Author's Latest Posts


Testing For Electromagnetic Compliance Without An Anechoic Chamber


You can't sell an electronic product without getting CE or FCC (or equivalent) certification. In fact, for medical devices and aerospace, the requirements are even stricter. This doesn't just apply to obvious electronic products like laptops or automotive ECUs (electronic control units). It even applies to household goods like washers and dryers. Furthermore, this isn't just some sort of nice-t... » read more

One SerDes Solution Doesn’t Fit All


Way back in the 1960s, E. Rent, who was working at IBM at the time, noticed a connection between the number of pins P on integrated circuits being used and the number of gates G on the integrated circuits. It was a power law, where the number of pins was cGR where c and R are constants. Actually, traditionally a Greek rho is used instead of R. It usually has a value between 0.5 and 0.8. If R... » read more

OIP Ecosystem Forum 2020


Last Tuesday was the virtual TSMC OIP Ecosystem Forum. Apart from being virtual, the format was similar to the usual. Cliff Hou, Senior Vice President of Technology Development, opened the day with a summary of where everything is in the ecosystem around each of the new processes. There were then three keynotes by the leaders of the three big EDA companies. That was followed by more technical ... » read more

Accellera Tackles Functional Safety


During DAC, Accellera had a workshop about functional safety. In case you don't know, Accellera has a relatively new working group (WG) on Functional Safety. The chair is Cadence's Alessandra Nardi, who coincidentally also received the Marie Pistilli Award for Women in EDA during DAC (you can read more about that in my post Alessandra Nardi Receives Marie Pistilli Award for Women in EDA). But ... » read more

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

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