Optimization Challenges For 10nm And 7nm

Optimization used to be a simple timing against area tradeoff, but not anymore. As we go to each new node the tradeoffs become more complicated, involving additional aspects of the design that used to be dealt with in isolation. Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss these issues with Krishna Balachandran, director of product management for low-power products at [getentity id="22032"... » read more

Addressing Process Variation And Reducing Timing Pessimism At 16nm And Below

At 16nm and below, on-chip variation (OCV) becomes a critically important issue. Increasing process variation makes a larger impact on timing, which becomes more pronounced in low-power designs with ultra-low voltage operating conditions. In this paper, we will discuss how a new methodology involving more accurate library characterization and variation modeling can reduce timing margins in libr... » read more

Power Estimation: Early Warning System Or False Alarm?

Semiconductor Engineering sat down with a large panel of experts to discuss the state of power estimation and to find out if the current levels of accuracy are sufficient to being able to make informed decisions. Panelists included: Leah Schuth, director of technical marketing in the physical design group at [getentity id="22186" comment="ARM"]; Vic Kulkarni, senior vice president and general m... » read more

System-Aware SoC Power, Noise And Reliability Sign-off

In globally competitive markets for mobile, consumer and automotive electronic systems, the critical success factors are power consumption, performance and reliability. To manage these conflicting requirements, design teams consider multiple options, including the use of advanced process technology nodes — especially FinFET-based devices. These advanced technology nodes allow chips to operate... » read more

Signoff Intensity On The Rise

By Ann Steffora Mutschler and Ed Sperling Lithography and signoff are crossing swords at 16/14nm and 10nm, creating new problems that raise questions about just how confident design teams will be when they sign off before tapeout — and how many respins are likely to follow. While designs at 20nm, 16nm and 14nm typically rely on colorless double patterning, at 10nm colors are mandatory. ... » read more

Design And Verification Survey Results

Previously I have blogged about the verification surveys that Real Intent runs at tradeshows throughout the year.  We find it useful to track trends in tool needs and reveal what are the pain points designers are feeling.  I last reported to you, a year ago, in the blog article Clocks and Bugs, where I focused on clock-domain crossing (CDC) errors causing re-spins. This year, I would like ... » read more

Billion-Gate Signoff

At last year’s Design and Verification Conference in San Jose, Real Intent had a tutorial session on “Pre-Simulation Verification for RTL Sign-Off.” This was a start of conversation in the industry that we have seen grow through DAC 2013 in Austin, and which is getting louder each day. Verification companies are now talking about crossing the billion-gate threshold and what can be done to... » read more

Routing Closure Challenges At 28nm And Below

As I described in my last article, the gap between router tech files and signoff rule decks at 28 nm and below is generating some serious impacts on tapeout schedules. The mismatch between the router’s simplified tech file and the complex rules that represent the intricate manufacturing requirements at these leading-edge nodes means designs that come from the router “DRC/DFM-clean” will, ... » read more

When Is Verification Done?

Verification is becoming much more difficult at 16nm/14nm, driven by the sheer complexity of SoCs, the fact that there is much more to verify, and the impact of physical effects, which now affect what used to be exclusively the realm of functional verification. The questions these changes raise are daunting, and for many engineers rather unnerving. The whole validation, verification and debu... » read more

The Week in Review: System-Level Design

Cadence unveiled its next-gen power signoff tool, this one based upon parallel execution across multiple processors. The result is 10x speed improvement, according to the company. The signoff solution already is certified for TSMC’s 16nm finFET process for IR drop analysis and EM rule compliance, two of the big concerns with finFETs. Synopsys teamed up with CEVA to improve PPA for CEVA’s... » read more

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