Power Management Vs. State Machines


In the last several years, contemporary SoCs (systems-on-a-chip) have become very complex silicon solutions. They now consist of hundreds of millions of gates, 100 or more discrete Semiconductor Intellectual Property (SIP) blocks, high-speed data channels, megabytes of volatile and non-volatile embedded memory, increasing amounts of analog/mixed signal functionality, multiple CPU cores and mult... » read more

Performance Increasingly Tied To I/O


Speeding up input and output is becoming a cornerstone for improving performance and lowering power in SoCs and ASICs, particularly as scaling processors and adding more cores produce diminishing returns. While processors of all types continue to improve, the rate of improvement is slowing at each new node. Obtaining the expected 30% to 50% boost in performance and lower power no longer can ... » read more

Choosing Power-Saving Techniques


Engineers have come up with a long list of ways to save power in chip and system designs, but there are few rules to determine which approaches work best for any given design. There is widespread confusion about what techniques should be used where, which IP or subsystem is best, and how everything should be packaged together. The choices include everything from the proper level of clock and... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


M&A Synopsys acquired another code analysis company, Forcheck. A privately held software company based in the Netherlands, it provided a static analysis tool for detecting coding defects and anomalies in Fortran applications. Forcheck technology will be integrated into the Coverity tool. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. IP & Specifications Cadence launched verification IP ... » read more

Power State Switching Gets Tougher


Power state switching delay is a key factor in minimizing power, and getting it right frequently means the difference between a successful design and a dead chip. But tradeoffs are intricate, complex and often involve judgment calls, making this a place where designs can go completely awry. For years, traditional, full-swing [gettech id="31093" comment="CMOS"] process technologies were used ... » read more

Mobile Processors Move Beyond Phones


Mobile processors, also known as application processors, are well-known as the engines that run smartphones, tablet computers, and other wireless devices. But these chips increasingly are finding their way into autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things, unmanned aerial vehicles, virtual reality, and other applications far beyond phone calls and text messages. Moreover, they are gaining in com... » read more

Tools For Heterogeneous System Development


System architects look to both heterogeneous and homogeneous computing when there are no other options available, but the current thinking is that a system-level software methodology could simplify the design, ease integration of various blocks, and potentially improve performance for less power. While the theory appears sound enough, implementing it has turned out to be harder than expected. ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Samsung is mulling over a plan to reorganize its System LSI division, according to a report from BusinessKorea. As part of the move, Samsung is mulling over the idea to spin off its foundry unit, according to the report. A spokeswoman for Samsung’s foundry unit said: “We don't have any comments on this story.” GlobalFoundries has added eight new partners to its FDXcelera... » read more

Embedded Software Verification Issues Grow


Embedded software is becoming more critical in managing the power and performance of complex designs, but so far there is no consensus about the best way to approach it—and that's creating problems. Even with safety-critical standards such as DO-178C for aerospace and [gettech id="31076" comment="ISO 26262"] for automotive, different groups of tool providers approach software from differen... » read more

Tuning Heterogeneous SoCs


It's one thing to pack multiple processor cores into a design, but it is much more difficult to ensure the hardware matches the software's requirements, or that the software optimally uses the hardware. Both the hardware and software teams are now facing these issues, and there are few tools to help them fully understand the problems or to provide solutions. Design teams continue to add more... » read more

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