December 2011


Cold and Rainy Weather at Semicon Japan Doesn’t Dampen Industry Enthusiasm


By Joanne Itow Last week I attended my first Semicon Japan. This is typically one of the largest Semicon events, but considering the lull in equipment sales since this summer combined with the Japan earthquake in March, I was uncertain what to expect. Seating at the opening keynote and welcome presentations were standing room only, but the foot traffic on the show floor was far from overwh... » read more

Increase The Battery Mileage With Virtual Prototypes


By Achim Nohl With this post, I would like to continue the topic of my earlier post “Can we stop power-hungry bugs from clawing their way through application software stacks?” In my previous post, I wrote about the difficulties software developers face with writing battery-friendly software. I indicated that virtual prototypes (VPs) can address many of those challenges by providing visibil... » read more

Rebalancing Power, Performance And Area


By Ed Sperling The tradeoffs between performance, power and area are being fine-tuned to a degree never seen before in the IC business, driven partly by complexity, partly by better tools, and partly by the need to gain a competitive edge in specific applications. Just being able to make these kinds of tradeoffs is a technological feat that marries everything from high-level modeling and sy... » read more

Too Many Standards, But Still Not Enough


By Ed Sperling The semiconductor industry has been one of the most prolific sectors in history when it comes to generating standards. Talk to any design engineer facing time-to-market pressures, new packaging approaches, and a mindboggling number of merchant IP, subsystems and interface requirements, and you’ll hear a compelling pitch for new standards. Talk to his or her boss and you’ll p... » read more

Off The Planar


By Pallab Chatterjee 3D devices, FinFETs and new memory technologies are not just a future direction anymore. They’re real. That became evident at this year’s IEDM conference, where the focus of a number of sessions was on modeling, failure and reliability models, as well as lower power supply operations for these devices. Because FinFETs are not standard 2D MOS devices, their use i... » read more

Model-Driven Design: Making Progress


By Ann Steffora Mutschler Model-driven design is coming into its own, in part because the old way of using models at advanced nodes doesn’t always produce usable chips and in part because of the need for making tradeoffs at the earliest stages of the design process. The concept of developing models for IC design is hardly a new one, and it is being done today on a number of levels rangin... » read more

What To Expect In 2012


By Ann Steffora Mutschler Looking at the biggest challenges for system-level design in 2012, model availability, IP integration and hardware/software co-design top everyone’s list. The integration of IP and enabling that from a system-level perspective is a significant challenge for the industry. Moreover, it will become even more significant as the market moves further down the Moore’s... » read more

Tech Talk: Comparing Smart Phones


What makes one smart phone last longer on a charge than another? The answer may surprise you. Low-Power Engineering talks with Cary Chin, director of technical marketing for low-power solutions at Synopsys, about what his months of research have shown. [youtube vid=BUefmd_oFp8] » read more

Where The Wild Things Are…


By Kurt Shuler After spending the past month on the road meeting customers in China, Korea and Europe, I finally had the opportunity to read Maurice Sendak’s excellent children’s book, “Where the Wild Things Are,” to my two year-old son this weekend. I see some parallels between the world experienced by the book’s young protagonist, Max, and what I learned from Gartner analyst Ganesh... » read more

AT vs. LT


By Jon McDonald A subject came up today that has come up on numerous occasions: “How often will the transaction-level model with timing, AT, be used versus the functional model, LT?” This is a common question; the answer is often very specific to the user. The kinds of questions and the analysis required will drive the level of accuracy required in the models. It’s probably easiest... » read more

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