Could DVCon Be Better?


DVCon is undoubtedly the best conference in the industry if your interest is functional verification. In the past, it has also had a slant toward design. The focus is quite simply based on the standards activity going on within [getentity id="22028" e_name="Accellera"], the EDA industry's body that turns problems into solution in a short space of time. As those standards mature, they are handed... » read more

MEMS: A Tale Of Two Tough Markets


The MEMS market is growing rapidly, profits not so much. In most market segments, this would be a signal that more automation and standardization are required. But in the microelectromechanical systems world, fixes aren't so simple. And even where something can be automated, that automation doesn't work all the time. In fact, while MEMS devices are extremely difficult to design, build and ma... » read more

Ethics And The Singularity


A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article entitled The Multiplier and the Singularity. That article has been well received and I thank those who have made some kind and interesting comments on it. Such articles can be difficult to write without inserting writer's bias. As a writer, I have many of my own thoughts and possibly even prejudices, but those are not meant to make their way into my wri... » read more

Not All Software Is Like Elvis


January is traditionally my look-back and outlook month. Five years ago my year-end wish had been a census of software developers, and it is fascinating how software in the context of verification has evolved since then (more on this below). Also, most years I go into my garage, dust off my collection of IEEE Spectrum print editions from January five, ten and 15 years back to assess which of th... » read more

Power Management Vs. State Machines


In the last several years, contemporary SoCs (systems-on-a-chip) have become very complex silicon solutions. They now consist of hundreds of millions of gates, 100 or more discrete Semiconductor Intellectual Property (SIP) blocks, high-speed data channels, megabytes of volatile and non-volatile embedded memory, increasing amounts of analog/mixed signal functionality, multiple CPU cores and mult... » read more

5 Takeaways from IEDM


As usual, the recent IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) was a busy week. The event, which took place in San Francisco, featured a plethora of subjects, such as next-generation transistors and memories. The event also included tracks on non-traditional approaches like quantum and neuromorphic computing. And then, there were sessions on power semis and others. In no partic... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 13


Phonon lasers A European consortium recently kicked off a new project that will develop a practical phonon laser. The European consortium, called PHENOMEN, will be coordinated by the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2). Most chips perform functions using an electrical charge (electrons) or by light (photons). In comparison, a phonon “is a quantum of energy or a q... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers At this week’s IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco, TSMC as well as the team of GlobalFoundries, IBM and Samsung separately presented papers on 7nm finFET technology. Qualcomm has begun sampling the world’s first 10nm server processor. As the first in the Qualcomm Centriq product family, the ARM-based processor has up to 48-cores and is built ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 6


The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (MagLab) has broken an unofficial record for the world’s most powerful hybrid magnet. The 33-ton system, called the series connected hybrid (SCH) magnet, has reached its full field strength of 36 tesla. The SCH is more than 40% stronger than the previous world-record hybrid magnet. Tesla, or T, is the measurement of magnetic field strength. A ref... » read more

Optimizing Multiple IoT Layers


As the number of connected devices rises, so do questions about how to optimize them for target markets, how to ensure they play nicely together, and how to bring them to market quickly and inexpensively. [getkc id="76" kc_name="IoT"] is broad term that encompasses a lot of disparate pieces for devices, systems, and connected systems. At the highest levels are hardware and software, but with... » read more

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