Integration IP Helps IP Integration

You might not know much about the MIPI Alliance if you aren't designing mobile phones, but you will soon. Other application areas are taking interest in what this group has accomplished. The alliance was founded in 2003 to create standards for hardware and software interfaces in mobile devices. Successful examples include a camera serial interface (CSI) and a display serial interface (DSI), ... » read more

Why Use A Package?

Subramanian Iyer, distinguished chancellor's professor in UCLA's Electrical Engineering Department—and a former fellow and director of the systems scaling technology department at IBM—sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about the future of chip scaling. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Advanced packaging is being viewed as a way to extend scaling in the fut... » read more

One PHY Does Not Fit All

Consumers expect their battery-operated mobile devices to be faster, smaller and more reliable while providing greater functionality at a reduced cost. Most of all, consumers demand longer battery life and 24/7 access to data. To meet these demands, consumer system-on-a-chip (SoC) designers must make tradeoffs between features, performance, power and cost. Enterprise SoC designers have their... » read more

The Week In Review: Design

Tools Open-Silicon uncorked a 28Gbps SerDes evaluation platform, complete with board, test chip and characterization data, which it says will speed up and simplify development of chips for 100G networks. The chip utilizes PHY IP from Semtech. IP Synopsys rolled out MIPI C-PHY verification IP that utilizes a three-phase coding technique for faster camera, display and SoC interfaces. http://... » read more

The Week In Review: Design

Tools Cadence rolled out a custom power integrity tool for dealing with transistor-level electromigration and IR drop with SPICE-level accuracy. It works in conjunction with the company’s existing power integrity tool for cell-level power signoff. Open-Silicon established a high-speed SerDes technology center of excellence to speed design and production of ASICs using high-speed serial co... » read more

The New ASIC

By Javier DeLaCruz The current state of the art For years, large ASICs like the ones used in network processing, supercomputing and high-end personal computing have had very interesting similarities. The figure below is a fairly typical floorplan of such an ASIC. After taping out over a dozen of these types of chips a year, it is interesting to see that the interfaces have changed, processo... » read more

Surprises Abound As Subsystem IP Gains Prominence

What’s new in the world of subsystem intellectual property? To find out, System-Level Design sat down with Richard Wawrzyniak, senior market analyst for ASICs and SoCs at Semico Research Corp. What follow are excerpts of that conversation. SLD: You mentioned that the cost of semiconductor intellectual property (IP) at 20nm and below is increasing. Why is that? Wawrzyniak: The reason is c... » read more

Managing Electrical Communications Better

By Ann Steffora Mutschler Managing the electrical components of signal paths between IC, package, board and system is no small task, and it’s only growing in complexity. Understanding how to correctly optimize the communications within a system is critical given that the I/O power is becoming a significant portion of the overall chip power as the number of bits and the speed at which t... » read more

What’s With That Big Package?

By Javier DeLaCruz As SerDes data rates have been going up for years, and 10-Gbps interfaces have been becoming commonplace, I figured a few years ago that pin counts on packages would start going down. Boy, was I wrong on that prediction! The trend instead was to put more of those high-speed interfaces on devices. For years, a 45×45mm body size was really the upper limit on organic f... » read more