The Week In Review: Design


M&A The ESD Alliance is merging with SEMI, becoming a SEMI Strategic Association Partner. SE Editor In Chief Ed Sperling argues that the merger has broad implications for the chip industry, particularly as smaller nodes require greater collaboration between design and manufacturing. Meanwhile, SEMI president and CEO Ajit Manocha explains why the combining will be of benefit to members of b... » read more

Simplifying SystemVerilog Functional Coverage


Let’s say you have a block you need to verify. How do you know that the stimulus you are about to use is exhaustive enough and that you have covered the necessary scenarios/situations to prove it is working correctly? This is where functional coverage comes in. SystemVerilog’s functional coverage constructs allow you to quantify the completeness of your stimulus by recording the values that... » read more

Using Data Mining Differently


The semiconductor industry generates a tremendous quantity of data, but until very recently engineers had to sort through it on their own to spot patterns, trends and aberrations. That's beginning to change as chipmakers develop their own solutions or partner with others to effectively mine this data. Adding some structure and automation around all of this data is long overdue. Data mining h... » read more

Reflection On 2017: Design And EDA


People love to make predictions, and most of the time they have it easy, but at Semiconductor Engineering, we ask them to look back on the predictions they make each year and to assess how close to the mark they were. We see what they missed and what surprised them. Not everyone accepts our offer to grade themselves, but most have this year. (Part one looked at the predictions associated with s... » read more

Partitioning With Ease


Modern ASIC and SoC designs have increased in complexity such that multiple FPGAs of the largest capacity are now required to prototype the entire functionality of the design. As design sizes increase, more and more FPGAs are required. The capacity and pin limitations of FPGAs create constraints for how the ASIC/SoC design can be mapped into the FPGAs. Aldec’s HES-DVM's prototyping mode accou... » read more

Could Liquid IP Lead To Better Chips?


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the benefits that could come from making IP available as abstract blocks instead of RTL implementations with Mark Johnstone, technical director for Electronic Design Automation for [getentity id="22499" e_name="NXP"] Semiconductor; [getperson id="11489" p_name="Drew Wingard"], CTO at [getentity id="22605" e_name="Sonics"]; Bryan Bowyer, director of ... » read more

An Incremental Approach To Reusing Automated Tests From IPs To SoCs


Over the past few years, lots of energy has been invested in improving the productivity and quality-of-results of design verification. A promising effort toward this end is that both commercial and in-house tools have been developed to improve the productivity and efficiency of verification at the block, subsystem, and system levels. These tools raise the level of abstraction, increase test-gen... » read more

Automating Tests With Portable Stimulus From IP To SoC Level


The aim of the Portable Stimulus Working Group is to make the creation of highly-efficient automated tests portable. Portable stimulus tools help to raise the level of test description and enable modeling of scenarios that would be very challenging to create with directed and transaction-level constrained random tests. This paper describes the goals of the portable stimulus specification as wel... » read more

System Coverage Undefined


When is a design ready to be taped out? That has been one of the toughest questions to confront every design team, and it's the one verification engineers lose sleep over. Exhaustive [getkc id="56" kc_name="coverage"] has not been possible since the 1980s. Several metrics and methodologies have been defined to help answer the question and to raise confidence that important aspects of a block... » read more

Portable Stimulus Status Report


The first release of the Portable Stimulus (PS) standard is slated for early next year. If it lives up to its promise, it could be the first new language and abstraction for verification in two decades. [getentity id="22028" e_name="Accellera"] uncorked the PS Early Adopter release at the Design Automation Conference (DAC) in June. The standard has been more than two years in the making by t... » read more

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