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A New Way To Create Structures


Let’s focus today on an established routing technology with a new twist! All of you are doubtless familiar with the concept of structures – formerly called via structures, renamed to structures because of their growing flexibility and application across many flows. These handy, reusable blocks of routing allow you to quickly fan out the most complex of component interfaces. And, after that,... » read more

Imec’s Plan For Continued Scaling


At IEDM in December, the opening keynote (technically "Plenary 1") was by Sri Samevadam of Imec. His presentation was titled "Towards Atomic Channels and Deconstructed Chips." He presented Imec's view of the future of semiconductors going forward, both Moore's Law (scaling) and More than More (advanced packaging and multiple die). It is always interesting to hear Imec's view of the world since... » read more

Attaching Fibers To Photonic Chips


Recently, Cadence held its fifth photonics summit, CadenceCONNECT: Photonics Contribution to High-Performance Computing. You can read my earlier posts: Photonic Integration—From Switching to Computing How to Design Photonics If You Don't Have a PhD: iPronics and Ayar Labs The third day was all about how to connect the incoming and outgoing fibers to the photonics chips. I will cov... » read more

Arm Goes For Performance


At the recent Linley Processor Conference, Arm presented two processors. This was regarded as so confidential that the original pre-conference version of the presentations didn't contain the Arm one, even though that pdf was only put online about an hour before. But most of the outline of what they presented they already talked about in May, a few months ago. I said recently that this seem... » read more

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

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

Make Acute Angles A Sharp Problem Of The Past


Sharp angles, whether they create a spike in a poured shape or form an acid trap between two different pieces of metal, are a problem for us all. As designers, we will go out of our way to try and avoid creating these situations; they will still creep into your design despite the best of intentions. How, then, can you efficiently rid your design of them with the minimal change to your routin... » read more

Enabling Cost-Effective, High-Performance Die-to-Die Connectivity


System advances in accelerated computing platforms such as CPUs, GPUs and FPGAs, heterogeneous systems on chip (SoCs) for AI acceleration and high-speed networking/interconnects have all pushed chip integration to unprecedented levels. This requires more complex designs and higher levels of integration, larger die sizes and adopting the most advanced geometries as quickly as possible. Facing th... » 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

Choosing Between Static and Dynamic Shapes


That title might be a touch misleading. We’re not here to talk about why to convert shapes between static and dynamic. Rather, I want to talk about why you should NOT be doing this. Every design has some conductor shapes in it (or at least a very large percentage of them). What style to use is a choice that will impact performance through your entire flow; let the shape’s purpose guide you.... » read more

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