Finding The Unexpected In High Performance Designs


It was growing dark as I drove a winding road on Mt. Hood, deep in the American northwest forest. The firs were thick, creating a lot of shadows and making it tough to see things clearly. Then out of the corner of my eye, I swear I saw a 10-foot “man” covered with brown fur. It looked a lot like a Wookie. But everyone knows Wookies aren’t real. It had to be Bigfoot! I slammed on th... » read more

Mobile Processors Move Beyond Phones


Mobile processors, also known as application processors, are well-known as the engines that run smartphones, tablet computers, and other wireless devices. But these chips increasingly are finding their way into autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things, unmanned aerial vehicles, virtual reality, and other applications far beyond phone calls and text messages. Moreover, they are gaining in com... » read more

MediaTek Grabs Another Gear


Today, it seems to be all the rage for automotive manufacturers to try to continuously one up the competition by announcing a new transmission that has more gears or “speeds." (Popular Mechanics did a nice article about why you would want more gears.) Basically, transmission designers want to keep the engine operating at or near its peak operating efficiency point and extend the operating ran... » read more

How Many Cores? (Part 2)


New chip architectures and new packaging options—including fan-outs and 2.5D—are changing basic design considerations for how many cores are needed, what they are used for, and how to solve some increasingly troublesome bottlenecks. As reported in part one, just adding more cores doesn't necessarily improve performance, and adding the wrong size or kinds of cores wastes power. That has s... » read more

Getting Ready For The IoT


A major change is underway in the semiconductor industry, and it is being driven by the Internet of Things. Gartner defines the IoT as a “network of dedicated physical objects (things) that contain embedded technology to sense or interact with their internal state or external environment. The IoT comprises an ecosystem that includes things, communication, applications and data analysis.” ... » read more

Power-Performance-Thermal


People like me are challenged in the culinary department. We believe that all we have to do is put the meat, vegetables, sauce and everything else in the recipe into the crockpot and a few hours later, out comes dinner. We (desperately) believe that we can dump the ingredients into a Ninja blender and get a healthy, tasty shake in a few minutes. (I have been politely informed that it is NOT the... » read more

Delivering Functional Verification Engagements


With the advent of smarter and higher performing devices, there has been a tremendous increase in design complexity. Driven by new high-end hardware feature and intelligent software requirements, these devices are comprised of multi-core processors and a multitude of interface IP, memory and other analog circuitry, communicating via many different interface protocols. This poses a huge challeng... » read more

DVFS On The Sidelines


Power reduction is one of the most important aspects of chip design these days, but not all power reduction techniques are used equally. Some that were once important are fading and dynamic voltage, and frequency scaling (DVFS) is one of them. What's changed, and will we see a resurgence in the future? What is it? DVFS has physics powerfully in its favor. As Vinod Viswanath, director of res... » read more

Executive Insight: Frankwell Lin


Semiconductor Engineering sat down with Frankwell Lin, president and co-founder of [getentity id="22866" e_name="Andes Technology"], to talk about the IoT, what's required in devices and what will likely change over the next few years. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: What are the big market opportunities in the Asia/Pacific region? Lin: The big market is the [getkc id=... » read more

Advanced Power And Performance Optimization For Multicore SoCs


The Multicore Optimization (MCO) technology in Synopsys Platform Architect provides an environment for early exploration and optimization of complex Multicore SoC (MP-SoC) platforms. It allows quantitative analysis of performance and power metrics to avoid SoC market failure due to underperforming or power hungry architectures. To read more, click here. » read more

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