Move Data Or Process In Place?


Chip architectures, and even local system architectures, long have found that the best way to improve total system performance and power consumption is to move memory as close to processors as possible. This has led to cache architectures and memories that are tuned for those architectures, as discussed in part 1 of this article. But there are several tacit assumptions made in these architectur... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


Tools Aldec released the latest version of its Riviera-PRO verification platform, adding QEMU Bridge to enable hardware/software co-simulation of designs intended to run on SoC FPGAs. Other features include improved performance when using code containing many inline randomized calls and up to 29% faster simulation speed of UVM. Pulsic added new features to its Unity Bus Planner for planning... » read more

Variation Spreads At 10/7nm


Variation between different manufacturing equipment is becoming increasingly troublesome as chipmakers push to 10/7nm and beyond. Process variation is a well-known phenomenon at advanced nodes. But some of that is actually due to variations in equipment—sometimes the exact same model from the same vendor. Normally this would fall well below the radar of the semiconductor industry. But as t... » read more

The Return Of Body Biasing


Body biasing is making a comeback across a wide swath of process nodes as designers wrestle with how to build mobile devices with more functionality and longer battery life. Consider an ultra-low-power IoT device with a wireless sensor, for example, which is meant to last for years without changing a battery. Body biasing can be used to create an ultra-low-leakage sleep state. “In that ... » read more

Blog Review: Nov. 15


Cadence's Paul McLellan shares highlights from the Jasper User Group, including what to do when formal is not converging on a proof and formal in use at Arm. Synopsys' Anders Nordstrom explains how formal can verify SoC interconnects and get you from San Jose to Austin. Mentor's Jeff Miller argues that intelligent sensors are the basic building block for the IoT, and the market is growing... » read more

New Drivers For I/O


Interface standards are on a tear, and new markets are pushing the standards in several directions at the same time. The result could be a lot more innovation and some updates in areas that looked to be well established. Traditionally, this has been a sleepy and predictable part of the industry with standards bodies producing updates to their interfaces at a reasonable rate. Getting data int... » read more

An Incremental Approach To Reusing Automated Tests From IPs To SoCs


Over the past few years, lots of energy has been invested in improving the productivity and quality-of-results of design verification. A promising effort toward this end is that both commercial and in-house tools have been developed to improve the productivity and efficiency of verification at the block, subsystem, and system levels. These tools raise the level of abstraction, increase test-gen... » read more

Lots Of Little Knobs For Power


Dynamic power is becoming a much bigger worry at new nodes as more finFETs are packed on a die and wires shrink to the point where resistance and capacitance become first-order effects. Chipmakers began seeing dynamic power density issues with the first generation of [getkc id="185" kc_name="finFETs"]. While the 3D transistor structures reduced leakage current by providing better gate contro... » read more

The Next Phase Of Machine Learning


Machine learning is all about doing complex calculations on huge volumes of data with increasing efficiency, and with a growing stockpile of success stories it has rapidly evolved from a rather obscure computer science concept into the go-to method for everything from facial recognition technology to autonomous cars. [getkc id="305" kc_name="Machine learning"] can apply to every corporate fu... » read more

Mixed Messages For Mixed-Signal


There is no such thing as a purely digital design at advanced nodes today. Even designs that have no [getkc id="37" kc_name="analog"] content are likely relying on [getkc id="38" kc_name="mixed-signal"] components such as SerDes for communications, or voltage regulators for adaptive power control. But the days of purposely attempting to integrate everything including analog and RF onto a single... » read more

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