Managing Peak Power


Peak power is becoming a serious design constraint across chips and entire electronic systems as more functionality is added into end devices and the compute and switching infrastructure needed to support them. The issues are a direct result of growing complexity in designs, fixed or shrinking power budgets, and the need to process more data more quickly. In mobile devices, the addition of m... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


Tools Cadence unveiled a new equivalence checking tool which features a massively parallel architecture capable of scaling to 100s of CPUs and adaptive proof technology that analyzes each partition and determines the optimal formal algorithm. According to the company, the Conformal Smart Logic Equivalence Checker provides an average of 4X runtime improvement with the same resources over the pr... » read more

Frenzy At 10/7nm


The number of chipmakers rushing to 10/7nm is rising, despite a slowdown in Moore's Law scaling and the increased difficulty and cost of developing chips at the most advanced nodes. How long this trend continues remains to be seen. It's likely that 7/5nm will require new manufacturing equipment, tools, materials and transistor structures. Beyond that, there is no industry-accepted roadmap, m... » read more

The Limits Of IP Reuse


The basic business proposition for third-party IP is that it's cheaper, faster, and less problematic to buy rather than build. But things haven't exactly worked out according to plan, either for companies that license IP or those that develop it. For [getkc id="43" kc_name="IP"] licensees, just keeping track of an endless series of updates is becoming unwieldy. Complex designs often include ... » read more

Training As A Strategic Weapon


In my last post, I discussed the topic of applying machine learning to the design of machine learning chips. I pointed out that one can achieve significant improvements in schedule predictability, PPA compliance and an overall reduction in program risk if machine learning is applied to the right kind of knowledge base. This is very real, and we are seeing the benefits of this approach daily. Bu... » read more

IP Challenges Ahead


The revenue from semiconductor [getkc id="43" kc_name="IP"] has risen steadily to become the largest segment of the EDA industry. Industry forecasts expect it to keep growing at a CAGR of more than 10% for the next decade. Part one of this article examined the possibility those forecasts are wrong and that large semiconductor companies are likely to start bringing IP development back in hous... » read more

The Rising Value Of Data


The volume of data being generated by a spectrum of devices continues to skyrocket. Now the question is what can be done with that data. By Cisco's estimates, traffic on the Internet will be 3.3 zetabytes per year by 2021, up from 1.2 zetabytes in 2016. And if that isn't enough, the flow of data isn't consistent. Traffic on the busiest 60-minute period in a day increased 51% in 2016, compare... » read more

The Secret Life Of Accelerators


Accelerator chips increasingly are providing the performance boost that device scaling once provided, changing basic assumptions about how data moves within an electronic system and where it should be processed. To the outside world, little appears to have changed. But beneath the glossy exterior, and almost always hidden from view, accelerator chips are becoming an integral part of most des... » read more

When The Chips Are Down, Software-Defined Data Centers Can Ease R&D Creases


The design team of a fabless semiconductor company seemed to go into a tizzy every 6 months. They had to deliver the latest chips to their end customer amid extremely aggressive deadlines. They realized that if they needed the might of the millennials to bump up their bottom line, they would have to give their models and designs a makeover (read upgrade) every few months. To read more, click... » read more

Is The IP Industry Healthy?


The semiconductor industry has been through many changes, each designed to reduce the total cost associated with the design and manufacture of chips. Twenty years ago, most companies had their own fabs and designed all of the circuitry on each chip. Today, only a handful of companies still own a fab and outsourcing design, in the form of intellectual property ([getkc id="43" kc_name="IP"]), has... » read more

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