Collaborative IC Design Mandates Integrated Data Management


Due to complexity and multi-domain expertise, custom IC design typically requires a team to successfully design and verify the project. Often, specific blocks are assigned to team members based on analog, digital, MEMS, RF expertise, across multiple geographies, and separate verification team members focus on block and system validation. This means that unstructured design files with multiple c... » read more

Foundries Prepare For Battle At 22nm


After introducing new 22nm processes over the last year or two, foundries are gearing up the technology for production—and preparing for a showdown. GlobalFoundries, Intel, TSMC and UMC are developing and/or expanding their efforts at 22nm amid signs this node could generate substantial business for applications like automotive, IoT and wireless. But foundry customers face some tough choic... » read more

How To Improve Analog Design Reuse


Digital circuit design is largely automated today, but most analog components still are designed manually. This may change soon. As analog design grows increasingly complex and error-prone, design teams and tool vendors are focusing on how to automate as much of the design of analog circuits as possible. Analog design is notoriously difficult and varied. It can include anything from power ma... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Tools OneSpin launched a formal verification tool that integrates with all major simulators, coverage databases and viewers, and chip design verification planning tools to provide a comprehensive view of verification progress. Comprised of two new formal apps, it can identify unreachable coverage points and provide them to the simulator to reduce wasted effort. Synopsys released the latest ... » read more

Wanted: Mask Equipment for Mature Nodes


Rising demand for chips at mature nodes is impacting the photomask supply chain, causing huge demand for trailing-edge masks and a shortfall of older mask equipment. The big issue is the equipment shortfall, which could impact customers on several fronts. Tool shortages could lead to longer mask turnaround times and delivery schedules for chips being developed at 90nm and above, which are bu... » read more

Power Delivery Affecting Performance At 7nm


Complex interactions and dependencies at 7nm and beyond can create unexpected performance drops in chips that cannot always be caught by signoff tools. This isn't for lack of effort. The amount of time spent trying to determine if an advanced-node chip will work after it is fabricated has been rising steadily for several process nodes. Additional design rules handle everything from variation... » read more

Lab-To-Fab Testing


Test equipment vendors are working on integrating testing and simulation in the lab with testing done later in the fab, setting the stage for what potentially could be the most significant change in semiconductor test in years. If they are successful, this could greatly simplify design for test, which has become increasingly difficult as chips get more complex, denser, and as more heterogene... » read more

Proof-Of-Concept To Product: Initial Design Of A MEMS Sensor


In previous papers, we have covered how to design and verify an IoT tank fluid-level monitoring system. We covered how to create a proof-of-concept and prototype. In this series of white papers, we explore the detailed product design of the MEMS pressure sensor within this system. In this initial whitepaper, we introduce the piezoelectric micro-machined ultrasonic transducer (PMUT) sensor, show... » read more

Domain Crossing Nightmares


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss problems associated with domain crossings with Alex Gnusin, design verification technologist for Aldec; Pete Hardee, director, product management for Cadence; Joe Hupcey, product manager and verification product technologist for Mentor, a Siemens Business; Sven Beyer, product manager design verification for OneSpin; and Godwin Maben, applications en... » read more

Analog Reliability Analysis for Mission-Critical Applications


Rapidly increasing electrical content in automobiles is driving the need for revolution in analog integrated circuit (IC) design methodology. Compared to designing for consumer electronics, designing for mission-critical applications—industrial, medical, space, and automotive—requires a different approach to reliability analysis. We will explore how reliability analysis needs to change for ... » read more

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