Taming Concurrency


Concurrency adds complexity for which the industry lacks appropriate tools, and the problem has grown to the point where errors can creep into designs with no easy or consistent way to detect them. In the past, when chips were essentially a single pipeline, this wasn't a problem. In fact, the early pioneers of EDA created a suitable language to describe and contain the necessary concurrency ... » read more

Using Software Approaches In Hardware Verification


Agile methodologies, created to improve quality in software code, increasingly are being applied to hardware verification. This is less of a drastic shift than it might first appear. Developing a verification testbench is largely software, and similar methodologies can be used for reducing bugs in hardware. “A testbench is nothing more than a big software project, and it makes perfect s... » read more

Impacts Of Reliability On Power And Performance


Making sure a complex system performs as planned, and providing proper access to memories, requires a series of delicate tradeoffs that often were ignored in the past. But with performance improvements increasingly tied to architectures and microarchitectures, rather than just scaling to the next node, approaches such as determinism and different kinds of caching increasingly are becoming criti... » read more

RISC-V: More Than a Core


The open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA) is attracting a lot of attention across the semiconductor industry, but its long-term success will depend on levels of cooperation never seen before in the semiconductor industry. The big question now is how committed the industry is to RISC-V's success. The real value that RISC-V brings is the promise of an ecosystem and the opportun... » read more

Auto Chip Design, Test Changes Ahead


The automotive industry’s unceasing demand for performance, coupled with larger and more complex processors, are driving broad changes in how electronics are designed, verified and tested. What's changing is that these systems, which include AI-oriented logic developed at the most advanced process nodes, need to last several times longer than traditional IT and consumer devices, and they n... » read more

Partitioning Drives Architectural Considerations


There are multiple reasons for design partitioning. One is complexity, because it’s faster and simpler to divide and conquer, particularly with third-party IP. A second reason involves power, where it may be more efficient to divide up functionality so each function be right-sized. A third involves performance, where memory utilization and processing can be split up according to functional pr... » read more

Auto Chip Test Getting Harder


Chipmakers and test/validation companies are helping lead the effort to develop self-driving cars, but they are facing a wide range of technical and even cultural barriers. Advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) already are the most complex systems by far in modern cars, the best of which hover between Level 2 and Level 3 on the five-step autonomy ladder maintained by the Society of Automotiv... » read more

Verification As A Flow (Part 2)


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the transformation of verification from a tool to a flow with Vladislav Palfy, global manager application engineering for OneSpin Solutions; Dave Kelf, chief marketing officer for Breker Verification Systems; Mark Olen, product marketing group manager for Mentor, A Siemens Business; Larry Melling, product management director, System & Verificati... » read more

Verification As A Flow (Part 1)


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the transformation of verification from a tool to a flow with Vladislav Palfy, global manager application engineering for OneSpin Solutions; Dave Kelf, chief marketing officer for Breker Verification Systems; Mark Olen, product marketing group manager for Mentor, A Siemens Business; Larry Melling, product management director, System & Verificati... » read more

FPGAs Becoming More SoC-Like


FPGAs are blinged-out rockstars compared to their former selves. No longer just a collection of look-up tables (LUTs) and registers, FPGAs have moved well beyond into now being architectures for system exploration and vehicles for proving a design architecture for future ASICs. This family of devices now includes everything from basic programmable logic all the way up to complex SoC devices.... » read more

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