What Does An IoT Chip Look Like?


By Ed Sperling and Jeff Dorsch Internet of Things chip design sounds like a simple topic on the face of it. Look deeper, though, and it becomes clear there is no single IoT, and certainly no type of chip that will work across the ever-expanding number of applications and markets that collectively make up the IoT. Included under this umbrella term are sensors, various types of processors, ... » read more

IoT Startups Rake In Cash


Corporate and venture investors are still eagerly backing Internet of Things startups, with more than $850 million committed during the first six months of 2017. This year’s total may not reach the heights of 2014, when investors put more than $5 billion into IoT startups, or 2016, which saw IoT firms receiving about $4.75 billion, the Venture Scanner website estimates. Still, a once white... » read more

Data Management For Mixed-Signal Designs


Software teams have long used version control and data management systems and they have become an integral part of a so ware development environment. Practically, no significant software project is started without a software data management system and methodology in place. There are a variety of solutions, typically referred to as Software Configuration Management (SCM) systems, to choose from ... » read more

Security Issues Up With Heterogeneity


The race toward heterogeneous designs is raising new security concerns across the semiconductor supply chain. There is more IP to track, more potential for unexpected interactions, and many more ways to steal data or IP. Security is a difficult problem no matter what kind of chip is involved, and it has been getting worse as more devices, machines and systems are connected to the Internet. B... » read more

SoC Design Management Software: Proprietary Vs. Open Source


These days, there’s a tendency to read the word “proprietary” and think “bad,” as if whatever is proprietary is inflexible and limited capability. It’s a legacy from the emergence of open-source software, when “open” became associated with progress and “proprietary” became bad. But in many industries, proprietary solutions to this day have enormous value, deliver trust, s... » read more

Reworking Established Nodes


New technology markets and a flattening in smartphone growth has sparked a resurgence in older technology processes. For many of these up-and-coming applications, there is no compelling reason to migrate to the latest process node, and equipment companies and fabs are rushing to fill the void. As with all electronic devices, the focus is on cost-cutting. But because these markets are likely ... » read more

Moore’s Law: Toward SW-Defined Hardware


Pushing to the next process node will continue to be a primary driver for some chips—CPUs, FPGAs and some ASICS—but for many applications that approach is becoming less relevant as a metric for progress. Behind this change is a transition from using customized software with generic hardware, to a mix of specialized, heterogeneous hardware that can achieve better performance with less ene... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


Tools Synopsys debuted a tool to replay RTL simulation data on a gate-level netlist for power analysis the company says is accurate within 5% of signoff. The tool, PowerReplay, is design to be used in combination with PrimeTime PX gate-level power analysis for earlier and faster generation of gate-level switching data. IP ClioSoft launched a design reuse ecosystem for searching and com... » read more

Secret Sauce To Make Design Reuse A Reality


In a globally competitive landscape, IP reuse and effective team collaboration play a crucial role in product success. But if one considers the complex dynamics of all the recent advances in technology, the insatiable appetite for consumer electronics coupled with the design cost and time-to-market pressures on designers, one would not be unjustified in assuming that the problem of design reuse... » read more

Visual Design Diff


A document, whether it is stored as a simple text file or as a word processor formatted file, is often a living entity that is constantly evolving. A user may create a first draft, revise it multiple times, have other team members review it and make alterations, and refine it over time to keep up with new information and requirements. What has changed since the last revision becomes very import... » read more

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