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A View Across The Siliconscape


What would it look like if you had the magical ability to look inside a chip and cast your eyes across the tumultuous activities within the silicon itself? If you could gaze into the die and see the real-time peaks and troughs of voltage supply, stressed areas with high activity and heat and areas of calm where uneven workloads create idle processor cores. A vision of the chip landscape, seasca... » read more

Customer-Developed, Hyper-Convergent Design Flows Are Now Possible


We all know the days of sequential, compartmentalized chip design are over. In advanced technology nodes, placement impacts performance, performance impacts power, and routing impacts everything. The way to manage these challenges is to interleave design tasks. For example, provide information on late-stage routing to early-stage synthesis tools to improve convergence. This technique is commonl... » read more

DFT For SoCs Is Last, First, And Everywhere In Between


Back in the dawn of time, IC test was the last task in the design flow. First, you designed the chip and then you wrote the functional test program to verify it performed as expected after manufacturing. Without much effort, some portion of the functional test program was often reused as the manufacturing test to determine that the silicon was defect-free. Fast forward to today and things ha... » read more

Completing The Silicon Lifecycle Management Puzzle


The year 2020 will be remembered for many reasons. The global pandemic, the political struggles and the extreme weather will occupy our thoughts for many years. There was another event that occurred in 2020 that will also be remembered in a smaller, but very important portion of the world. It’s the year that Synopsys acquired Moortec to complete the silicon lifecycle management (SLM) puzzle. ... » read more

Making IC Test Faster And More Accessible: Part 2


Recently, my colleague Robert Ruiz described a new approach to scan test that utilizes the high-speed I/O (HSIO) ports that exist on most chips. The benefits of this new approach include reduced test time and cost thanks to the high-speed interface. Simplified pin electronics and tester setup are also benefits, as is the ability to run manufacturing tests in the field in support of silicon life... » read more

Making IC Test Faster And More Accessible: Part 1


The fundamental challenges of IC test have been the same for a long time. At the heart of all test strategies is controllability and observability. First, control the state of the chip with known test vectors and then observe the chip to determine if it exhibits good or faulty behavior. There have been many innovations over the years to make the required testing of chips more tractable. Thanks ... » read more

From Design To Deployment: How Silicon Lifecycle Management Optimizes The Entire IC Life Span


The beginning of the IC journey gets most of the attention in the semiconductor world – the challenges of design, test and manufacturing. But the reality is the entire lifecycle of a chip needs attention, requiring ways to ensure a chip’s intended and ongoing operation, especially in ever-changing operating environments where chips ultimately reside. The growing complexity of today’s e... » read more