Test Chips Play Larger Role At Advanced Nodes


Test chips are becoming more widespread and more complex at advanced process nodes as design teams utilize early silicon to diagnose problems prior to production. But this approach also is spurring questions about whether this approach is viable at 7nm and 5nm, due to the rising cost of prototyping advanced technology, such as mask tooling and wafer costs. Semiconductor designers have long b... » read more

Debugging Complex SoCs


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the debugging of complex SoCs with Randy Fish, vice president of strategic accounts and partnerships for UltraSoC; Larry Melling, product management director for Cadence; Mark Olen, senior product marketing manager for Mentor, a Siemens Business; and Dominik Strasser, vice president of engineering for OneSpin Solutions. What follows are excerpts of ... » read more

Will Open-Source EDA Work?


Open-source EDA is back on the semiconductor industry's agenda, spurred by growing interest in open-source hardware. But whether the industry embraces the idea with enough enthusiasm to make it successful is not clear yet. One of the key sponsors of this effort is the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is spearheading a number of programs to lower the cost of chip ... » read more

CEO Outlook: Rising Costs, Chiplets, And A Trade War


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss what's changing across the semiconductor industry with Wally Rhines, CEO emeritus at Mentor, a Siemens Business; Jack Harding, president and CEO of eSilicon; John Kibarian, president and CEO of PDF Solutions; and John Chong, vice president of product and business development for Kionix. What follows are excerpts of that discussion, which was held in... » read more

Training Tomorrow’s Chip Designers


With technology advancing rapidly and the growing number of open R&D projects, there is an expanding need for qualified engineers. To make this possible, practical education needs to start much earlier than after graduation. One the best ways the EDA and semiconductor industry has embraced is encouraging engineering students to cooperate with experienced engineers, technologists and indu... » read more

CEO Outlook: It Gets Much Harder From Here


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss what's changing across the semiconductor industry with Wally Rhines, CEO emeritus at Mentor, a Siemens Business; Jack Harding, president and CEO of eSilicon; John Kibarian, president and CEO of PDF Solutions; and John Chong, vice president of product and business development for Kionix. What follows are excerpts of that discussion, which was held in... » read more

How To Integrate An Embedded FPGA


Choosing to add programmable logic into an SoC with an eFPGA is just the beginning. Other choices follow involving how many lookup tables (LUTs), how much routing and what topology, how will data be transferred in and out of the fabric, does data need to be coherent with system memory, how will it be programmed and tested, and what RTL functions need to be embedded into the programmable fabric ... » read more

Why IP Quality Is So Difficult To Determine


Differentiating good IP from mediocre or bad IP is getting more difficult, in part because it depends up on how and where it is used and in part because even the best IP may work better in one system than another—even in chips developed by the same vendor. This has been one of the challenges with IP over the years. In many cases, IP is poorly characterized, regardless of whether that IP wa... » read more

Adding Order And Structure To Verification


You can't improve what you can't measure, and when it comes to methodologies the notion of measurement becomes more difficult. Add in notions of the skills, capabilities and experience levels of individuals within an organization, which may affect their ability to adopt certain technologies, and it requires considerable attention. This is where concepts such as capability maturity models (CM... » read more

Evolution Of Verification Engineers


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the implications of having an executable specification that drives verification with Hagai Arbel, chief executive officer for VTool; Adnan Hamid, chief executive office for Breker Verification; Mark Olen, product marketing manager for Mentor, a Siemens Business; Jim Hogan, managing partner of Vista Ventures; Sharon Rosenberg, senior solutions archit... » read more

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