Mixed-Signal Design Powers Ahead


Mixed-signal devices are at the heart of many advanced systems today because of the need to interact with the outside world, but designing and verifying these systems is getting harder. There are several reasons for this. First, almost all of these devices now have to be lower power than in the past, and in the analog space it's not as simple as just dialing down part of a block. Second, it ... » read more

A Tale Of Two Standards


By Ed Sperling It could well be one of the strangest developments in standards history. Two competing standards for power formats were rolled out in the middle of the last decade and aside from a few cries of foul they fell below the radar screen of most chip designers and architects for a half-dozen years. Fast forward to the present and the Common Power Format (CPF) and Unified Power Form... » read more

Experts At The Table: The Trouble With Low-Power Verification


By Ed Sperling Low-Power/High-Performance Engineering sat down to discuss low-power verification with Leah Clark, associate technical director at Broadcom; Erich Marschner, product marketing manager at Mentor Graphics; Cary Chin, director of marketing for low-power solutions at Synopsys; and Venki Venkatesh, senior director of engineering at Atrenta. What follows are excerpts of that conversat... » read more

Verifying Your Intent


By Ann Steffora Mutschler Design rule checking (DRC), layout versus schematic (LVS) and electrical rule checking (ERC) are physical verification techniques that are mandatory today to check a design and its structures before manufacturing. Checking electrical characteristics of a design is one thing. Verifying power intent is quite another. And the overlap of the two is an intriguing con... » read more

Experts At The Table: The Trouble With Low-Power Verification


By Ed Sperling Low-Power/High-Performance Engineering sat down to discuss low-power verification with Leah Clark, associate technical director at Broadcom; Erich Marschner, product marketing manager at Mentor Graphics; Cary Chin, director of marketing for low-power solutions at Synopsys; and Venki Venkatesh, senior director of engineering at Atrenta. What follows are excerpts of that conversat... » read more

The Next UPF


By Erich Marschner If all goes according to schedule, the new version (2.1) of five-year-old Unified Power Format (UPF) standard will be approved by the IEEE early next year. This is good news, because in the five years since UPF was first defined the demand for systems with both longer battery life and more functionality has increased significantly. As just one example: according to Gartner, ... » read more

Hierarchical LP Design 2


By Luke Lang Last month, I discussed two key features of the Common Power Format (CPF) that support hierarchical design methodology: boundary port and macro model. These are commands that need to be written to describe the power intent and drive the tools. Without these commands, it is extremely difficult to do hierarchical design. But with these commands, hierarchical power intent files are n... » read more