Pushing Memory Harder


In an optimized system, no component is waiting for another component while there is useful work to be done. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the processor/memory interface. Put simply, memory cannot keep up. Accessing memory is slow, and it can consume a significant fraction of the power budget. And the general consensus is this problem is not going away anytime soon, despite effort... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


M&A Dialog Semiconductor will acquire Creative Chips for approximately $80 million cash, with contingent consideration of up to $23 million. The move will expand Dialog's Industrial IoT portfolio, adding Creative Chips' industrial Ethernet and other mixed-signal products for connecting large numbers of IIoT sensors to industrial networks. Based in Bingen, Germany, Creative Chips was founded in... » read more

Focus Shifts To Wasted Power


Mobile phones made the industry aware of power, but now the focus is shifting to the total energy needed to perform a task. Activity that is unnecessary to perform the intended task is wasted power, and reducing it requires some new methodologies and structural changes within development teams. There is a broadening awareness about power. "The companies doing SoCs for mobile lead the charge ... » read more

Mary Jane Irwin Receives The Kaufman Award


Mary Jane Irwin just got back from a cruise around the Greek islands with her husband of 53 years to celebrate being the first woman to receive the Kaufman award. When I wrote my post The 2019 Kaufman Award Goes to Mary Jane Irwin about her receiving the awards last week, I mostly just used the boilerplate biographical information from the press release. But that's rather dry, so I called her u... » read more

Using Emulators For Power/Performance Tradeoffs


Emulation is becoming the tool of choice for power and performance tradeoffs, scaling to almost unlimited capacity for complex chips used in data centers, AI/ML systems and smart phones. While emulation has long been viewed as an important but expensive asset for chipmakers trying to verify and debug chips, it is now viewed as an essential component for design optimization and analysis much ... » read more

Blog Review: Oct. 9


In a video, Cadence's Tom Hackett continues his introduction to finite element analysis (FEA) and the important role it can play in electronics deign. Mentor's Colin Walls considers dynamic memory allocation in real-time operating systems and the problems of non-deterministic behavior and ill-defined failure modes. Synopsys' Taylor Armerding contends that ethical hackers are a necessary p... » read more

Shrinking AV’s 1 Billion Test Miles


There is still no answer to how many miles an autonomous vehicle needs to drive before it's proven safe. But some AV developers and test companies are hoping to ease the burden a bit with automation that makes millions of real and simulated miles of road testing simpler to implement, supported by standards that make it easier to create and trade simulation scenarios. The goal is to reduce th... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Synopsys completed its acquisition of QTronic GmbH, a provider of simulation, test tools, and services for automotive software and systems development. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Synopsys launched the PrimeECO design closure solution, a signoff-driven solution that the company says achieves signoff closure with zero iterations. The tool includes a machine-learning-driven Hybrid Ti... » read more

ML, Edge Drive IP To Outperform Broader Chip Market


The market for third-party semiconductor IP is surging, spurred by the need for more specific capabilities across a wide variety of markets. While the IP industry is not immune to steep market declines in semiconductor industry, it does have more built-in resilience than other parts of the industry. Case in point: The top 15 semiconductor suppliers were hit with an 18% decline in 2019 first-... » read more

Blog Review: Oct. 2


In a video, Cadence's Tom Hackett explains finite element analysis by looking at a simple model of a bridge and showing why FEA techniques are required for analysis of real-world structures. Synopsys' Taylor Armerding examines why the 156-year-old False Claims Act has new relevance when companies are accused of failing to meet cybersecurity standards. Mentor's Colin Walls demystifies memo... » read more

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