The Higher Cost Of Automotive

A revolution is occurring under the hoods of vehicles today, as the automotive industry continues to add sophistication via electronics to vehicles at a pace never seen before. But because of the automotive ecosystem’s tiered structure, system companies, IP and embedded software developers and tools vendors must invest more just to participate. Robert Bates, chief safety officer in [getent... » read more


Nvidia’s new GeForce GTX 1080 gaming graphics card is a piece of work. Employing the company’s Pascal architecture and featuring chips made with a 16nm [getkc id="185" kc_name="finFET"] process, the GTX 1080’s GP104 graphics processing units boast 7.2 billion transistors, running at 1.6 GHz, and it can be overclocked to 1.733 GHz. The die size is 314 mm², 21% smaller than its GeForce ... » read more

The Mightier Microcontroller

Microcontrollers are becoming more complex, more powerful, and significantly more useful, but those improvements come with strings attached. While it's relatively straightforward to develop multi-core microcontroller (MCU) hardware with advanced power management features, it's much more difficult to write software for these chips because memory is limited. CPUs can use on-chip memory such as... » read more

What’s The Outlook For ICs?

As the semiconductor industry heads into the second half of 2016, it’s time to take the pulse of the IC sector. Based on the current signs, there’s a faint pulse, if that. Simply put, the IC market has been in the doldrums in the first half of 2016. And it looks sluggish heading into the second half. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. At the beginning of this year, many predicte... » read more

Formal Verification Applied To The Renesas MCU Design Platform Using OneSpin Tools

An effective measure of verification progress, together with guidance towards design areas remaining untested, requires a precise view of the test coverage achieved. To risk signing off the verification process without understanding the quality of testing raises the specter of post-production device bugs. OneSpin Solution’s patented Quantify technology employs Observation Coverage, which eval... » read more

How Many Cores? (Part 1)

The optimal number of processor cores in chip designs is becoming less obvious, in part due to new design and architectural options that make it harder to draw clear comparisons, and in part because just throwing more cores at a problem does not guarantee better performance. This is hardly a new problem, but it does have a sizable list of new permutations and variables—right-sized heteroge... » read more

The Week In Review: Design/IoT

Acquisitions Synopsys acquired Australia's Goanna Software, a security company focused on static code analysis tools for improving code quality. Synopsys said the acquisition is part of its strategy to improve software sign-off, but the acquisition also expands Synopsys' presence in Australia and the Asia/Pacific region. Terms of the deal were not made public. Synopsys has been steadily build... » read more

Bridging Hardware And Software

Since the advent of embedded systems there has been a struggle between hardware engineers trying to understand the mindset of their software counterparts, and vice versa. That struggle is alive and well today—and it's costing everyone money. This divide is rife with passion, territoriality and misunderstanding. It has delayed tapeouts, created errors and inefficiencies that take time and e... » read more

How To Choose A Processor

Choosing a processor might seem straightforward at first glance, but like many engineering challenges it's harder than it looks. When is a CPU better than a GPU, MCU, DSP or other type of processor? And for what design—or part of a design? For decades, the CPU has been the default choice. “It is deliberately designed to be pretty efficient at all tasks, is straightforward to program, ... » read more

Can The IoE Ever Be Secure?

There are many different opinions about how the [getkc id="76" comment="Internet of Things"]/[getkc id="260" comment="Internet of Everything"] ultimately will look, who is best positioned to take advantage of it, and how processing will be split between local devices, the cloud, and everything in between. But there is almost universal agreement on one point: It's not secure enough. "In the p... » read more

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