Memory Model Verification at the Trisection of Software, Hardware, and ISA (Princeton)


Source: Princeton University, Caroline Trippel, Yatin A. Manerkar, Daniel Lustig*, Michael Pellauer*, Margaret Martonosi *NVIDIA Princeton University researchers have discovered a series of errors in the RISC-V instruction specification that now are leading to changes in the new system, which seeks to facilitate open-source design for computer chips. In testing a technique they created for... » read more

System Bits: April 18


RISC-V errors Princeton University researchers have discovered a series of errors in the RISC-V instruction specification that now are leading to changes in the new system, which seeks to facilitate open-source design for computer chips. In testing a technique they created for analyzing computer memory use, the team found over 100 errors involving incorrect orderings in the storage and retr... » read more

54th DAC Program Finalized


A DAC winter meeting held in sunny Mexico isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. (Although we did enjoy the break from this winter storms!) Everybody thinks the Executive Committee members are lounging on the beach enjoying drinks with little umbrellas in them. That couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, I and 15 other EC members spent most of our February meetings in Puerto Vallar... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


IP Arastu Systems uncorked a LPDDR3 DRAM Memory Controller. The controller is fully compliant with JEDEC standard JESD209-3C and supports various power down modes as well as multiple channels with a privilege to configure and manage each channel independently and parameterized data width. CSEM's Bluetooth Low Energy silicon RF IP has been validated as Bluetooth 5 compatible. RF test equip... » read more

SiFive: Low-Cost Custom Silicon


One of the lessons learned years ago in the open-source Linux world is that free software isn't always good enough. Consequently, being able to add commercial value around freeware can turn into a lucrative business. Red Hat Software, for example, has turned this approach into a thriving multi-billion-dollar business. But nothing comparable has ever succeeded in the SoC world. Enter SiFi... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


Deals Kilopass extended its deal with ICScape, which makes a Parallel SPICE simulator, for eNVM IP at advanced finFET nodes. Kilopass has been working with ICScape for the past couple of years as part of its qualification methodology. IP Silvaco released three MIPI I3C sensor controller IP cores. Developed with NXP to push adoption of I3C, the new products are an Advanced Slave core wi... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


Numbers Mentor Graphics released Q3 financial results. Revenue was $322.5 million, compared with $290.5 million in the same period in 2015, an increase of 11%. Net income was $41.8 million versus $13.9 million in 2015, an increase of 201%. The company noted that emulation revenue also was up 100%. Deals Mobileye selected Synopsys' Z01X functional safety verification solution to meet I... » read more

Will Open-Source Work For Chips?


Open source is getting a second look by the semiconductor industry, driven by the high cost of design at complex nodes along with fragmentation in end markets, which increasingly means that one size or approach no longer fits all. The open source movement, as we know it today, started in the 1980s with the launch of the GNU project, which was about the time the electronic design automation (... » read more

CPU, GPU, or FPGA?


Nvidia’s new GeForce GTX 1080 gaming graphics card is a piece of work. Employing the company’s Pascal architecture and featuring chips made with a 16nm [getkc id="185" kc_name="finFET"] process, the GTX 1080’s GP104 graphics processing units boast 7.2 billion transistors, running at 1.6 GHz, and it can be overclocked to 1.733 GHz. The die size is 314 mm², 21% smaller than its GeForce ... » read more

Alternative To x86, ARM Architectures?


Software developed by professors and graduate students from the University of California at Berkeley? That will never fly in the semiconductor industry, right? Maybe they said that about SPICE, four decades ago. The jury is still out on RISC-V (pronounced risk-five) the modular, open-source instruction set architecture created in this decade by Cal professors and students, yet the ISA is gai... » read more