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

Whatever Happened to High-Level Synthesis?


A few years ago, [getkc id="105" comment="high-level synthesis"] (HLS) was probably the most talked about emerging technology that was to be the heart of a new [getkc id="48" kc_name="Electronic System Level"] (ESL) flow. Today, we hear much less about the progress being made in this area. Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss this with Bryan Bowyer, director of engineering for high lev... » read more

Working With Custom Checkers In Dynamic Simulation Of Low Power Designs


Power-aware simulators can provide a wide range of automated assertions in the form of dynamic sequence checkers that cover every possible PA dynamic verification scenario. However, design specific PA verification complexities may arise from adoption of one or a multiple of power dissipation reduction techniques, from a multitude of design features — like UPF strategies — as well as from ta... » 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

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