Getting Power Management Right


Getting power management right in the era of heterogeneous SoCs is a multi-pronged effort, there's no getting around it. Engineering teams daily try to squeeze more and more power from their designs, which many times includes adding human resources and expertise to the project. Take an example where a design team leader gets the mandate to include high level synthesis in the design metho... » read more

Quantum Madness


The race is on to commercialize quantum computing for everything from autonomous vehicles to supercomputers for hire. IBM has been working on a 50-qubit computer. Intel and QuTech, its Dutch research partner, showed off a 17-qubit test chip last month. And Alphabet, Google's parent company, is developing a 20-qubit computer. These numbers sound paltry compared to the billions of transistors ... » read more

An Incremental Approach To Reusing Automated Tests From IPs To SoCs


Over the past few years, lots of energy has been invested in improving the productivity and quality-of-results of design verification. A promising effort toward this end is that both commercial and in-house tools have been developed to improve the productivity and efficiency of verification at the block, subsystem, and system levels. These tools raise the level of abstraction, increase test-gen... » read more

Electromagnetic (EM) Crosstalk Analysis: Unlocking the Mystery


Ignoring electromagnetic crosstalk is highly risky and can cause significant time-to-market delays as well significant cost over runs. Most current SoC design flows fundamentally ignore inductance and EM effects, and the term “EM crosstalk analysis” may sound Greek to them. This short article provides a quick overview of the basic steps involved in doing EM crosstalk analysis as part of an ... » read more

The 5G Design Dilemma


Nothing says low power and high performance like an emerging wireless standard that promises to increase link bandwidth, latency, and overall capacity by orders of magnitude while also reducing power. That emerging standard, of course, is 5G. With the number of devices that are projected to use 5G, it’s no surprise that 5G is a strategic initiative for many companies. This explains why des... » read more

Software Framework Requirements For Embedded Vision


Deep learning techniques such as convolutional neural networks (CNN) have significantly increased the accuracy—and therefore the adoption rate—of embedded vision for embedded systems. Starting with AlexNet’s win in the 2012 ImageNet Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge (ILSVRC), deep learning has changed the market by drastically reducing the error rates for image classification and d... » read more

The Promises And Challenges Of 7nm


Despite a waning Moore’s Law and the increasing costs of advanced process nodes, the semiconductor industry is steadily approaching 7 nanometers (nm). The demand for 7nm is driving expected initial tape-outs from fabs by the end of 2017, with initial volumes beginning in 2018 and ramping up by 2019. Silicon fabbed on 7nm nodes will offer a number of benefits for chipmakers, including lower po... » read more

The Importance Of Embedded In-Chip Monitoring In Advanced Node CMOS Technology


By Oliver King & Ramsay Allen With advances in CMOS technology and the scaling of transistor channel lengths to nanometer (nm) dimensions, the density of digital circuits per unit area of silicon has increased as has the process variability of devices manufactured. The increase in digital logic (or gate) density, which equates to an increase in power density, is a major contributor to... » read more

Full-Chip Power Integrity And Reliability Signoff


As designs increase in complexity to cater to the insatiable need for more compute power — which is being driven by different AI applications ranging from data centers to self-driving cars—designers are constantly faced with the challenge of meeting the elusive power, performance and area (PPA) targets. PPA over-design has repercussions resulting in increased product cost as well as pote... » read more

Improving Automotive Reliability


Semiconductor reliability requirements are rapidly evolving. New applications such as ADAS/self-driving cars and drones are pushing the limits for system reliability. A mobile phone that overheats in your pocket is annoying. In automobiles, it's a much different story. Overheating can impact the operation of backup sensors, which alert the driver that a pedestrian or obstacle is behind them.... » read more

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