Author's Latest Posts


New Design For Trusted Data


Recently, I wrote about Fully Homomorphic Encryption (FHE from now on) which I think is going to be something big that you will hear lots about in the future. Here's the reason I think it is going to be big. The people who care the most about security, such as financial institutions, governments, and companies with huge amounts of valuable data (such as semiconductor companies, or social m... » read more

Models Built With Water


A couple of years ago I wrote a post using the famous quote by statistician George Box: All Models Are Wrong; Some Are Useful. In that post, I discussed paper and plastic airplanes, but mostly I talked about modeling in computers, and especially what I call the "digital illusion." The digital illusion is the idea that signals in digital chips are ones and zeros, with timing, and not analog vol... » read more

AI Drives A New Wave For Semiconductors


In Cadence's recent earnings call, Lip-Bu Tan, our CEO, talked about the five waves that are hitting us simultaneously. Here's what he said: First of all, I'm excited about this industry, because it's very unusual to have five major waves happening at the same time. You have the AI machine learning wave and you have 5G is starting to deploy and then you have the hyperscale guy, the really mas... » read more

A New EDA Paradigm Emerges In Computational Software


Cadence has a new white paper out on Computational Software. I've written on these topics before, most recently in the posts: Computational Software System Analysis: Computational Software at Scale To set the scene, here is the abstract from the white paper: Electronics technology is evolving rapidly, becoming pervasive in our lives. There are more smartphones in use than there a... » read more

Penetration Tests, Prison Security, And Mothers


There is always an interesting sounding presentation at RSA that looks like it might be a good blog post topic just based on the title. This year it was "I Had My Mom Break Into A Prison Then We Had Pie" by John Strand of Black Hills Information Security. A pen test is short for a penetration test. They can take various forms from trying to log in to a system they shouldn't, to trying to g... » read more

Moore And More


For more than 50 years, the semiconductor industry has enjoyed the benefits of Moore's Law — or so it seemed. In reality, there were three laws rolled up into one: Each process generation would have a higher clock speed at the same power. This was not discovered by Moore, but by Dennard, who also invented the DRAM. Process generations continue to get faster and lower power, but the power... » read more

Signal Integrity Through The Years


Yesterday, I started to talk about how new technologies find their way over time into EDA tools in my post How Technologies Get into EDA. Let's look at signal integrity as an example. We used not to worry about signal integrity at all. The first time anything like that impinged on my consciousness was in the early 1980s when we realized that we needed to start to consider the inductance... » read more

Open Source Faces Challenges In 2020


I recently wrote a couple of posts about open-source EDA tools, OpenROAD: Open-Source EDA from RTL to GDSII and 2nd WOSET Workshop on Open-Source EDA. I have also written about open-source in general, as an approach to development and an approach to business in a post from over four years ago that I think stands up well: The Paradox of Open Source. The reason I called it a paradox is that ... » read more

System-in-Package For Heterogeneous Designs


System integration is increasingly being done using 3D packaging technologies rather than integrating everything onto a huge SoC. One motivation is the ability to not just to split up a design in a single process, but to package die from different processes. Sometimes there are economic reasons. Several presentations at HOT CHIPS had a partition of the design into the processor itself, and a... » read more

Getting To Orbit And The Rocket Equation


The Apollo 12 mission recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Launching on November 14, 1969 and returning on November 24, it put humans on the Moon for the second time. I wrote about Apollo 11 (mostly about its guidance computer) earlier in the year in my post The First Computer on the Moon. Today's post is about the rocket equation, and how challenging it is to get into orbit around th... » read more

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