Author's Latest Posts


Software-Defined Hardware Gains Ground — Again


The traditional approach of running generic software on x86-based CPUs is running out of steam for many applications due to the slowdown of Moore’s Law and the concurrent exponential growth in software application complexity and scale. In this environment, the software and hardware are disparate due the dominance of the x86 architecture. “The need for and advent of the hardware accelerat... » read more

Designing Resilient Electronics


Electronic systems in automobiles, airplanes and other industrial applications are becoming increasingly sophisticated and complex, required to perform an expanding list of functions while also becoming smaller and lighter. As a result, pressure is growing to design extremely high-performance chips with lower energy consumption and less sensitivity to harsh environmental conditions. If this ... » read more

Power Management Becomes Top Issue Everywhere


Power management is becoming a bigger challenge across a wide variety of applications, from consumer products such as televisions and set-top-boxes to large data centers, where the cost of cooling server racks to offset the impact of thermal dissipation can be enormous. Several years ago, low-power design was largely relegated to mobile devices that were dependent on a battery. Since then, i... » read more

New Architectural Issues Facing Auto Ecosystem


As chips bound for the automotive world move to small process nodes, including 5nm and below, the automotive ecosystem is wrestling with both scaling issues and challenges related to architecting safety-critical systems using fewer chips. This may sound counterintuitive, because one of the main reasons automotive chip providers are moving to smaller nodes is to reduce the number of chips in ... » read more

3nm: Blurring Lines Between SoCs, PCBs And Packages


Leading-edge chipmakers, foundries and EDA companies are pushing into 3nm and beyond, and they are encountering a long list of challenges that raise questions about whether the entire system needs to be shrunk onto a chip or into a package. For 7nm and 5nm, the problems are well understood. In fact, 5nm appears to be more of an evolution from 7nm than a major shift in direction. But at 3nm, ... » read more

The Challenges Of Building Inferencing Chips


Putting a trained algorithm to work in the field is creating a frenzy of activity across the chip world, spurring designs that range from purpose-built specialty processors and accelerators to more generalized extensions of existing and silicon-proven technologies. What's clear so far is that no single chip architecture has been deemed the go-to solution for inferencing. Machine learning is ... » read more

Wrestling With Variation In Advanced Node Designs


Variation is becoming a major headache at advanced nodes, and issues that used to be dealt with in the fab now must be dealt with on the design side, as well. What is fundamentally changing is that margin, which has long been used as a buffer for variation and other manufacturing process-related problems, no longer works in these leading-edge designs for a couple of reasons. First, margin im... » read more

Reducing Power At RTL


Power management and reduction at the register transfer level is becoming more problematic as more heterogeneous elements are added into advanced designs and more components are dependent on interactions with other components. This has been a growing problem in leading-edge designs for the past couple of process nodes, but similar issues have begun creeping into less-sophisticated designs as... » read more

Uses, Limits And Questions For FPGAs In Autos


Programmable logic in automotive applications is essential, given the parade of almost constant updates and shifts in direction, but exactly where the technology will be used has become a moving target. This isn't entirely surprising in the automotive industry. Carmakers are moving into electrification and increasing levels of automation in fits and starts, sometimes with dramatic swings in ... » read more

Design For Airborne Electronics


The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), an FAA-led modernization of America's air transportation system meant to make flying more efficient, predictable and safer, is currently underway as one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects in U.S. history. This is not just a minor upgrade to an aging infrastructure. The FAA and partners are in the process of implementing new ... » read more

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