Author's Latest Posts


Non-Volatile Memory Tradeoffs Intensify


Non-volatile memory is becoming more complicated at advanced nodes, where price, speed, power and utilization are feeding into some very application-specific tradeoffs about where to place that memory. NVM can be embedded into a chip, or it can be moved off chip with various types of interconnect technology. But that decision is more complicated than it might first appear. It depends on the ... » read more

Priorities Shift In IC Design


The rush to the edge and new applications around AI are causing a shift in design strategies toward the highest performance per watt, rather than the highest performance or lowest power. This may sound like hair-splitting, but it has set a scramble in motion around how to process more data more quickly without just relying on faster processors and accelerators. Several factors are driving th... » read more

Auto Industry Shifts Gears On Where Data Gets Processed


In-vehicle processing is becoming a major challenge in automotive electronics due to the massive amount of data being generated by sensors — especially cameras — and the rapid response time required to avoid accidents. The initial idea that all data could be sent to the cloud for processing has been shelved, most likely permanently. In its place is a growing recognition that data needs t... » read more

Open Source Hardware Risks


Open-source hardware is gaining attention on a variety of fronts, from chiplets and the underlying infrastructure to the ecosystems required to support open-source and hybrid open-source and proprietary designs. Open-source development is hardly a new topic. It has proven to be a successful strategy in the Linux world, but far less so on the hardware side. That is beginning to change, fueled... » read more

Improving Algorithms With High-Level Synthesis


Most computer algorithms today are developed in high-level languages on general-purpose computers. But someday they may be deployed in embedded systems where the development, verification, and validation of algorithms is done in languages like python, Java, C++, or even numerical frameworks like MatLab. This is the goal of high-level synthesis (HLS), and it aims to solve a fundamental proble... » read more

Will Open-Source Processors Cause A Verification Shift?


While the promised flexibility of open source could have advantages and possibilities for processors and SoCs, where does the industry stand on verification approaches and methodologies from here? Single-source ISAs of the past relied on general industry verification technologies and methodologies, but open-source ISA-based processor users and adopters will need to review the verification flows... » read more

Managing Power Dynamically


Design teams are beginning to consider dynamic power management techniques as a way of pushing the limits on performance and low power, leveraging approaches that were sidelined in the past because they were considered too difficult to deploy. Dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS), in particular, has resurfaced as a useful approach. Originally intended to dynamically balance performan... » read more

Interdependencies Complicate IC Power Grid Design


Creating the right power grid is a growing problem in leading-edge chips. IP and SoC providers are spending a considerable amount of time defining the architecture of logic libraries in order to enable different power grids to satisfy the needs of different market segments. The end of Dennard scaling is one of the reasons for the increased focus. With the move to smaller nodes, the amount of... » read more

Betting On Hydrogen-Powered Cars


The automotive industry is taking another look at hydrogen fuel cells, but how they ultimately fare depends on a combination of consumer demand, automaker investment and infrastructure build-out. Hydrogen fuel cell technology has been steadily advancing over the past six decades since the first practical fuel cell system was demonstrated by Cambridge engineering professor Francis Bacon. The ... » read more

Thoroughly Verifying Complex SoCs


The number of things that can go wrong in complex SoCs targeted at leading-edge applications is staggering, and there is no indication that verifying these chips will function as expected is going to get any easier. Heterogeneous designs developed for leading-edge applications, such as 5G, IoT, automotive and AI, are now complex systems in their own right. But they also need to work in conju... » read more

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