Rethinking Memory


Getting data in and out of memory is as important as the speed and efficiency of a processor, but for years design teams managed to skirt the issue because it was quicker, easier and less expensive to boost processor clock frequencies with a brute-force approach. That worked well enough prior to 90nm, and adding more cores at lower clock speeds filled the gap starting at 65nm. After that, th... » read more

Pain Management


In part one of this series, the focus was on overlapping and new pain points in the semiconductor flow, from initial conception of what needs to be in a chip all the way through to manufacturing. Part two looks at how companies are attempting to manage that pain. It’s no secret that [getkc id="81" kc_name="SoC"]s are getting more complicated to design, debug and build, but the complexity i... » read more

When Is Verification Done?


Verification is becoming much more difficult at 16nm/14nm, driven by the sheer complexity of SoCs, the fact that there is much more to verify, and the impact of physical effects, which now affect what used to be exclusively the realm of functional verification. The questions these changes raise are daunting, and for many engineers rather unnerving. The whole validation, verification and debu... » read more

Analog Hits The Power Wall


By Ed Sperling Analog design teams are starting to encounter the same physical issues that digital design engineers began wrestling with several nodes ago—only the problems are more complicated and even more difficult to solve. At advanced nodes digital circuitry is susceptible to an array of physical effects ranging from heat, electromigration, electromagnetic interference and electrosta... » read more

Experts At The Table: Pain Points


By Ed Sperling Low-Power/High-Performance Engineering sat down with Vinod Kariat, a Cadence fellow; Premal Buch, vice president of software engineering at Altera; Vic Kulkarni, general manager of Apache Design; Bernard Murphy, CTO at Atrenta, and Laurent Moll, CTO at Arteris. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. LPHP: Where will the pain points be going forward? Kariat: 20nm is... » read more

Turn Up The Heat


For the better part of two years talk of 3D stacking has been filled with concerns about thermal issues. If you stack logic on logic or memory on memory or CPU on CPU, the chance of causing a fatal failure in the circuitry was assumed to be very high. It turns out that may not be the case after all. Companies working with early prototypes of 3D stacks say silicon itself may be one of the bes... » read more