It’s All About Staying Ahead Of The Test Challenges Curve


Since the early days when semiconductor devices contained a mere handful of gates, the manufacturing test world has been focused on how to detect the greatest number of potential defects in the shortest amount of time. This fundamental goal has not changed over the years and continues at 5nm and beyond. What has dramatically changed over the years, however, is the variety of techniques used ... » read more

Architects Firmly In Control


Moore's Law isn't dead, but it certainly isn't what it used to be. While there may be three or four more generations of node shrinks ahead, the power/performance benefits of scaling are falling off. This is evident in new chip architectures that were introduced at this year's Hot Chips conference. Originally started to show off the latest CPUs and co-processors, in past years the focus has b... » read more

Hiring And Firing


I doubt if there is a manager, in any company, who likes to fire people. In addition, most companies are very cautious about getting rid of people. Human resources departments often put in place lengthy and complex procedures to provide a clear and well-documented path to someone's termination. During a recent Oski executive dinner, participants were quite heated in their discussion about th... » read more

Digital IC Bring-Up With A Bench-Top Environment


One of the hottest markets for IC today is artificial intelligence (AI). The designs for AI chips are also among the largest and most complex, with billions of transistors, thousands of memory instances, and complex design-for-test (DFT) implementations with unique bring up and debug requirements. At this point, the volume of new AI chips is relatively low, but time-to-market is of paramount im... » read more

Demystifying EDA Support For ISO 26262 Tool Qualification


My new, mid-size car is equipped with many advanced driver-assistance systems. To be honest, it’s taking me time to get used to some of them, as, for example, lane-centering assist that seamlessly takes control of my steering wheel. However, I cannot wait to get my hands off a fully autonomous vehicle and be able to take a nap while 7nm chips run machine learning and other artificial intellig... » read more

Verification Trends Enabling A 5G Future


Applications have driven requirements for verification for quite some time now, as I have written previously regarding Aero & Defense, AI and Machine Learning and the Internet of Things. In wireless communication, we are just at the brink of the transition to Fifth Generation Networks, or 5G. This transition will not only lead to new applications and use models that will impact our day-to-d... » read more

Is Synthesis Still Process-Independent?


For many years, the idea that the release of a new process node from one of the major silicon foundries would require you to update your synthesis flow was a non-starter. Synthesis used the available timing, area and power models in the libraries and that was the beginning and end of the discussion. With the arrival of physical synthesis, physical effects could be taken into consideration in... » read more

Accessing Registers With UVM-RAL


As a digital design or verification engineer you know that certain features or configurations of the device can be achieved by programming some registers to set values. For example, a 32-bit register can have several fields within it and each field can represent a particular feature that can be configured. The device then reads that register and uses that information to change settings or modes... » read more

Solving Systemic Complexity


EDA and IP companies have begun branching out in entirely new directions over the past 12 to 18 months, pouring resources into entirely different problems than electrostatic issues and routing complexity. While they're still focused on solving complexity at 10/7/5nm, they also recognize that enabling Moore's Law isn't the only opportunity. For an increasing number of new and established chip... » read more

A New Era For EDA


For almost the entirety of my time in EDA, which is approaching 40 years, the total number of design starts has been declining. A lot of this is to be expected. Semiconductors was the new and exciting world where startups popped up hoping to make it big in Silicon Valley, or indeed to become the next Silicon Valley, Forest, Swamp or Desert. Many of them didn't manage to get beyond a neat concep... » read more

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