Author's Latest Posts


Heterogeneous Design Creating Havoc With Firmware Versions


Adding different kinds of processing elements into chips is creating system-level incompatibilities because of sometimes necessary, but usually uncoordinated, firmware updates from multiple vendors. In the past, firmware typically was synchronized with other firmware and the chip was verified and debugged. But this becomes much more difficult when multiple heterogeneous processing elements a... » read more

Auto Reliability At The System Level


Carmakers and chipmakers are approaching autonomous vehicle design from very different perspectives, and while they both talk about safety and reliability as the end goals, they have widely divergent ideas about how to get there. All of this is just beginning to come into focus as carmakers vie for leadership in the autonomous vehicle space, and much of it appears to hinge on the definition ... » read more

Billion-Gate Design Connectivity


Sasa Stamenkovic, senior field application engineer at OneSpin Solutions, explains how to find and resolve connectivity issues in integrating large numbers of components in very big designs, often at the leading edge nodes and in markets such as AI. » read more

Debug Changes At Advanced Nodes


Ribhu Mittal, emulation applications director at Synopsys, zeroes in on what’s changing in debug, including why traditional verification methods are failing in designs with 1 billion gates and a commensurate amount of software complexity. The key is how to maintain or reduce time to market, and that requires a different way of approaching the problem. » read more

Data-Driven Verification Begins


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss data-driven verification with Yoshi Watanabe, senior software architect at Cadence; Hanan Moller, systems architect at UltraSoC; Mark Conklin, principal verification engineer at Arm; and Hao Chen, senior design engineer at Intel. What follows are excerpts of that conversation, which was conducted in front of a live audience at DVCon. (L-R) Yosh... » read more

A Different Kind Of Material World


The semiconductor manufacturing world is poised for big change, and the driver will be materials. Materials always have been a critical factor in semiconductors. Silicon is so important that an entire region of California is named after it. Rare earths have raised fears about nationalistic monopolies. And the shift from aluminum to copper interconnects at 130nm caused one of the most painful... » read more

Power Budgets At 3nm And Beyond


There is high confidence that digital logic will continue to shrink at least to 3nm, and possibly down to 1.5nm. Each of those will require significant changes in how design teams approach power. This is somewhat evolutionary for most chipmakers. Five years ago there were fewer than a handful of power experts in most large organizations. Today, everyone deals with power in one way or another... » read more

2.5D, 3D Power Integrity


Chris Ortiz, principal applications engineer at ANSYS, zeroes in on some common issues that are showing up in 2.5D and 3D packaging, which were not obvious in the initial implementations of these packaging technologies. This includes everything from how to build a power delivery network to minimize the coupling between chips to dealing with variability and power integrity and placement of diffe... » read more

Rogue Valley Microdevices: MEMS Foundry


Venturing into the MEMS manufacturing market is a shaky proposition. The investment is high, the returns are questionable, and the competition can be fierce. Rogue Valley Microdevices is one of a handful of pure-play MEMS foundries in the United States, a difficult market divided into two distinct parts. One on side are a handful of higher-margin new technologies, such as piezoelectric micro... » read more

New Battleground In The Data Race


For the past couple years, giant commercial data centers have been grabbing as much data as possible. The big question now is whether that investment will pay off. Companies such as AWS, Google, Microsoft, Alibaba and Baidu are not necessarily the best equipped to leverage that data—or at least not yet. In fact, most of what they've been focusing on is a narrow slice of the data being coll... » read more

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