Controlling Heat


Modeling on-chip thermal characteristics and chip-package interactions is becoming much more critical for advanced designs, but how to get there isn't always clear. Every chip, based on its target application, has a thermal design power (TDP) target. This is the typical power it can consume without overreaching the acceptable thermal limits in its intended environment. But in order to rate t... » read more

Can You Really Fry an Egg on a CPU?


Solving complex thermal models with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) requires a lot of processing power, and a central processing unit (CPU) under full load generates a fair amount of heat. But can you cook an egg on it? Search online and you can find videos of people attempting to cook on their processors—I wouldn’t recommend this as a cooling solution. However, just out of curiosity, I ... » read more

One-On-One: Walid Abu-Hadba


Walid Abu-Hadba, chief product officer at [getentity id="22021" e_name="Ansys"] (and a former top executive at Microsoft), sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about systems engineering and why the starting point is no longer the SoC. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: How do you define system? Abu-Hadba: It's everything. It's the entire product and where the p... » read more

Blog Review: Dec. 3


Mentor's Robin Bornoff zeroes in on some of the biggest and most frustrating causes of energy loss—the ones that have nothing to do with the intended task. In electronics, it's a question of how much power is consumed pushing around electrons and photons. Cadence's Richard Goering follows a panel discussion about whether we're really making progress in low-power design, where the challeng... » read more

FinFET Reliability Issues


The 16nm FinFET node has introduced several new challenges in the IC design community. In addition to the complexity of power-noise and electromigration (EM) verification, thermal reliability has become a major concern for both chip and package designers. With the three-dimensional architecture of FinFET devices, new simulation approaches are being used to model thermal behavior of the die in o... » read more

Too Hot To Handle


By Ann Steffora Mutschler It used to be that a device could be designed to a thermal design power. The worst case power scenario would be imagined, and the device would be designed with that in mind. But those good old days are gone. Especially for consumer devices, how a device is going to behave with respect to time, or how people are going to use it, must be understood as completely a... » read more