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Designing Low Energy Chips And Systems


Energy optimization is beginning to shift left as design teams begin examining new ways to boost the performance of devices without impacting battery life or ratcheting up electricity costs. Unlike power optimization, where a skilled engineering team may reduce power by 1% to 5%, energy efficiency may be able to cut effective power in half. But those gains require a significant rethinking of... » read more

Big Changes In Verification


Verification is undergoing fundamental change as chips become increasingly complex, heterogeneous, and integrated into larger systems. Tools, methodologies, and the mindset of verification engineers themselves are all shifting to adapt to these new designs, although with so many moving pieces this isn't always so easy to comprehend. Ferreting out bugs in a design now requires a multi-faceted... » read more

Die-To-Die Stress Becomes A Major Issue


Stress is becoming more critical to identify and plan for at advanced nodes and in advanced packages, where a simple mismatch can impact performance, power, and the reliability of a device throughout its projected lifetime. In the past, the chip, package, and board in a system generally were designed separately and connected through interfaces from the die to the package, and from the packag... » read more

Car Industry Changing Under The Hood


After an initial burst of autonomous activity, the automotive ecosystem regrouped, re-evaluated its goals, and is now ready to begin deploying new technologies made possible by modern development approaches and forward-looking vehicle architectures. The pandemic hurt vehicle sales in 2020, but it also gave the OEMs a chance to catch their breath. Panic over announcements from other carmakers... » read more

RISC-V Verification Challenges Spread


The RISC-V ecosystem is struggling to keep pace with rapid innovation and customization, which is increasing the amount of verification work required for each design and spreading that work out across more engineers at more companies. The historical assumption is that verification represents 60% to 80% or more of SoC project effort in terms of cost and time for a mature, mainstream processor... » read more

Multicore Debug Evolves To The System-Level


The proliferation and expansion of multicore architectures is making debug much more difficult and time-consuming, which in turn is increasing demand for more comprehensive system-level tools and approaches. Multicore/multiprocessor designs are the most complex devices to debug. More interactions and interdependencies between cores mean more things possibly can go wrong. In fact, so many pro... » read more

Low Power Still Leads, But Energy Emerges As Future Focus


In 2021 and beyond, chips used in smartphones, digital appliances, and nearly all major applications will need to go on a diet. As the amount of data being generated continues to swell, more processors are being added everywhere to sift through that data to determine what's useful, what isn't, and how to distribute it. All of that uses power, and not all of it is being done as efficiently as... » read more

Using ICs To Shrink Auto’s Carbon Footprint


A large portion of the burden for reducing greenhouse gases is being handed off to makers of automotive chips and systems, which are being tasked to make vehicles drive further using less energy and with zero emissions. The effort is critical in battling climate change. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the transportation sector represented 28.2% of 2018 greenhouse gas e... » read more

Forward And Backward Compatibility In IC Designs


Future-proofing of designs is becoming more difficult due to the accelerating pace of innovation in architectures, end markets, and technologies such as AI and machine learning. Traditional approaches for maintaining market share and analyzing what should be in the next rev of a product are falling by the wayside. They are being replaced by best-guesses about market trends and a need to bala... » read more

Using AI And Bugs To Find Other Bugs


Debug is starting to be rethought and retooled as chips become more complex and more tightly integrated into packages or other systems, particularly in safety- and mission-critical applications where life expectancy is significantly longer. Today, the predominant bug-finding approaches use the ubiquitous constrained random/coverage driven verification technology, or formal verification techn... » read more

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