Designing SoC Power Networks


Designing a power network for a complex SoC is becoming critical for the success of the product, but most chips are still using old techniques that are ill-suited to the latest fabrication technologies, resulting in an expensive, overdesigned product. Not only is the power network as designed too large, but this has several knock-on effects that impact area, timing and power. In the first pa... » read more

SoC Power Grid Challenges


The consumption of power and dissipation of heat within large SoCs has received a lot of attention recently, but that is only part of the issue. Power also has to be reliably delivered onto and around the system. This is becoming increasingly difficult, and new nodes are adding to the list of challenges. "If we were building chips where there was only a single Vdd and Vss then it is not that... » read more

Why IP Subsystems And Why Now?


At the recently concluded DAC 2016 conference in Austin, Texas, I had the opportunity to participate in a tutorial on IP Subsystems on Wednesday the 8th. Also participating were Marco Brambilla, Director of Engineering at Synapse Design and Drew Wingard, CTO at Sonics. The reality today is that device complexity in many applications has risen to levels that require increasing amounts of disc... » read more

Near-Threshold Computing


The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) has brought a lot of attention to the need for extremely low-power design, and this in turn has increased the pressure for voltage reduction. In the past, each new process node shrunk the feature size and lowered the nominal operating voltage. This resulted in a drop in power consumption. However, the situation changed at about 90nm in two ways. ... » read more

Asynchronous’ Impact On Tools


In the right situation, using asynchronous logic makes a lot of sense—especially for security and IoT. But moving into the asynchronous design involves making tradeoffs, figuring out how the technical requirements of an application will impact the design, and understanding the limits of EDA tools in this area. “It's going to be halfway between digital and analog support,” said Bernard ... » read more

Memory Design At 16/14nm


As we get older the memory may start to fade, but that is not a viable option if we are talking about embedded memory. Chips contain increasing amounts of memory, and for many designs memory consumes more than half of the total chip area. “At 28nm we saw a few people with greater than 400Mbits of memory on chip,” says Prasad Saggurti, product marketing manager for Embedded Memory IP at [... » read more

How Hard Is FD-SOI Design?


Fully-depleted silicon-on-insulator ([getkc id="220" kc_name="FD-SOI"]) manufacturing technology reached of point of readiness for mass production at the end of March. Along with that, it’s now clear that while there are some impacts on the design flow, those impacts are not game changers. For one thing, the tools required are the same ones currently used for 28nm planar bulk CMOS. The onl... » read more

FD-SOI Vs. FinFETs


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to compare the benefits, risks and challenges of moving to finFETs compared with fully depleted silicon on insulator ([getkc id="220" kc_name="FD-SOI"]) with Philippe Magarshack, group vice president for technology R&D at [getentity id="22331" comment="STMicroelectronics"]; Marco Brambilla, director of engineering at [getentity id="22150" e_name="Synapse D... » read more

FD-SOI Vs. FinFETs


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to compare the benefits, risks and challenges of moving to finFETs compared with fully depleted silicon on insulator ([getkc id="220" kc_name="FD-SOI"]) with Philippe Magarshack, group vice president for technology R&D at [getentity id="22331" comment="STMicroelectronics"]; Marco Brambilla, director of engineering at [getentity id="22150" e_name="Synapse D... » read more

FD-SOI Vs. FinFETs


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to compare the benefits, risks and challenges of moving to finFETs compared with fully depleted silicon on insulator ([getkc id="220" kc_name="FD-SOI"]) with Philippe Magarshack, group vice president for technology R&D at [getentity id="22331" comment="STMicroelectronics"]; Marco Brambilla, director of engineering at [getentity id="22150" e_name="Synapse D... » read more

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