Psst, Says 5G… Wanna See What My New Antenna Tech Challenge Looks Like?


5G offers incredible potential, enabling 1000X more traffic, 10X faster speeds and an increase in the device battery capacity by 10X! So why hasn’t 5G technology been rolled out yet? The benefits all sound great, but there are also some challenges that need to be addressed. 5G is destined to cause a revolution around the world with burgeoning industries like autonomous driving, internet of... » read more

Processors Are Exciting Again


Today is a very exciting time in the world of processor architectures. Domain-specific processor architectures are now fully realized as the best answers to the challenges of low power and high performance for many applications. Advancements in artificial intelligence are leading the way to exciting new experiences and products today and in our future. There have been more advances in deep lear... » read more

Designers Face Growing Problems With On-Chip Power Distribution


The technology evolution in semiconductor manufacturing has led to chips with ever-higher power densities, which is leading to serious problems with on-chip power distribution. Specifically, the problems surrounding voltage drop—or IR drop (from V=IxR)—have become so acute that we have seen multiple companies starting to get back dead silicon from the fab. For example, a recent 7nm chip ... » read more

Power Reduction In A Constrained World


Back when 40-28nm were new, leakage power for wireless designs dominated the optimization technology focus. This led to multiple VT optimization and power intent management for digital designs to minimize or shut off leakage. As wireless devices moved to FinFET nodes, dynamic power became dominant. As a result, optimization technology focus shifted to build up dynamic techniques to complement y... » read more

Can Machine Learning Chips Help Develop Better Tools With Machine Learning?


As we continue to be bombarded with AI- and machine learning-themed presentations at industry conferences, an ex-colleague told me that he is sick of seeing an outline of the human head with a processor in place of the brain. If you are a chip architect trying to build one of these data-centric architecture chips for machine learning or AI (as opposed to the compute-centric chips, which you pro... » read more

Where The Rubber Hits The Road: Implementing Machine Learning On Silicon


Machine learning (ML) is everywhere these days. The common thread between advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) vision applications in our cars and the voice (and now facial) recognition applications in our phones is that ML algorithms are doing the heavy lifting, or more accurately, the inferencing. In fact, neural networks (NN) can even be used in application spaces such as file compressi... » read more

Scaling Up Vision And AI DSP Performance


Imagine these futuristic scenarios: you hold your phone up to your face, and it automatically recognizes you and unlocks, so you can access content. A sensor at your front door recognizes that you are not an intruder, no matter what the wind has done to your hair or whether your face is obscured by a scarf. How about an autonomous car that recognizes your driving style, so not only can you turn... » read more

By the Power Vested in Me, I Now Pronounce You (The SoC Designer)…


…Doomed. Well, maybe that’s a little harsh, but your job won’t be getting any easier; that “happily ever after” may be harder to achieve than you think, and there are a number of reasons why. And by “me” (of vested power), here I’m really talking about the power of the consumer market as a whole and our collective insatiable demand for newer, shinier…well, just plain “coo... » read more

What Was Everywhere At CES? Voice.


I still don’t know why I’d ever want a voice-enabled washing machine, but the display in the Samsung booth with voice recognition for appliances was indicative of one of the strongest trends at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Everything is becoming voice enabled. Samsung has Bixby, Amazon has Alexa, Google has “Hey Google,” and Apple has Siri. These big-name voi... » read more

Self-Driving Cars And Kobayashi Maru


Kobayashi Maru. If you know what I am talking about, you are a bona fide Star Trek fan. If not, let me indulge. Kobayashi Maru is a computer simulation for a training exercise in the fictional Star Trek universe, where Starfleet Academy cadets are presented with a no-win scenario. But they do have to make a decision. The primary goal of the exercise is to rescue a disabled civilian vessel... » read more

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