What’s Changing, What Isn’t


The global pandemic is creating economic chaos on a global scale. The big question now is when the coronavirus is brought under control, and just how long its effects will extend beyond the current health crisis. For the semiconductor industry, which has weathered many long and deep financial swings, this one at least is finite. When the virus stops spreading, or when treatments are availabl... » read more

Standard Evolution


I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Lu Dai, chairman of Accellera Systems Initiative and senior director of engineering for Qualcomm. SE: I have noticed a change in the way that Accellera operates these days. In the past, standards were driven by the EDA companies, but recently we have seen a lot more end-user company involvement and they are the companies driving new standards. ... » read more

Physical Verification For Photonics Integrated Circuits


Silicon photonics is a promising solution for the explosive growth of data volume and network traffic in computing and communications. Silicon photonics integrates photonics applications on a silicon wafer, utilizing mainstream Si-based technology. Photonics integrated circuits (PIC) offer several advantages over traditional integrated circuits: faster data transfer speeds, lower power consumpt... » read more

Making Sense Of EDA And Digital Twins


There is a new buzzword in town, “digital twins.” I have been using it for a while now in the context of system-on-chip (SoC) verification as well as a little more broadly when it comes to security issues for data in general. There are some differences in emphasis across different vertical domains, based on when they are used during the life cycle, which use models are desired and what scop... » read more

GapFree Processor Verification


Not so long ago, many semiconductor and system suppliers developed their own processors, often with unique features geared toward specific target applications. Although this innovation has continued for specialty processors such as digital signal-processing (DSP) engines and graphics processing units (GPUs), central processing units (CPUs) largely turned into a two-contestant race between x86 a... » read more

EDA In The Cloud


Interest in the use of third-party public clouds in conjunction with electronic design automation (EDA) applications has never been higher. Back in February, Ed Sperling and I did a video interview (embedded below) to discuss EDA and cloud computing. This article follows up on that interview, providing some additional insight into why and how the integrated circuit (IC) industry reached this po... » read more

Setting Up RISC-V Implementation Verification


This blog provides an overview of STING’s release mode of operation. STING design verification tool is released to the end user in the form of a self extracting script. The script can be used to install the release package in user’s environment. Once the package is installed, the user needs to set few environment variables before the STING executable can be built. The release package ... » read more

Multitasking For Modern GPUs


Originally GPUs were all about one thing, 3D graphics, and specifically fill-rate. Creating 3D triangles, calculating their position, coloring them in, processing the right ones (thank you tile-based deferred rending), and outputting them to the screen. Nowadays GPUs need to do more – it’s called “compute.” Indeed, we’ve been talking about running this on low-power GPUs for a long ... » read more

Chip Design Is Getting Squishy


So many variables, uncertainties and new approaches are in play today across the chip industry today that previous rules are looking rather dated. In the past, a handful of large companies or organizations set the rules for the industry and established an industry roadmap. No such roadmap exists today. And while there are efforts underway to create new roadmaps for different industries, inte... » read more

A New Breed Of Engineer


The industry loves to move in straight lines. Each generation of silicon is more-or-less a linear extrapolation of what came before. There are many reasons for this – products continue to evolve within the industry, adding new or higher performance interfaces, risk levels are lower when the minimum amount is changed for any chip spin, existing software is more likely to run with only minor mo... » read more

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