Author's Latest Posts

Quality And Safety In Automotive Electronics: Venturing beyond ISO-26262

By Bernard Murphy and Jim Hogan Rumors of ‘Project Titan’, the Apple Car, are making the rounds. True or not, when we hear Apple touted as a potential automaker, it’s clear how pervasively electronic content has invaded our cars. A 2013 National Auto Dealers Association report graded electronic content at 15% of auto-buying decision factors, impressive growth from close to zero only... » read more

A (Possible) Killer Wearable App

Wearable products (and proposals) today seem to be primarily fads or curiosities vying for the attention of a select few — the digital elite (computer-literate, with multiple devices, and data junkies). Many of us find it hard to see these apps lasting very long. I have an idea that breaks a lot of the expectations of a wearable, but may deliver higher value. I apologize in advance for credit... » read more

UPF-Friendly RTL

On a recent customer visit, we were introduced to a new term – new to us at least – “UPF-friendly RTL”. While I hadn’t heard the term, I have been going on about the concept for some time – to the point, no doubt, of becoming terminally boring. We’ve had several customers quietly doing this for years, but now I’m starting to hear it from more customers, and from 1801 committee m... » read more

Hierarchy And Pain Management

By Bernard Murphy Hierarchy is unavoidable for any large design. It partitions development and verification complexity into digestible chunks. It enables parallel development on different parts of a system. It promotes reuse. And it provides a graceful method to partition for implementation. And yet, there are times when hierarchy gets in the way. The biggest drawback with hierarchy is that... » read more

Start Early, Cover All The Bases

Design for low power always has challenged designers and design tools. You need to have accuracy, because you are estimating implementation-centered parameters, but you need to start early, before implementation, if you are to have any hope of meaningfully reducing power. Sure, you can always play with body-bias, but that is a crude control. Real reductions after architecture always come throug... » read more

Guesswork, And Other Design Paradigms

PPA for soft IP seems like an oxymoron. How do you determine the implementation characteristics (PPA — Power, Performance and Area) for something that has not yet been implemented? Flying blind until implementation would be a rookie move. More likely you are going to estimate based on a prior implementation. Not a bad approach if the IP hasn’t changed significantly and the target library is... » read more

CES—The Morning After

CES 2010 was quite a party, coming off the misery of 2008-2009. Tablets were everywhere, smart phones are racing ahead, the PC is dead. Our industry is reinventing the electronic experience yet again. I saw one forecast of a $1 trillion consumer electronics market within a few years. This is heady stuff. It restores hope not only in the future of electronics but also the possibility that electr... » read more