January 2012


Experts At The Table: Making Software More Energy-Efficient


By Ed Sperling Low-Power Engineering sat down to discuss software and power with Adam Kaiser, Nucleus RTOS architect at Mentor Graphics; Pete Hardee, marketing director at Cadence; Chris Rowen, CTO of Tensilica; Vic Kulkarni, senior vice president and general manager of Apache Design, and Bill Neifert, CTO of Carbon Design Systems. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. LPE: How m... » read more

Model Behavior


By Achim Nohl In this post, I would like to share some perspectives on the transaction-level models needed for the creation of virtual prototypes. Just recently, TLMCentral kicked off a contest seeking the “best” model for a mobile phone sensor device. What actually makes a “good” model? The most ad-hoc answer to this question historically has been that the best model is the fastest an... » read more

Reverse Engineering


By Ed Sperling Fabs and foundries frequently have been the savior of flawed designs, fixing problems such as power and performance, identifying design issues and often developing solutions to those problems. Over the next couple of process nodes, and in stacked die that will span multiple processes, there will be far fewer saves coming from the back end. Double and triple patterning, stress... » read more

Model Report Card


By Ann Steffora Mutschler From its perspective as a leader implementing system level design methodology, STMicroelectronics is uniquely positioned to discuss issues and challenges related to the use of models in a variety of use cases. System-Level Design had the opportunity recently to discuss challenges in the modeling space with Jean-Marc Chateau, director of ST’s SPT (System Platforms a... » read more

The Wi Of CES


By Pallab Chatterjee There has already been quite a bit written about the tablets, TVs and ultrabooks that consumed most of the floor space at this year’s CES show in Las Vegas. There was an underlying technology that was brought out at the show to bind these together—wireless. As the proliferation of content consumption device continues, creating a connected network to get this media a... » read more

Ambient Computing: Interdependencies Rule


By Ann Steffora Mutschler Ambient computing: Just the concept conjures up images of a Star Trek-like ‘Computer’ that is ever at the ready, awaiting a query at any moment, and which can discern as well as perform significant tasks. While Apple’s Siri gets there partway, it is significant because the concepts that make the technology possible behind the scenes draw upon a multidisciplinary... » read more

Will It Work?


By Ed Sperling Estimates of how much time it takes to verify a complex SoC are still hovering around 70% of the total non-recurring engineering costs, but with more unknowns and more things to verify it’s becoming harder to keep that number from growing. Verification has always been described as an unbounded problem. You can always verify more, and just knowing when to call it quits is so... » read more

High performance LEDs on Si wafers – the race is on


Light Emitting Diodes (LED’s) are about to pick up one of the key drivers from the low cost IC industry – Gallium Nitride (GaN) LED’s are being manufactured on large silicon wafers. This opens the future prospect of manufacturing 300 mm wafers filled with LED’s at a huge cost advantage. The larger area means that there are many more devices per process operation, which has driven the se... » read more

Turducken Lessons


By Doug Ridge So with the U.S. holiday season just having passed, it seemed that the topic of discussion and of many a holiday feast was the now infamous turducken. Yes, the somewhat crazy idea of stuffing a deboned chicken with seasoned stuffing and then stuffing that inside a deboned duck, which is itself stuffed inside a deboned turkey, was making its way into homes across at least North Am... » read more

Semiconductor Slowdown? Invest!


By Kurt Shuler Samsung’s announcement that it is investing a company-record $42B in 2012 for technology development came as a bit of a shock to many in the financial and technology press. The size of this investment dwarfs that of any other company I know of, and even exceeds the expected technology investments of entire nations, such as the combined investments of the Japanese semiconductor... » read more

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