Author's Latest Posts


Taming Concurrency


Concurrency adds complexity for which the industry lacks appropriate tools, and the problem has grown to the point where errors can creep into designs with no easy or consistent way to detect them. In the past, when chips were essentially a single pipeline, this wasn't a problem. In fact, the early pioneers of EDA created a suitable language to describe and contain the necessary concurrency ... » read more

Mostly Upbeat Outlook For Chips


2019 has started with cautious optimism for the semiconductor industry, despite dark clouds that dot the horizon. Market segments such as cryptocurrencies and virtual reality are not living up to expectations, the market for smart phones appears to be saturated, and DRAM prices are dropping, leading to cut-backs in capital expenditures. EDA companies are talking about sales to China being pu... » read more

Making IP Friendlier


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss IP tracking and management with Ranjit Adhikary, vice president of marketing for ClioSoft; Jim Bruister, director digital systems (since retired) at Silvaco; Marc Greenberg, product marketing group director at Cadence; and Kelvin Low, vice president of marketing at Arm. What follows are excerpts from that conversation. Part one can be found here. ... » read more

Top Stories For 2018


Each year, I look back to see what articles people like to read. The first thing that has amazed me each year at Semiconductor Engineering is that what should be a strong bias towards articles published early in the year never seems to play out. The same is true this year. More than half of the top articles were published after July. The second thing that remains constant is that people love... » read more

Fundamental Shifts In 2018


What surprised the industry in 2018?  While business has been strong, markets are changing, product categories are shifting and clouds are forming on the horizon. As 2018 comes to a close, most companies are pretty happy with the way everything turned out. Business has been booming, new product categories developing, and profits are meeting or beating market expectations. "2018 was indeed a... » read more

AI Market Ramps Everywhere


Artificial Intelligence (AI) has inspired the general populace, but its rapid rise over the past few years has given many people pause. From realistic concerns about robots taking over jobs to sci-fi scares about robots more intelligent than humans building ever smarter robots themselves, AI inspires plenty of angst. Within the technology industry, we have a better understanding about the pote... » read more

What Makes A Chip Design Successful Today?


"Transistors are free" was the rallying cry of the semiconductor industry during the 1990s and early 2000s. That is no longer true. The end of Dennard scaling made the simultaneous use of all the transistors troublesome, but transistors remained effectively unlimited. This led to an era where large amounts of flexibility could be built into a chip. It didn't matter if all of it was being use... » read more

The Cost Of Accuracy


How accurate does a system need to be, and what are you willing to pay for that accuracy? There are many sources of inaccuracy throughout the development flow of electronic systems, most of which involve complex tradeoffs. Inaccuracy leaves an impact on your design in ways you are not even aware of, hidden by best practices or guard-banding. EDA tools also inject some inaccuracy. As the i... » read more

Patently Absurd


One thing I like about the holiday season is that it gives me the opportunity to be a little less formal and have a little fun. I find humor within the patent system. I can remember growing up and being told that our next-door neighbor was crazy—but brilliant because he had a patent. Everyone looked to him as though he was a technology god. Later in life I learned how easy it is to get a p... » read more

Looking Beyond The CPU


CPUs no longer deliver the same kind of of performance improvements as in the past, raising questions across the industry about what comes next. The growth in processing power delivered by a single CPU core began stalling out at the beginning of the decade, when power-related issues such as heat and noise forced processor companies to add more cores rather than pushing up the clock frequency... » read more

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