Power Confounds, Challenges

I have to admit I’m always surprised to hear that design teams are not using tools to the fullest extent possible, leaving valuable power saving opportunities on the table, until I remember how daunting it is to get it all right without tremendous experience, expertise, and the right tools. I’m also always fascinated to learn about less-obvious effects from power. To this point, Aveek... » read more

Low Power Design Analysis

This paper presents a methodology for comprehensive power grid verification coverage, including identification of power grid weaknesses early in the design cycle. To read more, click here. » read more

Two Constraints-Based Techniques To Address Power-Related Challenges In SoC Design

Power scheduling, power integrity targets, voltage drop—these are just a few of the power-related challenges you’re no doubt managing in your SoC designs. There aren’t any easy answers, but there are some emerging—and promising—techniques. Two such techniques, according to University of Toronto Professor Farid Najm, are constraints generation and constraints-based verification. “... » read more

How To Fix Common Power Problems

As the industry moves to ever more advanced technology nodes, managing power has emerged as a primary challenge in modern SoC design. With smaller nodes, the wires become taller and narrower, which increases the resistivity and leads to more pronounced voltage drop effects. Electro-migration effects are also more severe at advanced nodes, causing serious reliability concerns. Both RTL synthesis... » read more

IP Design Essentials For Power Integrity

Smart connectivity is the new mantra of today – the ability to connect to anything, anywhere and at any time. With such technology enablement, low power is not a choice but an expectation. Whether it is a connected device, or a system that is part of the infrastructure, they are driven to integrate various functionality such as high speed computing, high-speed memory, memory interfaces, radio... » read more

Power Delivery Network Verification Coverage

This paper presents a methodology for comprehensive power grid verification coverage, including identification of power grid weaknesses early in the design cycle. To view this white paper, click here. » read more

Power Grid Simulation

Introduction The underlying solver algorithms used in power grid (PG) simulation today are derivations of circuit simulation algorithms first developed many decades ago. In fact, the 40th anniversary of SPICE (a widely used circuit simulator), was celebrated in 2011. As such, it is understandable that many engineers have a jaundiced view towards claims of improved PG simulation performance. Ne... » read more

Stimuli-Driven Power Grid Analysis

The terms vector and vectorless modes are commonly used in the context of dynamic power grid (PG) analysis, but what do these terms mean? The PG dynamic simulator uses a design’s activity suite to compute the voltages and currents in the PG network. In vector mode, logic simulation is used to generate the complete activity suite. Vector mode is typically referred as a VCD (Value Change Dump).... » read more

Blog Review: Dec. 11

Synopsys’ Brent Gregory has developed a career growth checklist for computer science majors. They should hang this in the hallway at universities. Cadence’s Brian Fuller interviews Saar Drimer, a UK hardware engineer who has been experimenting with odd-shaped PCBs. According to Drimer, 45-degree angles aren’t always optimal. But what happens to all the expensive tools everyone has bee... » read more

Paving The Way To 16/14nm

The move to the next stop on the Moore’s Law road map isn’t getting any less expensive or easier, but it is becoming more predictable. Tools and programs are being expanded to address physical effects such as electrostatic discharge (ESD), electromigration and thermal effects from increased current density. Any or all of these three checklist items can affect the reliability of a chip. A... » read more