The Fast, ‘Attractive’ Path From Great PPA To The Best PPA For High-Performance Arm Cores


By Mark Richards and Neel Desai When you want to create a website for your new side-hustle, or maybe for your local soccer team, it's rare that you would order a book on cascading-style sheets, break out the HTML editor and start from a blank sheet of “paper.” You'd do the smart thing and use a website builder, link it to some content management tool (this would get you to 90% of a usabl... » read more

The Seven Steps Of Formal Signoff


“Signoff” may be the most exciting—and frightening—word in semiconductor development. After many months, or even years of team effort, committing a design to silicon fabrication is indeed an exciting and rewarding event. But, there’s often significant anxiety involved as well – if any missed issues result in having to “turn” the chip, the increased costs and time-to-market delay... » read more

Analog Design Needs To Change


It’s an exciting time to be involved in analog design! Innovation in analog design methodology has been flourishing with the introduction of new tools and improved methodologies. And this innovation is badly needed; analog design is getting tougher. Design schedules remain tight, and the technical challenges analog designers face continue to grow – especially when moving to advanced node te... » 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

Simulation: Go Parallel Or Go Home


Although complemented by other valuable technologies, functional simulation remains at the heart of semiconductor verification. Every chip project still develops a testbench, usually compliant with the Universal Verification Methodology (UVM), and a large test suite. Constrained-random stimulus generation has largely replaced hand-crafted tests, but at the expense of much more simulation time. ... » 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

AI Chips Driving Need For New Test Implementation Methodologies


Artificial intelligence has never been more in the news than it is today.  From picking stock market investments to autonomous driving, we have heard about what AI can do when it works and what happens when it goes awry. The consequences are huge if AI doesn’t work which puts a lot of pressure on hardware engineers to ensure that their chips can be extensively tested for proper and safe func... » read more

Static Verification Of Low Power Designs


Are there any chips designed today that don’t have limitations on their power consumption? For smartphones and tablets, increasing the time between charges is a clear product differentiator and a frequent design goal. Power consumption is also an issue for Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices, many of which are in inaccessible locations where battery replacement or recharge is difficult. Even com... » read more

Functional Safety Implementation Goes Mainstream


Electronics engineers are being thrust into the automotive market like never before. The move to electrify automobiles, along with the advent of self-driving cars, means that silicon designers will be designing ever more sophisticated automotive ICs. But cars aren’t like most other electronic systems; it’s imperative that they cause no harm should they fail. This brings us to the realm o... » read more

No More Pizza! The Power Of HPC To Answer: “What’s For Dinner?”


The other night my wife and I were trying to pick a place we could both agree on for dinner. If you’ve ever been in this situation, you know it can be a difficult problem to solve. I decided to short circuit the usual torture by asking our virtual assistant for a solution. “Hey [Virtual Assistant], where’s a good place to eat?” Thus ensued 15 minutes of intermittent, wrong answers, misc... » read more

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