Author's Latest Posts


Why IP Quality Is So Difficult To Determine


Differentiating good IP from mediocre or bad IP is getting more difficult, in part because it depends up on how and where it is used and in part because even the best IP may work better in one system than another—even in chips developed by the same vendor. This has been one of the challenges with IP over the years. In many cases, IP is poorly characterized, regardless of whether that IP wa... » read more

In-Chip Monitoring Becoming Essential Below 10nm


Rising systemic complexity and more potential interactions in heterogeneous designs is making it much more difficult to ensure a chip, or even a block within a chip, will functioning properly without actually monitoring that behavior in real-time. Continuous and sporadic monitoring have been creeping into designs for the past couple of decades. But it hasn’t always been clear how effective... » read more

Is ADAS The Edge?


Debate is brewing over whether ADAS applications fall on the edge, or if they are better viewed squarely within the context of the automotive camp. There is more to this discussion than just semantics. The edge represents a huge greenfield opportunity for electronics of all sorts, and companies from the mobile market and from the cloud are both rushing to stake their claim. At this point the... » read more

The Growing Uncertainty Of Sign-Off At 7/5nm


Having enough confidence in designs to sign off prior to manufacturing is becoming far more difficult at 7/5nm. It is taking longer due to increasing transistor density, thinner gate oxides, and many more power-related operations that can disrupt signal integrity and impact reliability.  For many years, designers have performed design rule checks as part of physical verification of the desi... » read more

Make Your Own Energy


Regenerative braking and other forms of energy capture are becoming more popular and increasingly effective. What started as a way of increasing the range of electric or hybrid vehicles is now being applied to everything from green buildings to industrial robots. The automotive industry is still the main driver of this technology. The idea that braking can generate energy has been around for... » read more

IP Requires System Context At 6/5/3nm


Driven by each successive generation of semiconductor manufacturing technology, complexity has reached dizzying levels. Every part of the design, verification and manufacturing is more complicated and intense the more transistors are able to be packed onto a die. For these reasons, the entire system must be taken into consideration as a whole – not just as individual building blocks as could ... » read more

Automotive, AI Drive Big Changes In Test


Design for test is becoming enormously more challenging at advanced nodes and in increasingly heterogeneous designs, where there may be dozens of different processing elements and memories. Historically, test was considered a necessary but rather mundane task. Much has changed over the past year or so. As systemic complexity rises, and as the role of ICs in safety-critical markets continues ... » read more

Designing For The Edge


Chip and system architectures are beginning to change as the tech industry comes to grips with the need to process more data locally for latency, safety, and privacy/security reasons. The emergence of the intelligent edge is an effort to take raw data from endpoints, extract the data that requires immediate action, and forward other data to various local, regional or commercial clouds. The b... » read more

Low Power Meets Variability At 7/5nm


Power-related issues are beginning to clash with process variation at 7/5nm, making timing closure more difficult and resulting in re-spins caused by unexpected errors and poor functional yield. Variability is becoming particularly troublesome at advanced nodes, and there are multiple causes of that variability. One of the key ones is the manufacturing process, which can be affected by every... » read more

The Long And Detailed Road To Automotive Compliance


Compliance with automotive safety requirements is slowing down both innovation and participation by a flurry of startups as the whole ecosystem struggles to bring autonomous vehicles to reality. This is particularly onerous for chipmakers, which face a high bar for IC integrity and reliability. They must meet specifications and be free of design errors. Improper behavior in corner-case s... » read more

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