Will Open-Source Work For Chips?

Open source is getting a second look by the semiconductor industry, driven by the high cost of design at complex nodes along with fragmentation in end markets, which increasingly means that one size or approach no longer fits all. The open source movement, as we know it today, started in the 1980s with the launch of the GNU project, which was about the time the electronic design automation (... » read more

Formal Confusion

Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the right and wrong ways to apply formal verification technology with Normando Montecillo, associate technical director at [getentity id="22649" comment="Broadcom"]; Ashish Darbari, principal engineer at [getentity id="22709" e_name="Imagination Technologies"]; Roger Sabbagh, principal engineer at Huawei; and Stuart Hoad, lead engineer at PMC Sierra... » read more

Formal Confusion

Formal verification has come a long way in the past five years. Tool developers changed direction and started to create self-contained apps which have led to a rapid proliferation of the technology. But formal is a diverse set of tools that can solve a variety of problems in the verification space and this has created a different kind of confusion within the industry. To find out how the indust... » read more

Grappling With IoT Security

By Ed Sperling & Ernest Worthman As the IoT begins to take shape, the security implications of connecting devices and systems to the Internet and what needs to be done to secure them are coming into focus, as well. There is growing consensus across the semiconductor industry that many potential security holes remain, with new ones surfacing all the time. But there also is widespread r... » read more

Unexpected Security Holes

Security is emerging as one of the top challenges in semiconductor design across a variety of markets, with the number of security holes growing by orders of magnitude in sectors that have never dealt with these kinds of design constraints before. While security has been a topic of conversation for years in mobile phones and data centers, commercial and industrial equipment is being connecte... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Chipmakers In a blog, GlobalFoundries discussed the global push towards 5G or fifth-generation wireless networks. Samsung Electronics Australia has announced the creation of brainBAND, a wearable technology designed to facilitate research into concussions in sports. In the prototype, a headband houses sensors at the back of the head that measure the force of an impact. This information wou... » read more

A Formal Transformation

A very important change is underway in functional verification. In the past, this was an esoteric technology and one that was difficult to deploy. It was relegated to tough problems late in the verification cycle, and it was difficult to justify the ROI unless the technology actually did find some problems. But all of that has changed. Formal verification companies started to use the technology... » read more

Securing The Cloud

Cloud computing offers on-demand network access that is ubiquitous and convenient, with a pool of configurable computing resources such as shared networks, servers, storage, applications, and services. What makes this so attractive is these services can be provisioned and adapted to the load, with minimal management or service provider intervention. Cloud computing takes advantage of a distr... » read more

Back Doors Are Everywhere

By Ernest Worthman & Ed Sperling Back doors have been a part of chip design since the beginning. One of the first open references was in the 1983 movie "War Games," which features a young computer whiz who uses one to hack into a computer that controls the United States' nuclear arsenal. In reality, modern back doors predate Hollywood's discovery by about 20 years, starting in 1965 wi... » read more

The Big Shift

The number of chipmakers that truly can differentiate their products by moving to the next process node is falling, and that pool will continue to shrink even further over the next few years. Processor companies such as Intel and IBM always will benefit from scaling and architectural changes. So will GPU companies such as Nvidia, and FPGA vendors such as Xilinx, Microsemi and Altera (now par... » read more

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