Industry Pushes For Fab Tool Security Standards


The semiconductor industry is developing new cybersecurity standards for fab equipment in an effort to protect systems from potential cyberattacks, viruses, and IP theft. Two new standards are in the works, which are being formulated under the auspices of the SEMI trade group with leadership from chipmakers and others. Led by Intel and Cimetrix, the first standard deals with malware-free equ... » read more

Understanding The Performance Of Processor IP Cores


Looking at any processor IP, you will find that their vendors emphasize PPA (performance, power & area) numbers. In theory, they should provide a level playing field for comparing different processor IP cores, but in reality, the situation is more complex. Let us consider performance. The first thing to think about is what aspect of performance you care about. Do you care more about the ... » read more

From Cloud To Cloudlets


Cloudlets, or mini-clouds, are starting to roll out closer to the sources of data in an effort to reduce latency and improve overall processing performance. But as this approach gains steam, it also is creating some new challenges involving data distribution, storage and security. The growing popularity of distributed clouds is a recognition that the cloud model has limitations. Sending the ... » read more

Startup Funding: July 2020


A number of semiconductor and design companies took in funding this month, from a mega round for a data center switch maker to seed grants for two Canadian companies and new funding for an IP marketplace. China continues to be a hot area for electric vehicles, with one company raising half a billion for its two models currently in production. For July, we highlight fifteen startups that raised ... » read more

EDA Forms The Basis For Designing Secure Systems


By Adam Cron and Brandon Wang As Internet of Things (IoT) devices rapidly increase in popularity and deployment, security risks are arising at all levels. It could be at the usability level such as social engineering, pretexting, phishing; at the primitive level such as cryptanalysis; at the software level such as client-side scripting, code injection; and now even at the hardware level. Dur... » read more

IP Integration Verification At DVClub Europe


Most people involved in pre-silicon verification of digital designs and electronic design automation (EDA) know the folks at Test and Verification Solutions (T&VS – now acquired by Tessolve to offer a full VLSI and test service). Among other things, they organize the Verification Futures (VF) conference in the UK and the DVClub Europe meetings. These are highly technical events, with plen... » read more

Power Impact At The Physical Layer Causes Downstream Effects


Data movement is rapidly emerging as one of the top design challenges, and it is being complicated by new chip architectures and physical effects caused by increasing density at advanced nodes and in multi-chip systems. Until the introduction of the latest revs of high-bandwidth memory, as well as GDDR6, memory was considered the next big bottleneck. But other compute bottlenecks have been e... » read more

An Automotive Value Chain In Flux


When companies view suppliers from inside their specialized niches, it is tempting to imagine the business world will continue as-is, with just minimal improvements each year. But in the automotive value chain, this no longer holds. The rapid pace of innovation around intelligent systems in cars is disrupting the business flow. Back in simpler times, semiconductor companies would work with Tier... » read more

Gaps Emerging In System Integration


The system integration challenge is evolving, but existing tools and methods are not keeping up with the task. New tools and flows are needed to handle global concepts, such as power and thermal, that cannot be dealt with at the block level. As we potentially move into a new era where IP gets delivered as physical pieces of silicon, this lack of an accepted flow will become a stumbling block. ... » read more

The Fast, ‘Attractive’ Path From Great PPA To The Best PPA For High-Performance Arm Cores


By Mark Richards and Neel Desai When you want to create a website for your new side-hustle, or maybe for your local soccer team, it's rare that you would order a book on cascading-style sheets, break out the HTML editor and start from a blank sheet of “paper.” You'd do the smart thing and use a website builder, link it to some content management tool (this would get you to 90% of a usabl... » read more

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