Managing Peak Power


Peak power is becoming a serious design constraint across chips and entire electronic systems as more functionality is added into end devices and the compute and switching infrastructure needed to support them. The issues are a direct result of growing complexity in designs, fixed or shrinking power budgets, and the need to process more data more quickly. In mobile devices, the addition of m... » read more

Power Modeling and Analysis


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss power modeling and analysis with [getperson id="11489" p_name="Drew Wingard"], chief technology officer at [getentity id="22605" e_name="Sonics"]; [getperson id="11763" comment="Tobias Bjerregaard"], chief executive officer for [getentity id="22908" e_name="Teklatech"]; Vic Kulkarni, vice president and chief strategy officer at [getentity id="22021"... » read more

Frenzy At 10/7nm


The number of chipmakers rushing to 10/7nm is rising, despite a slowdown in Moore's Law scaling and the increased difficulty and cost of developing chips at the most advanced nodes. How long this trend continues remains to be seen. It's likely that 7/5nm will require new manufacturing equipment, tools, materials and transistor structures. Beyond that, there is no industry-accepted roadmap, m... » read more

Multi-Physics Combats Commoditization


The semiconductor industry has benefited greatly from developments around digital circuitry. Circuits have grown in size from a few logic gates in the 1980s to well over 1 billion today. In comparison, analog circuits have increased in size by a factor of 10. The primary reason is that digital logic managed to isolate many of the physical effects from functionality, and to provide abstractions ... » read more

How Reliable Are FinFETs?


Stringent safety requirements in the automotive and industrial sectors are forcing chipmakers to re-examine a number of factors that can impact reliability over the lifespan of a device. Many of these concerns are not new. Electrical overstress (EOS), electrostatic discharge (ESD) and [getkc id="160" kc_name="electromigration"] (EM) are well understood, and have been addressed by EDA tools f... » read more

Using CNNs To Speed Up Systems


Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) are becoming one of the key differentiators in system performance, reversing a decades-old trend that equated speed with processor clock frequencies, the number of transistors, and the instruction set architecture. Even with today's smartphones and PCs, it's difficult for users to differentiate between processors with 6, 8 or 16 cores. But as the amount o... » read more

Is Design Innovation Slowing?


Paul Teich, principal analyst for Tirias Research, gave a provocative talk at the recent DAC conference entitled, "Is Integration Leaving Less Room for Design Innovation?" The answer isn't as simple as the question might suggest. "Integration used to be a driver for increasing the functionality of silicon," Teich said. "Increasingly, it will be used to incorporate more features of an entire ... » read more

Dealing With System-Level Power


Analyzing and managing power at the system level is becoming more difficult and more important—and slow to catch on. There are several reasons for this. First, design automation tools have lagged behind an understanding of what needs to be done. Second, modeling languages and standards are still in flux, and what exists today is considered inadequate. And third, while system-level power ha... » read more

IoT Myth Busting


The [getkc id="76" comment="Internet of Things"] (IoT) means many things to a large number of people, but one thing is clear—every discussion involving the IoT invariably includes some rather dramatic growth predictions for how many connected devices will be sold and who will be the primary beneficiaries. While that data helps spice up speeches, and typically gets people to read and quote ... » read more

Transistor Aging Intensifies At 10/7nm And Below


Transistor aging and reliability are becoming much more troublesome for design teams at 10nm and below. Concepts like ‘infant mortality’ and 'bathtub curves' are not new to semiconductor design, but they largely dropped out of sight as methodologies and EDA tools improved. To get past infant mortality, a burn-in process would be done, particularly for memories. And for reliability, which... » read more

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