Estimating Power And Performing Optimization


Power analysis and optimization have gained importance over the last few years. During this time it has become obvious how critical it is to use realistic payloads to accurately estimate power and perform optimization tasks. Designers have a range of different objectives and concerns when it comes to power. On one side, a team wants to ensure that the average power of their chip is low enough t... » read more

What Does “Low Power Optimization” Mean To You?


As I was researching some new low power capabilities, I asked this question of nearly every designer I met: “How important is low power optimization?” It turns out that it’s a pretty useless question because of course it’s important to just about everyone. After all, reducing power improves reliability and reduces design costs. And for chips destined for certain applications, such as mo... » read more

Safety Plus Security: A New Challenge


Nobody has ever integrated safety or security features into their design just because they felt like it. Usually, successive high-profile attacks are needed to even get an industry's attention. And after that, it's not always clear how to best implement solutions or what the tradeoffs are between cost, performance, and risk versus benefit. Putting safety and security in the same basket is a ... » read more

New USB Audio Class For USB Type-C Digital Headsets


The ¼” phone jack was invented more than 100 years ago to connect people using a new invention called the “telephone.” Today, the modern variant - the 3.5mm phone jack - is widely used. As modern mobile phones are used for more than phone calls and do not have room for multiple connectors, a new approach for audio connectivity is needed, so product designers are retiring the 3.5mm jack. ... » read more

Correlating Software Execution With Switching Activity To Save Power In SoC Designs


There is probably no more pointless waste of energy than lighting and heating a room that is empty. The obvious optimization: notice that no one is there and turn off the lights. It works the same on an SoC or embedded system. To save energy, system developers are adding the ability turn off the parts of the system that are not being used. Big energy savings but with no compromise to functional... » read more

Test More Complex For Cars, IoT


With increasing focus on safety-critical semiconductors—driven by ADAS, IoT, and security—functional safety concerns are going through the roof. Engineering teams are scrambling to determine how to conduct better in-field or online testing because test no longer can be an afterthought. This has been a common theme across the automotive ecosystem for the past few years, and as the automot... » read more

Dynamic Peak Power As A Proxy For DVD? Really?


Dynamic-voltage-drop (DVD) concerns have grown substantially at the 10nm and 7nm silicon process nodes. DVD refers to the transient voltage drop that a local power grid on a chip might experience if there is a rapid change in current. That drop can act like a “stall,” hurting performance until the grid recovers. Beefing up the power grid metal might seem to be the obvious fix, but, at th... » read more

Moore’s Law Debate Continues


Does shrinking devices still make sense from a cost and performance perspective? The answer isn’t so simple anymore. Still, the discussion as to whether semiconductors are still on track with [getkc id="74" comment="Moore's Law"] occurs on a frequent enough basis to continue analyzing at least some of the dynamics at play. There is much speculation about what happens after 7nm, as well as ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Nov. 1


New approach to switches According to the National Resource Defense Council, Americans waste up to $19 billion annually in electricity costs due to always-on digital devices in the home that suck power even when they are turned off. With that in mind, a team from University of Utah devised a new kind of switch for electronic circuits that uses solid electrolytes such as copper sulfide to ... » read more

Overcoming The Limits Of Scaling


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the increasing reliance on architectural choices for improvements in power, performance and area, with [getperson id="11425" comment=" Sundari Mitra"], CEO of [getentity id="22535" comment="NetSpeed Systems"]; Charlie Janac, chairman and CEO of [getentity id="22674" e_name="Arteris"]; [getperson id="11032" comment="Simon Davidmann"] CEO of [getentit... » read more

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