Testing For Security


Ever since the IoT became a household name, people have been strategizing about ways to utilize non-secure devices to mount an attack. The first instances of using electricity to overload a device's circuits, thereby neutralizing existing security features, came to light in some of the earliest car hacking incidents. These are basically side-channel attacks using what amounts to an electroni... » read more

Software Modeling And KPI


In Software Modeling Goes Mainstream, Ed Sperling recently wrote how chipmakers are applying use case modeling techniques to better understand the interactions between software and hardware and how they impact system performance and energy efficiency. As the software content for multicore SoCs grows, these interactions are becoming increasingly complex. For system designers and SoC architect... » read more

Custom Hardware Thriving


In the early days of the IoT, predictions about the commoditization of hardware and the end of customized hardware were everywhere. Several years later, those predictions are being proven wrong. Off-the-shelf components have not replaced customized hardware, and software has not dictated all designs. In fact, in many cases the exact opposite has happened. And where software does play an elev... » read more

What Does AI Really Mean?


Seth Neiman, chairman of eSilicon, founder of Brocade Communications, and a board member and investor in a number of startups, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about advances in AI, what's changing, and how it ultimately could change our lives. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: How far has AI progressed? Neiman: We’ve been working with AI since the mid 1... » read more

Connected Car Driving Change In Defect Detection


Automotive product design is rapidly evolving and the magnitude and pace of change facing engineering organizations is challenging incumbent processes and resources, especially in the area of software design. While connected cars are not new, the frequency and depth to which the industry is embracing this dynamic is accelerating. Software has emerged as a primary vehicle for innovation and diff... » read more

Logic Analyzers Never Die


Logic analyzers, long a mainstay of chip design, are finding new demand for IoT devices—and frequently in different forms than in the past. Once associated with big, bulky benchtop instruments, this technology has evolved significantly over the past 40 years. In some cases it has been moved into software, where the measurement results are more likely to be viewed upon a laptop screen or a ... » read more

Uncovering Unintended Behavior


Very few companies ever had to worry about security until recently. Over the past couple of years, we have seen increasing evidence that our connected systems are vulnerable. The recent distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which made many Internet sites unavailable, has focused attention on Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as digital video recorders and cameras that have Internet a... » read more

Sigasi: Cleaner VHDL And SystemVerilog


Hardware engineers always have looked at software tools and methodologies with a certain degree of envy. While the hardware side has embraced the discipline necessary to get products right prior to release, in large part because it's too expensive to fix an error in hardware, the tools and languages are generally clunkier and the methodologies are much more rigid. Like software, they have to in... » read more

Not All Software Is Like Elvis


January is traditionally my look-back and outlook month. Five years ago my year-end wish had been a census of software developers, and it is fascinating how software in the context of verification has evolved since then (more on this below). Also, most years I go into my garage, dust off my collection of IEEE Spectrum print editions from January five, ten and 15 years back to assess which of th... » read more

Hybrid Simulation Picks Up Steam


As electronic products shift from hardware-centric to software-directed, design teams are relying increasingly on a simulation approach that includes multiple engines—and different ways to use those engines—to encompass as much of the system as possible. How engineers go about using these approaches, and even how they define them, varies greatly from one company to the next. Sometimes it... » read more

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