Power Options And Issues


In the quest to get SoC power right as early as possible in the design flow, it still holds true that the biggest impact occurs at the beginning of the project, with diminished results as a design progresses through the flow toward tapeout. [getentity id="22186" e_name="ARM's"] big.LITTLE architecture has gained a lot of traction here, prompting MediaTek to introduce its Tri-Gear big.Medium.... » read more

Bridging the IP Divide


IP reuse enabled greater efficiency in the creation of large, complex SoCs, but even after 20 years there are few tools to bridge the divide between the IP provider and the IP user. The problem is that there is an implicit fuzzy contract describing how the IP should be used, what capabilities it provides, and the extent of the verification that has been performed. IP vendors have been trying to... » read more

Is Low Power Coverage Achievable?


Back in 2005, yes, before the invention of the iPhone, I made a slide to educate users on what to cover in Low Power Verification. Using a simple 3 island test case, I illustrated that verification had to be done in 4 states of operation, with 8 transitions and 16 sequences to be verified. This is after pruning the theoretically possible set of 8 states for on/off voltage islands. More than ... » read more

Mixed-Signal Design Powers Ahead


Mixed-signal devices are at the heart of many advanced systems today because of the need to interact with the outside world, but designing and verifying these systems is getting harder. There are several reasons for this. First, almost all of these devices now have to be lower power than in the past, and in the analog space it's not as simple as just dialing down part of a block. Second, it ... » read more

Verification Facing Unique Inflection Point


The Design and Verification Conference and Exhibition (DVCon) attracted more than 1,100 people to San Jose last week, just slightly less than last year. While a lot of focus, and most of the glory, goes to design within semiconductor companies, it is verification where most of the advancements are happening and thus the bigger focus for DVCon. The rate of change in verification and the producti... » read more

Powerful New Standard


In December 2015, the IEEE released the latest version of the 1801 specification, titled the IEEE standard for design and verification of low-power integrated circuits, but most people know it as UPF or the Unified Power Format. The standard provides a way to specify the power intent associated with a design. With it, a designer can define the various power states of the design and the contexts... » read more

Why Power Modeling Is So Difficult


Power modeling has been talked about for years and promoted by EDA vendors and chipmakers as an increasingly important tool for advanced designs. But unlike hardware and software modeling, which have been proven to speed time to market for multiple generations of silicon, power modeling has some unique problems that are more difficult to solve. Despite continued development in this field, po... » read more

Automating Coverage And Analysis Of Low Power Designs


There are some exciting new things in the just released IEEE1801-2015 (aka UPF 3.0), some of which have significant benefits for coverage of low power designs, which is what we’ll be looking at in this blog. One of these is improved semantics for the add power state command, introduced in IEEE1801-2009 (aka UPF 2.0). These clarifications to the add power state command allow you to clearly ... » read more

Powerful New Standard


In December the IEEE released the latest version of the 1801 specification, entitled the IEEE standard for design and verification of low-power integrated circuits. Most people know it as UPF, or the Unified Power Format. That was the name the first version of it held while being developed within Accellera. The standard provides a way to specify the power intent associated with a design, enabli... » read more

One Flow To Rule Them All


The new mantra of shift left within EDA is nothing new and first made an appearance more than a decade ago. At that time there was a very large divide between logic synthesis and place and route. As wire delays became more important, timing closure became increasingly difficult with a logic synthesis flow that did not take that into account. The tools subsequently became tied much closer togeth... » read more

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