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

Improving VHDL


For the past several years, I have had the privilege to chair the IEEE 1076 VHDL working group. In March, we handed off the revisions to the VHDL LRM to our technical editor to finalize the document for balloting. As we are waiting for the standards process to finish up, I thought I would share my favorite new additions. Let me start with an executive summary: VHDL-2017 plus Open Source VHDL... » read more

The Problem With Clocks


The synchronous digital design paradigm has enabled us to design circuits that are well controlled, but that is only true if the clocks themselves are well controlled. While overdesign techniques ensured that to be the case in early ASIC development, designs today cannot afford such luxuries. As we strive for lower power and higher operating frequencies, the clock has become a critical desig... » read more

What Is Portable Stimulus?


When [getentity id="22028" e_name="Accellera"] first formed the [getentity id="22863" comment="Portable Stimulus Working Group”] and gave it that name, I was highly concerned. I expressed my frustration that the name, while fitting with what most people thought [getkc id="10" kc_name="verification"] is about, does not reflect the true nature of the standard being worked on. In short, it is no... » 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

FPGA VHDL Verification


By Espen Tallaksen This is actually possible – and with an average efficiency improvement of 20% to 50% for medium to high complexity FPGAs. Less for data path oriented designs and more for control or protocol oriented designs. At no extra cost. All that is required is that you do your testbench development the same way you do your design. Every single FPGA designer knows that a good to... » read more

Embedded FPGAs Going Mainstream?


Systems on chip have been made with many processing variants ranging from general-purpose CPUs to DSPs, GPUs, and custom processors that are highly optimized for certain tasks. When none of these options provide the necessary performance or consumes too much power, custom hardware takes over. But there is one type of processing element that has rarely been used in a major SoC— the [gettech id... » read more

What’s Next For UVM?


The infrastructure for much of the chip verification being done today is looking dated and limited in scope. Design has migrated to new methodologies, standards and tools that are being introduced to deal with heterogeneous integration, more customization, and increased complexity. Verification methodologies started appearing soon after the release of SystemVerilog. Initially they were inten... » read more

System-Level Verification Tackles New Role


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss advances in system-level verification with Larry Melling, product management director for the system verification group of [getentity id="22032" e_name="Cadence"]; Larry Lapides, VP of sales for [getentity id="22036" e_name="Imperas”] and Jean-Marie Brunet, director of marketing for the emulation division of [getentity id="22017" e_name="Mentor Gr... » read more

Software Driving More Hardware Designs


The influence of software engineers is growing inside of chip and systems companies, reversing a decades-old trend of matching the software to the fastest or most power-efficient hardware and raising as-yet unanswered questions about what will change in SoC design. The shift is particularly evident in chips developed for high-volume markets such as mobile phones and tablets. It's also happen... » read more

← Older posts