Less Room For Error


By Ed Sperling Say goodbye to fat design margins in advanced SoCs. The commonly used method of adding extra performance or area into semiconductors to overcome variability in manufacturing processes or timing closure issues has begun to create problems of its own. While there was plenty of slack available at 90nm, adding margins at 45nm and 32nm disrupts performance or eats into an increasing... » read more

How Many Power Islands Is Too Many?


By Ed Sperling Power domains, also known as power islands, have become to design engineers what multiple cores are to processor architects. They can serve a purpose, namely reducing static current leakage and saving battery life. But they also can add so much complexity that they can make it almost impossible to get a new chip out the door. Just as there has been talk of hundreds of cores, th... » read more