Finding The Unexpected In High Performance Designs


It was growing dark as I drove a winding road on Mt. Hood, deep in the American northwest forest. The firs were thick, creating a lot of shadows and making it tough to see things clearly. Then out of the corner of my eye, I swear I saw a 10-foot “man” covered with brown fur. It looked a lot like a Wookie. But everyone knows Wookies aren’t real. It had to be Bigfoot! I slammed on th... » read more

Finding Evasive System-Level Bugs Using Memory Consistency Algorithm


Over Easter weekend in 2015 there was a jewelry heist at the safe deposit building at Hatton Gardens in London. The safe deposit vault was in the basement of a building and is used by jewelers in the area for storing large amounts of diamonds, jewelry, precious metals, and cash. The thieves made off with over $300 million in loot, making it the biggest heist in British history. For a while it l... » read more

Tools For Heterogeneous System Development


System architects look to both heterogeneous and homogeneous computing when there are no other options available, but the current thinking is that a system-level software methodology could simplify the design, ease integration of various blocks, and potentially improve performance for less power. While the theory appears sound enough, implementing it has turned out to be harder than expected. ... » read more

Formal’s Roadmap


Formal verification has come a long way in the past five years as it focused on narrow tasks within the verification flow. Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss that progress, and the future of formal technologies, with [getperson id="11306" comment="Raik Brinkmann"], president and CEO of [getentity id="22395" e_name="OneSpin Solutions"]; Harry Foster, chief verification scientist at [g... » read more

Formal’s Roadmap


Formal verification has come a long way in the past five years as it focused on narrow tasks within the verification flow. Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss that progress, and the future of formal technologies, with [getperson id="11306" comment="Raik Brinkmann"], president and CEO of [getentity id="22395" e_name="OneSpin Solutions"]; Harry Foster, chief verification scientist at [g... » read more

Choosing Verification Engines


Emulation, simulation, FPGA prototyping and formal verification have very specific uses on paper, but the lines are becoming less clear as complexity goes up, more third-party IP is included, and the number of use cases and interactions of connected devices explodes. Ironically, the lines are blurring not for the most complex SoCs, such as those used in smart phones. The bigger challenge app... » read more

The Trust Burning Debug Cycle From Hell


As bad as The Trust Burning Debug Cycle From Hell sounds, it’s worse than you think. Most of us don’t realize it exists. In my first 10 years as a hardware developer I wrote code like it could never exist! But then came the realization. It’s a cycle that preys on us all. It tempts me constantly. Most of us in hardware development are used to seeing bugs as annoyances at a minimum, thou... » read more

Hypervisors: Help Or Hindrance?


Hypervisors are seeing an increased level of adoption, but do they help or hinder the development and verification process? The answer may depend on your perspective. In the hardware world, system-level integration is rapidly becoming a roadblock in the development process. While each of the pieces may be known to work separately, as soon as they are put together, the interactions between th... » read more

The Rise Of Complex Debug On Heterogeneous Multicore SoCs


When projects move away from discrete development of loosely coupled systems to an integrated heterogeneous environment, elephantine debugging challenges are created. These challenges do not exist during discrete development because developers are able to design, develop, test, and optimize within the confines of their own device. But when consolidating heterogeneous systems, developers and ... » read more

FPGA Prototyping Gains Ground


FPGA technology for design prototypes is making new inroads as demands increase for better integration between hardware and software. [gettech id="31071" comment="FPGA"] prototyping, also known as physical prototyping, has been supported by all of the major EDA players for some time, and it has been considered an essential tool for the largest chipmakers, along with emulation and simulation.... » read more

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