September 2009


What The Downturn Has Wrought


!--StartFragment--> The big companies felt the pain first, or at least they acknowledged it. In big companies, pain is felt in dollars. In smaller companies, it’s felt everywhere because every person counts. What the big IDMs did first was offload their fabs, or at least open them up for enough business to sustain their investments in new technology. That’s the strategy taken by IBM, an... » read more

Designing Systems For Power And Throughput


  By Ed Sperling The most energy being consumed inside of processors is no longer for computation. It’s stuff that’s most chip designers think about after the design is completed, such as communication inside and outside the chip, managing those communications and the power levels across the chip. Research from Intel Labs, unveiled at the Intel Developer Forum this week, show that... » read more

The Next Big Thing, And Who Will Own It


At the beginning of this decade a writer for a powerful newspaper told me that, come hell or high water, she wasn’t giving up print—no matter how important online got to be. I had to think about that for awhile before answering, “It may not be your choice.” That newspaper is now a shadow of what it once was, but the statement keeps reminding me of some of the brash claims being mad... » read more

A High-Level Model For Reducing Frustration


By Jon McDonald Earlier this week I was sitting in the airport waiting for my flight 
to depart. I was connecting through Atlanta. This happened to be one of the days that Atlanta was receiving heavy rains causing flooding 
and occasionally closing the airport. First the flight to Atlanta was 
delayed an hour, then two, then three. Meanwhile my connecting flight 
had been c... » read more

Verification As A Deterrent?


By Ed Sperling Verification is becoming more than a bottleneck in semiconductor design. It’s actually deterring companies from adopting the latest techniques for saving power or building certain features into chips. The problem is one of complexity, and it’s getting worse at every node. While the tools exist to do complex designs, there are the classic tradeoffs of area, power and per... » read more

Get Ready For 3D


By Pallab Chatterjee The advent of digital imaging in the production, broadcast and projection of films will drive the current 3D craze into a sustainable long-term trend. The digital medium allows for “headache-free” viewing and is expected to produce about $1 billion in revenue this year in North America. What’s changed this time is 3D formats will not be limited to feature films in t... » read more

Experts At The Table: Evolving Standards


System-Level Design sat down with Keith Barkley, senior engineer in IBM’s systems and technology group; Steven Schulz, president and CEO of Silicon Integration Initiative (Si2); Yatin Trivedi, director of standards and interoperability programs at Synopsys; Ian Mackintosh, chairman of the OCP International Partnership (OCP-IP), and Michael Meredith, vice president of technical marketing at ... » read more

Progress Report: Nanoelectronics


By Cheryl Ajluni In the world of system design, few technologies cut across as many lines as nanotechnology. Whether for use in better, cheaper sunglasses, sunscreen, next-generation body armor or regenerative medicine, its application seems limitless. It is so far reaching in fact that by 2015 some analysts predict the global market for nanotechnology will top $1 trillion. As Viviane Red... » read more

End User Report: Things To Do With Multicore


System-Level Design sat down with Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale’s networking and multimedia, to talk about changes in the communications sector and how that’s affecting design. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. By Ed Sperling SLD: Where does multicore fit into the Freescale world? Lisa Su: The difference between us and an AMD and Intel ... » read more

New Business Models Emerge


By Ed Sperling Globalization, complexity and the rising cost of chip development are changing business models across the semiconductor design world in some expected as well as some unusual ways. On a global basis, each new process node propels a new wave of disaggregation and disruption as the costs of design continue to skyrocket. What used to be under one roof is now shared by many. This ... » read more

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