Author's Latest Posts


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

Medical, Industrial & Aerospace IC Design Changes


Medical, industrial and aerospace chips are becoming much more complex as more intelligence is added into these devices, forcing design teams to begin leveraging tools and methodologies that typically have been used only at the leading-edge nodes for commercial applications. But as with automotive, the needs of these systems are changing quickly. In addition to strict quality, safety and sec... » read more

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

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