Chips, Business And The Coronavirus


In the spring of 2003, the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) hit China and Hong Kong, creating such panic that no one would touch crates on shipping docks. Ultimately, it erased an estimated $40 billion from the global economy and effectively shut down the Chinese semiconductor industry for several months. It could have been much worse, though, and this is what is particularly troubli... » read more

The Trouble With Semantics


Semantics are important. They tell us what something means. Without semantics you just have a jumble of syntax. The better defined the semantics are, the less likely something is to be mis-interpreted because they can be more rigidly analyzed. The semantics of the English language are not very well defined, which is why it is impossible to write a specification where everyone agrees upon wha... » read more

Balancing Flexibility And Quality In SRAM Verification


Memory is an essential component of system-on-chip (SOC) designs, especially at advanced nodes. SoCs use a variety of memory block types, such as static random-access memory (SRAM) and dynamic RAM (DRAM), to perform computations. The SRAM blocks, which consist of an assembly of specialized calls that abut or overlap one another in a specific arrangement that complies with the circuit specificat... » read more

New Parasitic Extraction Requirements In Custom Design For The Next Wave Of SoCs


Fast growing markets like 5G, biotechnology, AI, and automotive are driving the new wave in semiconductor design and the need for highly integrated system on chip (SoCs). Power management, sensors, RF and precision analog functionality are all integrated on the same substrate which poses new challenges for custom design tools. Specifically, there are new challenges for parasitic extraction that... » read more

Authentication In The IoT Age


We all know passwords are a problem. We have too many of them to remember, but too many of them are reused to make them secure. No surprise that they are the root cause of the vast majority of data breaches. Fortunately, clever minds are working at ways to replace them and they have come together to create the FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance. The FIDO Alliance was created in 2013 to de... » read more

Verification Planning And Management With Formal


Over the last twenty years, formal verification has grown from a niche technology practiced only by specialists to an essential part of mainstream chip development. Along the way, several advances were needed to make wider adoption of formal feasible. These included the standardization of assertion languages, enhanced formal engine performance and capacity, better debug capabilities, and pushbu... » read more

2019 – The Year Of The “Dynamic Duo” Of Emulation and Prototyping


In technology, we are always trying to figure out when we have reached critical mass, have crossed the chasm, or even can be considered mainstream. We all have seen the adoption curves for consumer products. In design and verification technology, a distinct B2B setting with fewer end customers than in the B2C domain, the situation seems to be even worse as there is no “one flow” to design a... » read more

Evaluating NVMe SSD Multi-Gigabit Performance


The multi-channel parallelism and low-latency access of NAND flash technology have made Non-Volatile Memory express (NVMe) based SSDs very popular within the main segments of the data storage market, including not only the consumer electronics sector but also data center processing and acceleration services, where the key role is played by specialized FPGA-based hardware for application-specifi... » read more

This Year’s Holiday Puzzle: Find The Trojan Horse


The term “Trojan horse” is widely used, but it’s likely that not everyone knows the story behind this metaphor. It refers to an ancient legend about a giant wooden horse that contained a most unpleasant surprise for its recipients. In general usage, the term refers to anything dangerous that lurks within a seemingly innocent disguise. The electronics hardware design community is increasin... » read more

What Will AI Look Like In 10 Years?


There's no such thing as reverse in AI systems. Once they are let loose, they do what they were programmed to do — optimize results within a given set of parameters. But today there is no consistency for those parameters. There are no standards by which to measure how AI deviates over time. And there is an expectation, at least today, that AI systems will adapt to whatever patterns they di... » read more

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