How to Make Sure IP will Float in the Rough SoC Sea


Today a typical SoC includes hundreds of instances of IP modules both digital and analog. These IPs are typically verified individually by the vendors. The burden of guaranteeing functionality when placed in the midst of a monster SoC is typically left to the SoC owner. With increasing frequencies, tighter margins, denser integrated circuits, new devices and materials, the task of verifying So... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Dec. 18


Solar storage Engineers at MIT, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory designed a system to store renewable energy in vast amounts and deliver it back to the grid when power generation is low. The system stores excess electricity from solar or wind installations as heat using tanks of white-hot molten silicon, and then converts the light from the glowi... » read more

How to nail functional safety in your next design


As the automotive industry accelerates innovation toward fully autonomous vehicles, one of the underlying values of this effort will be safer roadways. Nine in 10 vehicle accidents are caused by human error. Work underway, and future innovation in autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles, should shrink driving fatalities by tens of thousands in much the same way that the introduction of seat bel... » read more

Security, Scaling and Power


If anyone has doubts about the slowdown and increasing irrelevance of Moore's Law, Intel's official unveiling of its advanced packaging strategy should leave little doubt. Inertia has ended and the roadmap is being rewritten. Intel's discussion of advanced packaging is nothing new. The company has been public about its intentions for years, and started dropping hints back when Pat Gelsinger ... » read more

What Makes A Chip Design Successful Today?


"Transistors are free" was the rallying cry of the semiconductor industry during the 1990s and early 2000s. That is no longer true. The end of Dennard scaling made the simultaneous use of all the transistors troublesome, but transistors remained effectively unlimited. This led to an era where large amounts of flexibility could be built into a chip. It didn't matter if all of it was being use... » read more

Efficient Low Power Verification & Debug Methodology Using Power-Aware Simulation


By Himanshu Bhatt and Shreedhar Ramachandra Isolation, retention, and power switches are some of the important functionalities of power-aware designs that use some of the common low power techniques (e.g.) power shutoff, multi-voltage and advanced techniques (e.g.) DVFS, Low VDD standby, and biasing. The strategies for isolation, retention, and level shifter are specified in the power forma... » read more

Impacts Of Reliability On Power And Performance


Making sure a complex system performs as planned, and providing proper access to memories, requires a series of delicate tradeoffs that often were ignored in the past. But with performance improvements increasingly tied to architectures and microarchitectures, rather than just scaling to the next node, approaches such as determinism and different kinds of caching increasingly are becoming criti... » read more

A New Approach To Resistance Extraction For Unconventional Geometries


Unconventional metal structures have begun popping up in integrated circuits (ICs) with increasing regularity, for a number of reasons. The growing demand for integrated cameras and image recognition capabilities has fueled the need for components such as high-quality CMOS image sensors with low noise, high dynamic range, and low power. Technology scaling has also contributed to an increase in ... » read more

The Cost Of Accuracy


How accurate does a system need to be, and what are you willing to pay for that accuracy? There are many sources of inaccuracy throughout the development flow of electronic systems, most of which involve complex tradeoffs. Inaccuracy leaves an impact on your design in ways you are not even aware of, hidden by best practices or guard-banding. EDA tools also inject some inaccuracy. As the i... » read more

Taking Steps Toward Hybrid Memory


What is the memory subsystem of the future, and how do we get there? Since our Hybrid Memory research program began, Rambus Labs and its industry partners and collaborators have made significant progress under the banner of OpenPOWER and OpenCAPI Foundations, an open development community based on the POWER microprocessor (mP) architecture. Rambus Labs is using the Wistron POWER9 systems’ Ope... » read more

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