Author's Latest Posts


The Increasingly Ordinary Task Of Verifying RISC-V


As RISC-V processor development matures and its usage in SoCs and microcontrollers grows, engineering teams are starting to look beyond the challenges of the processor core itself. So far, the majority of industry verification efforts have focused on ISA compliance to standardize the RISC-V core. Now the focus is shifting to be how to handle verification as the system grows, especially as th... » read more

FPGA Prototyping Complexity Rising


Multi-FPGA prototyping of ASIC and SoC designs allows verification teams to achieve the highest clock rates among emulation techniques, but setting up the design for prototyping is complicated and challenging. This is where machine learning and other new approaches are beginning to help. The underlying problem is that designs are becoming so large and complex that they have to be partitioned... » read more

Design For Narrowband IoT


Most low-power chips are designed with the assumption that batteries can be recharged or replaced, but there is a whole set of IoT devices under development that are expected to be always-on, communicate over a cellular infrastructure, and remain functional on a coin-sized lithium-ion battery for a decade or more. Welcome to the world of Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), a 3GPP standard (also known a... » read more

‘More Than Moore’ Reality Check


The semiconductor industry is embracing multi-die packages as feature scaling hits the limits of physics, but how to get there with the least amount of pain and at the lowest cost is a work in progress. Gaps remain in tooling and methodologies, interconnect standards are still being developed, and there are so many implementations of packaging that the number of choices is often overwhelming. ... » read more

Vehicle Communications Network Is Due For Overhaul


The Controller Area Network (CAN), one of the main communications networks in an automobile, is headed for a security overhaul — if not a wholesale replacement. Initially devised in the 1980s to allow electronic components in a vehicle to communicate directly without a central computer in between, the CAN bus has become a growing security risk as more functions are automated and integrated... » read more

The Murky World Of AI Benchmarks


AI startup companies have been emerging at breakneck speed for the past few years, all the while touting TOPS benchmark data. But what does it really mean and does a TOPS number apply across every application? Answer: It depends on a variety of factors. Historically, every class of design has used some kind of standard benchmark for both product development and positioning. For example, SPEC... » read more

Using Processor Trace At The System Level


The race to process more data faster using less power is creating a series of debug challenges at the system level, where developers need to be able to trace interactions across multiple and often heterogeneous processing elements that may function independently of each other. In general, trace is a hardware debug feature that allows the run-time behavior of IP to be monitored. More specific... » read more

Power Becomes Bigger Concern For Embedded Processors


Power is emerging as the dominant concern for embedded processors even in applications where performance is billed as the top design criteria. This is happening regardless of the end application or the process node. In some high-performance applications, power density and thermal dissipation can limit how fast a processor can run. This is compounded by concerns about cyber and physical secur... » read more

Designing Ultra Low Power AI Processors


AI chip design is beginning to shift direction as more computing moves to the edge, adding a level of sophistication and functionality that typically was relegated to the cloud, but in a power envelope compatible with a battery. These changes leverage many existing tools, techniques and best practices for chip design. But they also are beginning to incorporate a variety of new approaches tha... » read more

Tracking Automotive’s Rapidly Shifting Ecosystem


The automotive ecosystem is becoming much harder to navigate as automakers, Tier 1s and IP vendors redefine their relationships based upon shifting value caused by an rapidly expanding amount of increasingly interdependent and complex electronic content. Predictions of massive change started almost a decade ago with a number of pilot programs around autonomous vehicles. But those shifts real... » read more

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