Author's Latest Posts

Find Bugs Early: On-The-Fly Code Correction For Design And Verification Productivity

The key rule for chip design and verification is that bugs must be found and fixed as early in the development process as possible. It is often said that catching a bug at each successive project stage multiplies the cost by ten. Bugs that escape verification and make their way to silicon are very expensive and time-consuming to fix. The ideal is to catch as many types of issues as possible as ... » read more

AI And ML Applications Require Advanced Datapath Verification

In popular usage, the term “artificial intelligence” (AI) once conjured up images of robot armies subjugating humans or evil computers outsmarting their users, as in '2001: A Space Odyssey.' In recent years, AI has become a part of daily life for much of the planet’s population. People use voice commands to interact with their smartphones, smart speakers and even TV remote controls. Sophi... » read more

SoC Connectivity Verification Nightmare

At the recent 2015 women’s World Cup soccer final in Canada, Japan was completely caught off guard in the first 15 minutes (and 4 seconds) by the USA. They were wary of the “set-piece” play by the USA team, which they were not able to defend against, resulting in the first three goals by the American women. However, the game breaker was the 54-foot midfield hat-trick goal from Carli Lloyd... » read more

Manufacturing Test Robustness

The recent 6.0 earthquake near Napa California caused close to $50 million in damages to the wineries and property in the region. The San Francisco bay area is accustomed to earthquakes and hence structural engineers design buildings to bear high intensity earthquakes amongst other natural disasters. The damage to property would have been much higher if not due to the strict guidelines followed... » read more

Productive Clock Domain Crossing Verification

Recently, we were invited to participate in an internal Chips@Cisco event along with other EDA vendors and FPGA providers. Executives from these vendors participated in a panel to discuss the challenges seen by the technology leaders in FPGAs and what it means to the industry. Everyone on the panel agreed that design size and complexity, including clock domains, is continuing to follow Moore’... » read more

Balancing Power And Test

The International Test Conference will be held at the Disneyland resort hotel in Anaheim, Calif., from Nov. 4-9. One of the biggest concerns for the test engineering community is to account for the impact on test quality due to additional power management techniques implemented in deep submicron designs. Elaborate power management strategies, such as voltage scaling, clock gating or power-ga... » read more

Low Power Everywhere

By Kiran Vittal School is over for my kids and the summer holidays are here. We are planning to make minor modifications to our home, which includes installation of recessed lights. LED light bulbs are all over the place in home appliance stores and they claim 85% savings in energy costs with a life span of 50,000 hours. The cost of these LED bulbs is five to six times the cost of your average... » read more

Standards: Too Many or Not Enough?

Many of you are familiar with the Betamax versus VHS format wars in the late 1980s. If you’re not old enough to remember that one, you’ll remember HD DVD versus Blu-ray. In each of these cases, there was a clear winner. Semiconductor design has these format wars, too. The problem is that there is rarely a clear winner and worse, sometimes we miss the standard altogether. There are tw... » read more

Are Test Engineers More Highly Evolved?

In a December 2010 blog, my colleague Ron Craig wrote that 94% of respondents to a survey said that timing constraints were a problem. Well, no surprise there. But 70+% said they planned to simply “try harder” during their next project to avoid these problems. Did they really think that was a viable solution? That blog featured a good illustration of the problem. It gave me a good laugh.... » read more