February 2013


Smarter Things


By Ed Sperling SoC design has largely been a race to the next process node in accordance with Moore’s Law, but it’s about to take a sharp turn away from that as the Internet of Things becomes more ubiquitous. There has been much made about the Internet of Things over the past couple of years—home networks that involve smart refrigerators sending reminders to consumers that the milk is... » read more

Mythbusting: Co-Design


By Ann Steffora Mutschler It turns out that while there needs to be understanding between hardware and software engineers, the people doing the programming don’t actually want or need to interact. There is not, nor probably ever will be, one single team with hardware and software engineers happily working together on a project. But it’s not a total disconnect. There are a number o... » read more

The New Platform-Based Design


By Ann Steffora Mutschler Driven by the continued explosion in design costs, the term ‘platform-based design’ is evolving. A platform used to be viewed as an actual chip with some configurability on it that a semiconductor company promoted. Their customers would buy that chip in volume, configure it to their requirements, and sell it inside their end devices. The definition has beco... » read more

The Rise Of Layout-Dependent Effects


By Ann Steffora Mutschler Designing for today’s advanced semiconductor manufacturing process nodes brings area, speed, power and other benefits but also new performance challenges as a result of the pure physics of running current through tiny wires. Layout-dependent effects (LDE), which emerged at 40nm and are having a larger impact at 28 and 20nm, introduce variability to circuit ... » read more

Surprises Abound As Subsystem IP Gains Prominence


What’s new in the world of subsystem intellectual property? To find out, System-Level Design sat down with Richard Wawrzyniak, senior market analyst for ASICs and SoCs at Semico Research Corp. What follow are excerpts of that conversation. SLD: You mentioned that the cost of semiconductor intellectual property (IP) at 20nm and below is increasing. Why is that? Wawrzyniak: The reason is c... » read more

Experts At The Table: Verification Strategies


By Ed Sperling System-Level Design sat down to discuss verification strategies and changes with Harry Foster, chief verification scientist at Mentor Graphics: Janick Bergeron, verification fellow at Synopsys; Pranav Ashar, CTO at Real Intent; Tom Anderson, vice president of marketing at Breker Verification Systems; and Raik Brinkmann, president and CEO of OneSpin Solutions. What follows are ex... » read more

Have You Had A V8 today?


By Nithya Ruff The quick road to the recommended daily allowance of vegetables and fruits is often a bottle of V8. It’s quick, nutritious, and it makes us feel less guilty about any of our nutritional imbalances. It makes us feel virtuous, because we have done something good for our body today. So why do we postpone the inevitable? By this I mean developing new software for a new piec... » read more

SPIE Advanced Lithography 2013 – day 3


Wednesday was, for me, a busy day since I had two talks to give.  The first was the opening keynote talk at the Design for Manufacturability (DFM) conference entitled “The future of lithography and its impact on design”.  The take-home message was that lithography would become less critical to the success of the industry, and that materials, device architecture, and design would be the ke... » read more

Is This The Era Of Automatic Formal Checks For Verification?


I was thinking about the above question and recalled something IBM would repeat annually back in the late 1980s about its OS/2 replacement for MS-DOS. “This is the year of OS/2!” they would shout. But the marketplace wasn’t listening. As one buddy of mine liked to say, it was only half of an operating system (O.S./2). In the last nine months, my company, Real Intent, along with our com... » read more

Advanced SoC Interconnect IP


By Kurt Shuler I am thoroughly enjoying 2013. That’s because there seems to be a lot more reason for optimism this year than last year. But before we let go of 2012, it’s important to reflect on the past year and see what it can teach us so we can make better business decisions moving forward. The one lesson learned is that flexibility for SoC designs is increasingly more important. In ... » read more

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