ECO Fill Can Rescue Your SoC Tapeout Schedule


By Vikas Gupta and Bhavani Prasad Integrated circuit (IC) design and manufacturing is one of the most challenging engineering industries. As soon as a design engineer gets into “the groove” and feels comfortable taping out in a particular technology node, the next technology node shrink is already there to pose a new and greater set of challenges. While it almost goes without saying that... » read more

Tech Talk: Timing Closure


Arteris' George Janac talks about timing closure issues in advanced chips and why this has reared its head again for the first time in a decade.   Related Stories Timing Closure Issues Resurface Adding more features and more power states is making it harder to design chips at 10nm and 7nm. » read more

System Performance Analysis At ARM


Performance analysis is a vital task in modern SoC design. An under-designed SoC may run too slowly to keep up with the demands of the system. An over-designed SoC will consume too much power and require more expensive IP blocks. At ARM we want to help our partners build SoCs that deliver the best performance within their power and area budgets. The simple truth is that this is more difficul... » read more

Embedded FPGAs Going Mainstream?


Systems on chip have been made with many processing variants ranging from general-purpose CPUs to DSPs, GPUs, and custom processors that are highly optimized for certain tasks. When none of these options provide the necessary performance or consumes too much power, custom hardware takes over. But there is one type of processing element that has rarely been used in a major SoC— the [gettech id... » read more

Coherency: The New Normal In SoCs


We are not far from devices each handling 100 teraflops of compute, billions of pixels of display, hundreds of gigabits of connectivity, and terabytes of storage. Compared with current state-of-the-art mobile SoCs, these are increases of one or two orders of magnitude — at similar or preferably lower power consumption. SoC design is changing to meet this challenge. Multicore architecture i... » read more

Find The Best IP For You


It can be quite challenging and time consuming to find the right semiconductor IP for your project. You’ve got to find IP that does not consume too much power, meets your performance target, has the lowest leakage when your product goes on standby, and last but not least, IP that occupies the least amount of expensive real estate on your chip. How can you accomplish such a task without having... » read more

Executive Insight: Wally Rhines


[getperson id="11694" p_name="Wally Rhines"], chairman and CEO of [getentity id="22017" e_name="Mentor Graphics"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about changes in automotive electronics, IoT security issues, and how this affects semiconductor design. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: In automotive, one of the big changes is that we are no longer dealing wit... » read more

Back To Basics On Multi-Voltage Verification


It has been more than a decade since the paradigm of voltage-aware Booleans came about and the world of multi-voltage verification took off. We started with 3-5 island SoCs and now stare at 300+ islands on a single SoC. While we have a well-developed standard (IEEE 1801/UPF) for the expression and analysis of voltage variation, it is apt to not forget some of the basics and see how they will ca... » read more

Making Verification Easier


SoC design teams increasingly are confronting complexity in the quest to target application segments, but at the same time they are struggling to more quickly reduce risk in their designs while also speed up testing to make sure everything works. Those often-conflicting goals have transformed [getkc id="10" kc_name="verification"] IP from an interesting concept to a must-have tool for advanc... » read more

How Cache Coherency Impacts Power, Performance


As discussed in part one, one of the reasons cache coherency is becoming more important is the shared common memory resource in designs today. Various agents in the design want to access the data the fastest they can, putting pressure on the CPU complex to manage all of the requests. Until a generation ago, it was okay for the CPU to control that memory and have access to it, as well as be t... » read more

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