The Next Spoiler Alert


Speculative execution seemed like a good idea at the time. As the power/performance benefits of each node shrink began to dwindle, companies like Intel figured out ways to maintain processor speeds at the same or lower power. There were other approaches, as well. Speculative execution and branch prediction are roughly equivalent to pre-fetch in search, which has gotten so good that often the... » read more

AI: Where’s The Money?


A one-time technology outcast, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has come a long way. Now there’s groundswell of interest and investments in products and technologies to deliver high performance visual recognition, matching or besting human skills. Equally, speech and audio recognition are becoming more common and we’re even starting to see more specialized applications such as finding optimized... » read more

Chip Design For The Age Of New Mobility


In the new age of mobility, vehicles are valued more and more for their electronic features instead of mechanical specifications. As a result, companies that are able to own and optimize the design of these critical electronics will capture more of the available profit. This is bringing traditional automotive manufacturers into the electronics business, while simultaneously attracting tech comp... » read more

Inference Acceleration: Follow The Memory


Much has been written about the computational complexity of inference acceleration: very large matrix multiplies for fully-connected layers and huge numbers of 3x3 convolutions across megapixel images, both of which require many thousands of MACs (multiplier-accumulators) to achieve high throughput for models like ResNet-50 and YOLOv3. The other side of the coin is managing the movement of d... » read more

Mine Cryptocurrencies Sooner, Part 1


Cryptocurrency mining is the process of computing a new cryptocurrency unit based on all the previously found ones. The concept of cryptocurrency is nearly universally recognized by the publicity of the original cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies were supposed to be a broadly democratic currency vehicle not controlled by any one entity, such as banks, governments, or small groups of comp... » read more

Don’t Have A Meltdown Over A Spectre In Your SoC


You may be concerned about last year’s widely published Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities affecting most processors. Are your phone and computer OK? Or more importantly, if you are designing or verifying a System on Chip (SoC), do you have a specter in your design? Let’s first look at what these two vulnerabilities are and how they may be affecting your system. Both vulnerabilitie... » read more

Making Things Simple With NVMe/TCP


Whether it is the aesthetics of the iPhone or a work of art like Monet’s ‘Water Lillies’, simplicity is often a very attractive trait. I hear this resonate in everyday examples from my own life – with my boss at work, whose mantra is “make it simple,” and my wife of 15 years telling my teenage daughter “beauty lies in simplicity.” For the record, both of these statements general... » read more

Self-Driving Architecture With eFPGAs


The favored self-driving architecture of the future will be increasingly decentralized. However, both the centralized and decentralized architectural design approaches will require hardware acceleration in the form of far more lookaside co-processing than is currently realized. Whether centralized or decentralized, the anticipated computing architectures for automated and autonomous driving ... » read more

Where Electronics Begins, And So Much More


When the Electronic Design Automation Consortium (EDAC) first coined the phrase “Where Electronics Begins” 20 years ago, little did we know how true it is, especially today as we move further into the system-centric era. In those days, EDA tools and methodologies were must-haves for chip designers. The system was only a minor consideration for the EDA community as was the semiconductor supp... » read more

Meltdown And Spectre, One Year Later


About this time last year, reports surfaced about security attacks on today’s most popular microprocessors (μPs). Researchers called them Meltdown, Spectre gaining widespread attention. Today, however, the industry and especially μP vendors have made some progress toward stemming these vulnerabilities. Here is my analysis as we enter into 2019. When it comes to these vulnerabilities, we ... » read more

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