Author's Latest Posts


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

Why Standard Memory Choices Are So Confusing


System architects increasingly are developing custom memory architectures based upon specific use cases, adding to the complexity of the design process even though the basic memory building blocks have been around for more than half a century. The number of tradeoffs has skyrocketed along with the volume of data. Memory bandwidth is now a gating factor for applications, and traditional memor... » read more

Power Complexity On The Rise


New chip architectures and custom applications are adding significant challenges to chip design and verification, and the problems are becoming much more complex as low power is added into the mix. Power always has been a consideration in design, but in the past it typically involved different power domains that were either on, off, or in some level of sleep mode. As hardware architectures s... » read more

Planning For Failures In Automotive


The automotive industry is undergoing some fundamental shifts as it backs away from the traditional siloed approach to one of graceful failure, slowing the evolution to fully autonomy and rethinking how to achieve its goals for a reasonable cost. For traditional automakers, this means borrowing some proven strategies from the electronics world rather than trying to evolve traditional automot... » read more

Service Revenue Growing With Chip Complexity


Rising complexity, new markets, and a shortage of in-house expertise are beginning to rekindle demand for services for the first time in nearly a decade. The semiconductor industry has been racing to design chips for a variety of new and existing applications, but they are facing challenges on a number of fronts: Leading-edge chips require new architectures due to a sharp reduction in s... » read more

Tricky Tradeoffs For LPDDR5


LPDDR5 is slated as the next-gen memory for AI technology, autonomous driving, 5G networks, advanced displays, and leading-edge camera applications, and it is expected to compete with GDDR6 for these applications. But like all next-gen applications, balancing power, performance, and area concerns against new technology options is not straightforward. These are interesting times in the memory... » read more

Optima Design Launches, Focuses On Functional Safety


Autonomous driving is really happening. "Although a concept and dream for many automotive enthusiasts and engineers since the 1950s, now it's really happening," asserted Jamil Mazzawi, founder and CEO of Optima Design, which launched today. “At the same time, everybody knows that if we continue to have accidents, like the Tesla accident or the Uber accident, this will not work. People will... » read more

IP Management And Development At 5/3nm


The growing complexity of moving to new process nodes is making it much more difficult to create, manage and re-use IP. There are more rules, more data to manage, and more potential interactions as density increases, both in planar implementations and in advanced packaging. And the problems only get worse as designs move to 5nm and 3nm, and as more heterogeneous components such as accelerato... » read more

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