April 2011


The Copernican Theory Of Computing


The most powerful computer on the planet isn’t sitting in some research center being cooled by liquid nitrogen. It’s sitting in your pocket or on your desktop—or at least a piece of it is. We’ve all been brainwashed into thinking that it’s important to own the most powerful computing device you can get your hands on. Latency, after all, is annoying. Somewhere over the past couple o... » read more

Experts At The Table: Verification At 28nm And Beyond


Low-Power Engineering sat down to discuss issues in verification at 28nm and beyond with Frank Schirrmeister, director of product marketing for system-level solutions at Synopsys, Ran Avinun, marketing group director at Cadence, Prakash Narain, president and CEO of Real Intent, and Lauro Rizzatti, general manager of EVE-USA. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. LPE: When we move t... » read more

‘What If’ In 3D


By Ed Sperling ‘What if’ questions have become standard across multiple pieces of the design chain for any SoC, but the number is multiplying at each new process node. When the industry begins moving to 2.5D and 3D over the next couple years, the number of tradeoffs will likely move from overwhelming to unmanageable. That will set in motion a number of efforts in semiconductor design. ... » read more

Mobile Applications Drive New Architectures


By Pallab Chatterjee The push toward mobility in consumer devices is having an impact on the entire component flow. Mobile devices are dominated by two key factors—an overriding power constraint and very high data bandwidth. The power constraints are on the mobile device side and on the cloud-based support server side. The high data bandwidth issues are due to the limited processing powe... » read more

EDA’s Big Challenge


By Ann Steffora Mutschler It is not news to anyone that the growth rate of the EDA industry has been less than impressive, to put it politely. Traditional EDA implementation tools have hit commodity status and something’s got to change. Thankfully, there are a host of challenges coming in the form of system-level (and higher) design, not to mention what will be required for true 3D chips. ... » read more

SoC Ecosystems Become More Tightly Integrated


By Ed Sperling SoC ecosystems are changing. Quality and focus are replacing volumes of names as companies that fund them begin to narrow down which partners add the most value and which markets they need to target. Establishing a ring of allies is nothing new, of course. IBM had its circle of most trusted software partners back in the 1970s when mainframes were the dominant computing platfo... » read more

The Multiple Faces Of Virtual Prototyping


Virtual prototyping conjures either confusion or relief, so it should come as no surprise that some chip designers are still confused about the different types of prototypes on the market. “Virtual prototyping is going through a change right now,” explained Gary Smith, founder and chief analyst for Gary Smith EDA. “Today, users are using cycle-based tools to prototype sections of their... » read more

IP Subsystems Are Nothing New


By Kurt Shuler I’ve been hearing the term “IP subsystem” lately, and it seems to be the latest newfangled buzz word in the SoC semiconductor and IP industry, second only to “virtualization.” Much of the context for this growing interest in IP subsystems has been inspired from the work of Rich Wawrzyniak in his Semico Research report, “IP Subsystems: The Next IP Market Paradigm - Oc... » read more

Dawn Of The M2M Age


By Jack Browne With the unrelenting progress of Moore’s Law, the semiconductor sector has enabled technology to power today’s cloud computing model. For 30 years, the industry has been talking about the convergence of computing, control and communication. But today, people are mostly intrigued by the end user experience for their devices and how to connect to the Internet of things. The... » read more

$23 For A Deli Sandwich?


By Jon McDonald I have talked to a number of people recently about the justification for investing in an ESL methodology. “What’s the ROI?” is a question I hear fairly often. I’m currently on vacation in New York City with my family, and during the trip I’ve realized just how subjective ROI can be. What’s the ROI on a $23 deli sandwich? At home I’d never think about paying tha... » read more

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