February 2011

Advanced Lithography 2011 – A Prologue

In the long view, one thing is clear: the remarkable success of optical lithography at propelling Moore’s Law forward has been a long, steady ride. Moore’s Law has been lithography-limited since the early 1970s, so the steady progress in Moore’s Law over the last 40 years mirrors the steady improvement in resolution that optical lithography has been able to deliver in manufacturing. ... » read more

Experts At The Table: 3D Stacking

By Ed Sperling Semiconductor Manufacturing and Design sat down with Riko Radojcic, director of engineering at Qualcomm; Drew Wingard, CTO at Sonics; Michael White, senior product marketing manager for Calibre physical verification at Mentor Graphics; Jim Hogan, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist; Prasad Subramaniam, vice president of design technology at eSilicon; and Mike Gianfagna, vice pr... » read more

Experts At The Table: Concurrent Design

Low-Power Engineering sat down with Marco Brambilla, ASIC design manager at STMicroelectronics; Charlie Janac, president and CEO of Arteris; Mike Gianfagna, vice president of marketing at Atrenta, and Javier DeLaCruz, director of semiconductor packaging at eSilicon. What follows are excerpts of that discussion. LPE: Is concurrent design strategic—meaning is it done at the architectural lev... » read more

Memory, Bandwidth And SoC Performance

By Ann Steffora Mutschler High-end SoC architectures today can contain dozens of processing engines—multiple cores from MIPS and ARM, DSPs from Tensilica and CEVA, and even graphics processors. But with so many cores there also is a need for enormous amounts of memory, and that has been creating some unexpected design problems, In many cases so much memory is required for an SoC that some... » read more

The Growing Importance Of Subsystems

By Ed Sperling A growing reliance on third-party IP is beginning to expand well beyond just IP blocks and into full subsystems, opening significant growth opportunities for companies competing in this market as well as enormous business and technical challenges. The IP market is ripe for this kind of convergence. Complexity at advanced process nodes coupled with time-to-market demands has e... » read more

The Enterprise Effect

By Pallab Chatterjee In the enterprise it’s all about speed and power—as in more speed and less power—and those changes are forcing shifts in the chip architectures as well as the processes used to develop those chips. At the Linley Data Center Conference the next generation of network control chips were discussed. The keys for the new networks are 10G data lanes to be used with 10G/4... » read more

Stuck In The Corners

By Ann Steffora Mutschler It’s common for semiconductor design teams to spend 60% to 70% of product development time on verification, which is why verification has bubbled to the top of the management chain as a concern. Executives worry about the predictability of their product development cycle because so much of it is dependent on successful execution of verification, the ability to achie... » read more

EDA Forecast: More Clouds

By Ed Sperling Design engineers and EDA vendors used to scoff at the idea of cloud-based tools, but no one is scoffing anymore. A decade after the idea of renting tools online fell flat, largely due to security concerns by chipmakers, all three of the major EDA players and some smaller rivals are taking cloud-based solutions very seriously again. There are several reasons for this change... » read more

The New Multicore Approach

It’s probably too harsh to say that multicore has been a failure, but it’s flat-out wrong to say it has been successful. Multicore was an inevitable outgrowth of Moore’s Law. You simply can’t keep turning up the frequency for processors at advanced nodes without cooking the chip into oblivion. In theory, four cores running at a much cooler 1GHz should be better than one core running... » read more

The Turning Point

By Javier DeLaCruz In the epic battle of cost and performance, MCMs (multi-chip modules) had generally lost to SoCs (systems on chip) due to higher package-assembly costs and lower performance. The tides are turning. Four factors have been in play in recently: Package assembly costs of MCMs have been dropping in recent years. MCM package technologies are becoming commonplace instead... » read more

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