Author's Latest Posts


Using Less Power At The Same Node


Going to the next node has been the most effective way to reduce power, but that is no longer true or desirable for a growing percentage of the semiconductor industry. So the big question now is how to reduce power while maintaining the same node size. After understanding how the power is used, both chip designers and fabs have techniques available to reduce power consumption. Fabs are makin... » read more

Using Analog For AI


If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But development of artificial intelligence (AI) applications and the compute platforms for them may be overlooking an alternative technology—analog. The semiconductor industry has a firm understanding of digital electronics and has been very successful making it scale. It is predictable, has good yield, and while every de... » read more

Follow The Data


What does antitrust mean in the age of data? Data is in many cases gathered for free and has huge value to those who can turn that data into information and make decisions based on it. Amazon has become an example in retail because they see more sales data than any other retailer – not just what they sell, but what others choose to sell on their platform. Amazon gets to see all the data an... » read more

The Challenge Of RISC-V Compliance


The open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA) continues to gain momentum, but the flexibility of RISC-V creates a problem—how do you know if a RISC-V implementation fits basic standards and can play well with other implementations so they all can run the same ecosystem? In addition, how do you ensure that ecosystem development works for all implementations and that all cores that ... » read more

Can Debug Be Tamed?


Debug consumes more time than any other aspect of the chip design and verification process, and it adds uncertainty and risk to semiconductor development because there are always lingering questions about whether enough bugs were caught in the allotted amount of time. Recent figures suggest that the problem is getting worse, too, as complexity and demand for reliability continue to rise. The... » read more

Gearing Up For 5G


5G has been touted as the new enabler for many market segments, including mobile phones, automotive, virtual reality, and IoT. But there are many questions and much speculation about when and how this new wireless standard will impact different market segments and what effect it will have on semiconductor design. With a promise of orders of magnitude improvement in communication speed an... » read more

Why Analog Designs Fail


The gap between analog and digital reliability is growing, and digital designs appear to be winning. Reports show that analog content causes the most test failures and contributes significantly more than digital to field returns. The causes aren't always obvious, though. Some of it is due to the maturity of analog design and verification. While great strides have been made in digital circuit... » read more

Should AI Mimic Real Life?


There is a lot we still do not know about how the human body and brain works. Today's machines are far from being anything like as capable, or power frugal, or having the ability to make decisions. True – machines have been made for highly specific tasks that can now beat a human. But there lies one of the human mind's greatest features – when it makes mistakes, it asks how it can do better... » read more

Pushing AI Into The Mainstream


Artificial intelligence is emerging as the driving force behind many advancements in technology, even though the industry has merely scratched the surface of what may be possible. But how deeply AI penetrates different market segments and technologies, and how quickly it pushes into the mainstream, depend on a variety of issues that still must be resolved. In addition to a plethora of techni... » read more

EDA Grabs Bigger Slice Of Chip Market


EDA revenues have been a fairly constant percentage of semiconductor revenues, but that may change in 2019. With new customers creating demand, and some traditional customers shifting focus from advanced nodes, the various branches of the EDA tool industry may be where sticky technical problems are solved. IC manufacturing, packaging and development tools all are finding new ways to handle t... » read more

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