Author's Latest Posts


What Interested You In 2020


In business you are always told to follow the money, but for us it is more important to follow the readership. If we are not writing what you want to read, then we are missing the mark. I like to review the ones that have garnered the most attention, in part to see if that will influence what I write about for 2021, but also to find out where the industry is looking for the most help. As Sem... » read more

Silo Busting In The Design Flow


An increasing number of dependencies in system design are forcing companies, people, tools, and flows to become more collaborative. Design and EDA companies must adapt to this new reality because it has become impossible for anyone to do it all by themselves. Moreover, what happens in manufacturing and packaging needs to be considered up front, and what gets designed in the design phase may ... » read more

Brute-Force Analysis Not Keeping Up With IC Complexity


Much of the current design and verification flow was built on brute force analysis, a simple and direct approach. But that approach rarely scales, and as designs become larger and the number of interdependencies increases, ensuring the design always operates within spec is becoming a monumental task. Unless design teams want to keep adding increasing amounts of margin, they have to locate th... » read more

The Next Big Leap: Energy Optimization


The relationship between power and energy is technically simple, but its implication on the EDA flow is enormous. There are no tools or flows today that allow you to analyze, implement, and optimize a design for energy consumption, and getting to that point will require a paradigm shift within the semiconductor industry. The industry talks a lot about power, and power may have become a more ... » read more

Designs Beyond The Reticle Limit


Designs continue to grow in size and complexity, but today they are reaching both physical and economic challenges. These challenges are causing a reversal of the integration trend that has provided much of the performance and power gains over the past couple of decades. The industry, far from giving up, is exploring new ways to enable designs to go beyond the reticle size, which is around 8... » read more

Chinese EDA


If you saw this headline and thought you missed a press release, don't panic. China has not, at this point, announced to the world that it has a suite of EDA tools ready to roll. The rest of the world is content to look at the substandard attempts it have made so far and write them off as not being capable of developing competitive EDA software. But in all likelihood, given the current politica... » read more

A Renaissance For Semiconductors


Major shifts in semiconductors and end markets are driving what some are calling a renaissance in technology, but navigating this new, multi-faceted set of requirements may cause some structural changes for the chip industry as it becomes more difficult for a single company to do everything. For the past decade, the mobile phone industry has been the dominant driver for the semiconductor eco... » read more

Is Hardware-Assisted Verification Avoidable?


Emulation is emerging as the tool of choice for complex and large designs, but companies that swap from simulation to emulation increasingly recognize this is not an easy transition. It requires money, time, and effort, and even then not everyone gets it right. Still, there are significant benefits to moving from simulation to emulation, providing these systems can be utilized efficiently en... » read more

Increase In Analog Problems


Analog and mixed signal design has always been tough, but a resent survey suggests that the industry has seen significantly increased failures in the past year because the analog circuitry within an ASIC was out of tolerance. What is causing this spike in failures? Is it just a glitch in the data, or are these problems real? The answer is complicated, and to a large extent it depends heavily... » read more

Searching For Power Bugs


How much power is your design meant to consume while performing a particular function? For many designs, getting this right may separate success from failure, but knowing that right number is not as easy as it sounds. Significant gaps remain between what power analysis may predict and what silicon consumes. As fast as known gaps are closed, new challenges and demands are being placed on the ... » read more

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