research Group verification study. Cadence's Paul McLellan provides an overview of the portable stimulus standard currently being worked on at Accellera. Synopsys' Anika Malhotra checks out JESD204B, a ... » read more

Homogeneous And Heterogeneous Computing Collide


Eleven years ago processors stopped scaling due to diminishing returns and the breakdown of [getkc id="213" kc_name="Dennard's Law"]. That set in motion a chain of events from which the industry has still not fully recovered. The transition to homogeneous multi-core processing presented the software side with a problem that they did not know how to solve, namely how to optimize the usage of ... » read more

The Limits Of Parallelism


Parallelism used to be the domain of supercomputers working on weather simulations or plutonium decay. It is now part of the architecture of most SoCs. But just how efficient, effective and widespread has parallelism really become? There is no simple answer to that question. Even for a dual-core implementation of a processor on a chip, results can vary greatly by software application, operat... » read more

New Wave Of Consolidation


Consolidation is picking up again across the semiconductor industry, against a backdrop of looming interest rate hikes, geopolitical uncertainty, and the erosion of longstanding demarcations between markets. In the past couple of weeks, Siemens signed a deal to buy [getentity id="22017" e_name="Mentor Graphics"] for $4 billion, and [getentity id="22865" e_name="Samsung"] purchased Harman, a ... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


M&A Synopsys added to its software integrity and security business with the acquisition of services company Cigital and its 2015 spinout focused on tools, Codiscope. Cigital specializes in professional and managed services for identifying, remediating and preventing vulnerabilities in software applications. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Tools Mentor Graphics rolled out a new pl... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


M&A Lattice Semiconductor is set for a buyout by private equity fund Canyon Bridge at a price of $1.3 billion, or $8.30 per share. Lattice will operate as a standalone subsidiary and does not expect any changes in operations or management. The deal is expected to close in early 2017. Earlier this week, Lattice announced a low power, small form factor FPGA for 5G SERDES applications. The ... » read more

Silicon Photonics Comes Into Focus


Silicon photonics is attracting growing attention and investment as a companion technology to copper wiring inside of data centers, raising new questions about what comes next and when. Light has always been the ultimate standard for speed. It requires less energy to move large quantities of data, generates less heat than electricity, and it can work equally well over long or short distances... » read more

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