Data-Driven Verification Begins


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss data-driven verification with Yoshi Watanabe, senior software architect at Cadence; Hanan Moller, systems architect at UltraSoC; Mark Conklin, principal verification engineer at Arm; and Hao Chen, senior design engineer at Intel. What follows are excerpts of that conversation, which was conducted in front of a live audience at DVCon. (L-R) Yosh... » read more

The Other Side Of Makimoto’s Wave


Custom hardware is undergoing a huge resurgence across a variety of new applications, pushing the semiconductor industry to the other side of Makimoto's Wave. Tsugio Makimoto, the technologist who identified the chip industry’s 10-year cyclical swings between standardization and customization, predicted there always will be room in ASICs for general-purpose processors. But it's becoming mo... » read more

New Design Approaches At 7/5nm


The race to build chips with a multitude of different processing elements and memories is making it more difficult to design, verify and test these devices, particularly when AI and leading-edge manufacturing processes are involved. There are two fundamental problems. First, there are much tighter tolerances for all of the components in those designs due to proximity effects. Second, as a re... » read more

The Challenge Of RISC-V Compliance


The open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA) continues to gain momentum, but the flexibility of RISC-V creates a problem—how do you know if a RISC-V implementation fits basic standards and can play well with other implementations so they all can run the same ecosystem? In addition, how do you ensure that ecosystem development works for all implementations and that all cores that ... » read more

The Problem With Post-Silicon Debug


Semiconductor engineers traditionally have focused on trying to create 'perfect' GDSII at tape-out, but factors such as hardware-software interactions, increasingly heterogeneous designs, and the introduction of AI are forcing companies to rethink that approach. In the past, chipmakers typically banked on longer product cycles and multiple iterations of silicon to identify problems. This no ... » read more

Can Debug Be Tamed?


Debug consumes more time than any other aspect of the chip design and verification process, and it adds uncertainty and risk to semiconductor development because there are always lingering questions about whether enough bugs were caught in the allotted amount of time. Recent figures suggest that the problem is getting worse, too, as complexity and demand for reliability continue to rise. The... » read more

Partitioning Drives Architectural Considerations


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to explore partitioning with Raymond Nijssen, vice president of system engineering at Achronix; Andy Ladd, CEO at Baum; Dave Kelf, chief marketing officer at Breker; Rod Metcalfe, product management group director in the Digital & Signoff Group at Cadence; Mark Olen, product marketing group manager at Mentor, a Siemens Business; Tom Anderson, technical mar... » read more

Pushing AI Into The Mainstream


Artificial intelligence is emerging as the driving force behind many advancements in technology, even though the industry has merely scratched the surface of what may be possible. But how deeply AI penetrates different market segments and technologies, and how quickly it pushes into the mainstream, depend on a variety of issues that still must be resolved. In addition to a plethora of techni... » read more

Using Memory Differently


Chip architects are beginning to rewrite the rules on how to choose, configure and use different types of memory, particularly for chips with AI and some advanced SoCs. Chipmakers now have a number of options and tradeoffs to consider when choosing memories, based on factors such as the application and the characteristics of the memory workload, because different memory types work better tha... » read more

EDA Grabs Bigger Slice Of Chip Market


EDA revenues have been a fairly constant percentage of semiconductor revenues, but that may change in 2019. With new customers creating demand, and some traditional customers shifting focus from advanced nodes, the various branches of the EDA tool industry may be where sticky technical problems are solved. IC manufacturing, packaging and development tools all are finding new ways to handle t... » read more

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