October 2008


Financial Pressures Meet Chip Development


Decisions about what kinds of chips will be developed are changing, and not for the usual reasons. While there have always been technological challenges in developing semiconductors—many companies believed that 1 micron was the wall—business decisions are entering into the picture at a level never seen before. Some companies are running their chips for two process nodes instead of one—... » read more

OVM vs. VMM: What’s Next?


By Ed Sperling The lines are drawn. On one side stand Mentor Graphics and Cadence. On the other are Synopsys and ARM. And caught in the middle are verification engineers, with a preference for one or the other and often in mixed verification teams. The battle for dominance between the Verification Methodology Language (VMM) and the Open Verification Methodology (Open Verification Methodology)... » read more

Things You Never Knew About System Verilog


System Verilog is considered the current standard for a combined hardware description and verification language, and has been welcomed with open arms since it was approved by IEEE in 2005. Its usefulness in designing and verifying new chips is well known among those who work with it. The only problem is that many engineers still don’t know how to use more than a fraction of its capabilities... » read more

Multicore Programming: The Next Frontier?


By Ed Sperling From a distance it looks like a game of hot potato. But this version is played by hardware and software engineers, who normally don’t have much to do with each other. The hardware engineers say you can’t get any more performance out of a single core on a chip without cooking it, so they’ve added more cores and tossed the problem over the wall to the software e... » read more

Verifying ASICs with FPGA Arrays


[youtube vid=pPNvvbCIzO4] » read more

What they don’t know…


  AMD’s spinoff of its fabs with a big cash infusion from investors in the United Arab Emirates is an indication of just how rotten things have become in the processor manufacturing business. AMD spent decades trailing one step behind Intel. When it finally caught up several years ago, using low-power as a selling point and bragging about better performance, Intel roared back to life a... » read more

Quality time?


By Ed Sperling System-Level Design sat down to discuss the future of verification with Olivier Haller, design verification team leader for STMicroelectronics’ functional verification group; Hillel Miller, functional design and verification tools and methodology manager at Freescale; Kelly Larson, design verification engineering manager at MediaTek Wireless; Adnan Hamid, CEO of Breker, and ... » read more