January 2009


Making A Multicore System Work


If you think designing a single-core system is hard, designing multicore systems is multiple times harder. Connecting all the pieces together and making them work properly, if not together, is one of the hardest tasks design engineers and architects will ever face. System-Level Design tracked down some of the experts in this field and sat them down around a table to discuss what’s going... » read more

ESL Modeling: Be Careful What You Wish For


I was talking to a customer last week about his most recent ESL activities and he brought up a question that I’ve heard from many different sources : “How accurate does my ESL model need to be?” The level of timing accuracy, and even function accuracy, needed for effective system level analysis is a very dynamic question, with different answers for different organizations, and even di... » read more

Fewer Engineers Means Fewer Weapons Designs


By Ed Sperling Uncle Sam wants you—but not on the battlefield. The diminished pool of qualified engineering and science graduates is having a major impact on the defense market. There simply are too few trained engineers to design complex systems for the military at the rate they’re needed, creating a huge hole in a system that has been humming along for the better part of a century. And ... » read more

IP Consolidation Improves Reliability


By Ann Steffora Mutschler As individual blocks of IP in an IC design grow to more than 1 million gates, making sure each block functions reliably and interfaces with the system properly is a make-or-break scenario for many companies. For one thing, getting it right is absolutely critical as the semiconductor industry reaches its maturity point with margins harder to reach. Coupled with an ind... » read more

Achieving Successful LTE Design and Test


By Cheryl Ajluni In spite of all of its hype, WiMAX is not the only standard causing a stir these days or being called a “killer app.” Another technology that has achieved this illustrious title is Long Term Evolution (LTE), the Third Generation Partnership Project’s (3GPP’s) air interface for wireless access. Granted, WiMAX does have the advantage of a head start in development, test... » read more

New Pain Points In System-Level Design


By Ed Sperling One of the strange things about downturns is they force companies to re-examine what they do and question what kind of value they bring to the market. This is particularly true in the semiconductor world, where the average selling prices for chips has been sliding for the better part of two decades. In the case of the chip industry, which is heavily cyclical, that leaves lo... » read more

One Design, Many Products


By Pallab Chatterjee The tightening worldwide economy finally has forced the consumer products arena to adopt an aggressive single-SKU mentality for their products. This means companies are now making a single standard product that can be sold into multiple applications. This marks a radical shift in the way products are being designed, a direction that makes the design and development proces... » read more

What’s Next In ESL?


The easy stuff is over, not that anything was ever really easy in the semiconductor world. But getting the most from a chip in terms of lowering power and boosting performance will no longer be a function of the silicon alone.   Most software engineering has been done with existing languages and operating systems, but the well-known versions are aimed at general-purpose computing. They’r... » read more

Who’s Out, Who’s In


The EDA world is either doing better than most segments of the economy or coming apart at the seams, depending upon your perspective and your definition of exactly what an EDA company is. But at least one trend seems clear: As we push into the world of system-level design from chip design and SoCs instead of ASICs, the high-level trend is broader companies with more complete integrated packag... » read more

Not Everyone Feels The Pinch


By Ed Sperling In the midst of the longest and deepest downturn since the invention of the transistor, not everyone is doing badly. In fact, there are some bright spots across the electronics industry that seem to defy gravity, so to speak. In particular, design tools are doing well. When the industry is down, they’re typically down less because, as any successful executive in technolog... » read more

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