Author's Latest Posts


Constrained Innovation


The semiconductor industry has long been seen as a risk-averse industry and that is probably to be expected. The rapid migration of technology nodes (lots of innovation happening there) produced a rapid expansion in transistor counts that stretched development teams to their limits. Every design had to contain more functionality while dealing with a plethora of new concerns, and be developed by... » read more

What’s So Important About Processor Extensibility?


While the ability to extend a processor is nothing new, market dynamics are forcing a growing percentage of the industry to consider it a necessary part of their product innovation. From small IoT functions to massive data centers and artificial intelligence, the need to create an optimized processing platform is often the only way to get more performance or lower power out of the silicon area ... » read more

Low-Power Analog


Analog circuitry is usually a small part of a large SoC, but it does not scale in the same way as digital circuitry under Moore's Law. The power consumed by analog is becoming an increasing concern, especially for battery-operated devices. At the same time, little automation is available to help analog designers reduce consumption. "Newer consumer devices, like smartphones and wearables, alo... » read more

Inevitable Bugs


Are bug escapes inevitable? That was the fundamental question that Oski Technology recently put to a group of industry experts. The participants are primarily simulation experts who, in many cases, help direct the verification directions for some of the largest systems companies. In order to promote free discussion, all comments have been anonymized, distilling the primary thoughts of the parti... » read more

The Meaning Of Verification


When I ask the question "Why do we do verification?" there are generally two types of responses. One of them sees the glass as half empty and the other as half full. It depends upon how you look at the problem and if you see verification as being a positive or negative operation. The negative answer is that we do verification to find bugs. This relies on the mechanical function of creating v... » read more

Practical Processor Verification


Custom processors are making a resurgence, spurred on by the early success of the RISC-V ISA and the ecosystem that is rapidly building around it. But this shift is amid questions about whether processor verification has become a lost art. Years ago custom processors were common. But as the market consolidated around a handful of companies, so did the tools and expertise needed to develop th... » read more

Power-Hungry Safety And Security


There is a price to pay for everything. When it comes to adding safety and security into a device, the costs in terms of power and area can be significant, but if the task is taken seriously, those costs can be managed and minimized. New analysis and implementation tools are coming to market that can also help to keep the costs contained. But it also requires the right mindset. As more indus... » read more

Standard Evolution


I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Lu Dai, chairman of Accellera Systems Initiative and senior director of engineering for Qualcomm. SE: I have noticed a change in the way that Accellera operates these days. In the past, standards were driven by the EDA companies, but recently we have seen a lot more end-user company involvement and they are the companies driving new standards. ... » read more

Why It’s So Hard To Create New Processors


The introduction, and initial success, of the RISC-V processor ISA has reignited interest in the design of custom processors, but the industry is now grappling with how to verify them. The expertise and tools that were once in the market have been consolidated into the hands of the few companies that have been shipping processor chips or IP cores over the past 20 years. Verification of a pro... » read more

Do You Trust Your IP Supplier?


How much do you trust your IP supplier, regardless of whether IP was developed in-house or by a third-party provider? And what implications does it have a system integrator? These are important questions that many companies are beginning to ask. Today, there are few methods, other than documentation, that provide the necessary information. The software industry may be ahead of the hardware i... » read more

← Older posts