Three Common SoC Power Management Myths

SoCs are power-sensitive. Sometimes SoCs are sensitive because designers worry about the impact they have on the end product battery life. Sometimes designers worry about the effects of dissipating too much power on packaging and thermal issues. Sometimes designers are simply worried about the massive cooling budgets of data centers generating heat from thousands of their chips running in serve... » read more

NoC Versus PIN: Size Matters

Since I first helped introduce the concept of applying networking techniques to address SoC integration challenges in 2007, I have been asked many hundreds of times how to determine when and where to best use an on-chip network (NoC) instead of a passive interconnect network (PIN)? Is there a minimum number of initiators and targets below which it makes more sense to use a PIN for the SoC archi... » read more

Don’t Forget To Consider Productivity In Semiconductor IP Evaluations

When companies consider purchasing Semiconductor IP (SIP), they often have a strict procedure for evaluating third-party vendors and their products. If they don’t have a set way of evaluating IP, the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) has developed a Hard IP Licensing Risk Assessment Tool to aid in assessing the value of IP (there is also a quality assessment tool). This aid is part of the G... » read more

Get Agile

History repeats itself, but frequently not in the exactly the same place. The problems faced by system engineering teams today—rising complexity, shorter market windows and more issues involving interactions that affect everything from dynamic power and leakage current to electromigration and finFET design—mirror the kinds of top-down issues that software developers began encountering more ... » read more

NoC Reliability: Simplified

Recently, the reliability features of on-chip network (NoC) IP have received much attention. One reason for this focus has been the rush of companies to get into the automotive electronics market and the explosion of new automotive features being implemented in electronic systems. While the details may vary, the high-level view of on-chip network reliability is really quite simple. At the ar... » read more

Is IC Design Methodology At The Breaking Point?

Evidence is mounting that traditional “waterfall” methods used to develop complex ICs are reaching the breaking point. Consider that today: Some IC designs contain more than 100 [getkc id="43" comment="IP"] blocks that must be integrated from multiple sources Design requirements are constantly in flux Demands for low power and security are increasing as device connectivity grows S... » read more

NoC Straight Talk

Increased interest in on-chip network IP is without a doubt directly correlated to the increase in SoC complexity and performance over the past few years. Some SoC design managers even have gone so far as to say that the success of their SoC program is directly related to their ability to implement an on-chip communications network. Underestimating the importance of the on-chip network has caus... » read more

DRAM Remains The Status Quo

By Frank Ferro No one will argue that the “post-PC” era is here. Tablet shipments are expected to pass laptops by the end of this year, and desktops by the end of 2015. Add-in the nearly 1 billion smartphones shipment projected for 2013, and you would think that the DRAM industry would take notice of this volume. DRAM manufacturers do care about this segment of the market, but this fact... » read more

Wearing My Computer

By Frank Ferro I have been in a friendly debate with my colleagues (to remain nameless) for some time now about the future of ‘wearable devices.’ The most recent examples are the new Google glasses and the latest incarnation of the smart watch. I’m not a fan of either. I am trying to keep an open mind, however, because my natural inclination is not to overtly wear electronics. I could ne... » read more

Life After Smartphones

By Frank Ferro Don’t let the title confuse you. Smartphones are not going away anytime soon. In fact this year’s smartphone shipments have exceeded feature phones for the first time, with a total of 216 million units in Q1, according to IDC, and the overall mobile phone market is expected to grow 4.3% in 2013. This volume represents an increase in smartphone sales of 42% from Q1 2012. ... » read more

← Older posts