Staying Within The Margins

Last March I wrote an article called Squeezing the Margins that’s about a design that used an adaptive clocking scheme to keep the performance of a system high while simultaneously keeping the temperature below a specified maximum. Last August we looked at Managing Voltage Variation and how an adaptive clocking scheme could be used to manage dynamic voltage drop to maximize system performance... » read more

Brain-Inspired, Silicon Optimized

The 2024 International Solid State Circuits Conference was held this week in San Francisco. Submissions were up 40% and contributed to the quality of the papers accepted and the presentations given at the conference. The mood about the future of semiconductor technology was decidedly upbeat with predictions of a $1 trillion industry by 2030 and many expecting that the soaring demand for AI e... » read more

TSMC Reports 4Q2023 Earnings: N2 Still On Track For 2025 Production

TSMC reported their 4th quarter and end of year financial numbers for 2023. Year over year, net revenue was down 4.5% to NT$2,161.74 billion, but quarter over quarter revenue was essentially flat at NT$625.52 billion, so it appears that as 3nm is ramping up that revenue is improving. For the fourth quarter, 3nm contributed 15% of TSMC’s total wafer revenue, up from 6% in the third quarter ... » read more

Top500: Frontier Still On Top, Sunway Formally Reappears

New versions of the Top500 and Green500 lists have been released, and Frontier continues its reign at Number. 1. But a newcomer, Aurora, using Intel’s Sapphire Rapids, has entered at the Number 2 position with a “half-scale” system. Both machines are HPE Crays, with the former using AMD optimized third-gen EPYC 64C at 2.0GHz and AMD Instinct MI250X, while the latter uses Intel Xeon CPU... » read more

Artificial Intelligence Wonderland

Silicon Catalyst held its Sixth Annual Semiconductor Forum in Menlo Park on the SRI campus on November 9th. Richard Curtin, Managing Partner for Si Catalyst, opened the event with a reference to Arthur C. Clarke’s "2001: A Space Odyssey" and noted how remarkable it was that a novel written back in 1968 was able to foretell the direction of the computer industry over 50 years into the future. ... » read more

Leaps in Quantum Computing

There are new computers that are generating some amazing results for solving problems in record time.  You won’t see these computers on the classic Top500 lists though, because they aren’t approaching computing in the same way. Using quantum computing algorithms like Shor’s algorithm for factoring large numbers, quantum computing holds the promise of solving problems that take exponentia... » read more

IBM’s Energy-Efficient NorthPole AI Unit

At this point it is well known that from an energy efficiency standpoint, the biggest bang for the back is to be found at the highest levels of abstraction. Fitting the right architecture to the task at hand i.e., an application specific architecture, will lead to benefits that are hard or impossible to claw back later in the design and implementation flow.  With the huge increase in the inter... » read more

Performance & Efficiency Cores For Servers

HotChips 2023 was held August 27-29, 2023 at Stanford University in California and was the first in-person version of the conference in 4 years. The conference was held in a hybrid format that had over 500 participants in-person and over 1,000 attending virtually online. Topics covered a broad range of advancements in computing, connectivity, and computer architecture. Both AMD and Intel gav... » read more

Balancing IR Drop Unpredictability With Post-Silicon Flexibility

The concept of IR drop in silicon chips has always been a crucial aspect of chip design. However, recent technological trends and the emergence of new challenges, such as voltage-sensitive paths, have introduced a degree of uncertainty in predicting and effectively managing IR drop. These uncertainties are driving the need for a more flexible approach in mitigating on-die voltage droop. Increa... » read more

Managing Voltage Variation

Engineers make many tradeoffs when designing SoC’s to better meet design specifications. Power, Performance and Area (PPA) are the primary goals and all three impact the cost of the implementation. For example, higher power and performance can both require more expensive packaging for power and signal integrity as well as cooling. The larger the die area the fewer die per wafer which drives u... » read more

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