Balancing Memory And Coherence: Navigating Modern Chip Architectures

In the intricate world of modern chip architectures, the "memory wall" – the limitations posed by external DRAM accesses on performance and power consumption growing slower than the ability to compute data – has emerged as a pivotal challenge. Architects must strike a delicate balance between leveraging local data reuse and managing external memory accesses. While caches are critical for op... » read more

Predicting The Future For Semiconductors

Is it possible to predict the future? Of course not. We all make projections of what happened in the past, where they are now, and the implications for the future. We bias that in various ways and think we are making some astounding revelation, which is highly unlikely to become true. Of course, by luck, some people get it right and they are bestowed with grand accolades and awards. The likelih... » read more

AI’s Impact In Automobiles Remains Uncertain

Experts at the Table: Semiconductor Engineering sat down to talk about software updates in cars, where AI makes sense, and why there's a growing sense of optimism, with Geoff Tate, CEO of Flex Logix; Veerbhan Kheterpal, CEO of Quadric; Steve Teig, CEO of Perceive; and Kurt Busch, CEO of Syntiant. What follows are excerpts of that conversation, which were held in front of a live audience at Desi... » read more

Chip Industry Heads Toward $1T

The chip industry is on track to hit $1 trillion sometime over the next decade, and while the exact timing depends on a variety of factors, the trend line appears to be stable. The digitization of data, the digitalization of technology, and the expansion into new and existing markets, collectively are expected to drive chip industry growth for years to come. Exactly when the IC world will to... » read more

A Practical Approach To DFT For Large SoCs And AI Architectures, Part I

The traditional processors designed for general-purpose applications struggle to meet the computing demands and power budgets of artificial intelligence (AI) or machine leaning (ML) applications. Several semiconductor design companies are now developing dedicated AI/ML accelerators that are optimized for specific workloads such that they deliver much higher processing capabilities with much low... » read more

Domain-Specific Design Drives EDA Changes

The chip design ecosystem is beginning to pivot toward domain-specific architectures, setting off a scramble among tools vendors to simplify and optimize existing tools and methodologies. The move reflects a sharp slowdown in Moore's Law scaling as the best approach for improving performance and reducing power. In its place, chipmakers — which now includes systems companies — are pushing... » read more

What Is An xPU?

Almost every day there is an announcement about a new processor architecture, and it is given a three-letter acronym — TPU, IPU, NPU. But what really distinguishes them? Are there really that many unique processor architectures, or is something else happening? In 2018, John L. Hennessy and David A. Patterson delivered the Turing lecture entitled, "A New Golden Age for Computer Architecture... » read more

The Next Generation Of General-Purpose Compute At Hot Chips

At the recent HOT CHIPS, the first day opened with the chips that you first think of when you hear the word processor. These are the next generation of chips from the likes of Intel, AMD, and IBM. There were lots of other chips too, such as Arm's Neoverse N2, and NVIDIA's new data-processing unit (DPU), or AMD's next-generation graphics architecture. But for this post, anyway, I'm going to focu... » read more

CEO Outlook: More Data, More Integration, Same Deadlines

Experts at the Table: Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the future of chip design and EDA tools with Lip-Bu Tan, CEO of Cadence; Simon Segars, CEO of Arm; Joseph Sawicki, executive vice president of Siemens IC EDA; John Kibarian, CEO of PDF Solutions; Prakash Narain, president and CEO of Real Intent; Dean Drako, president and CEO of IC Manage; and Babak Taheri, CEO of Silvaco. What ... » read more

Von Neumann Upset

My recent article about the von Neumann architecture received some quite passionate responses, including one that thought I was attempting to slight the person. That was most certainly not the intent, given that the invention enabled a period of very rapid advancement in computers and technology in general. The process of invention and engineering are both quite similar and yet different. In... » read more

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