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Will Monolithic 3D DRAM Happen?


As DRAM scaling slows, the industry will need to look for other ways to keep pushing for more and cheaper bits of memory. The most common way of escaping the limits of planar scaling is to add the third dimension to the architecture. There are two ways to accomplish that. One is in a package, which is already happening. The second is to sale the die into the Z axis, which which has been a to... » read more

Impact Of GAA Transistors At 3/2nm


The chip industry is poised for another change in transistor structure as gate-all-around (GAA) FETs replace finFETs at 3nm and below, creating a new set of challenges for design teams that will need to be fully understood and addressed. GAA FETs are considered an evolutionary step from finFETs, but the impact on design flows and tools is still expected to be significant. GAA FETs will offer... » read more

Slower Metal Bogs Down SoC Performance


Metal interconnect delays are rising, offsetting some of the gains from faster transistors at each successive process node. Older architectures were born in a time when compute time was the limiter. But with interconnects increasingly viewed as the limiter on advanced nodes, there’s an opportunity to rethink how we build systems-on-chips (SoCs). ”Interconnect delay is a fundamental tr... » read more

Analog Simulation At 7/5/3nm


Hany Elhak, group director of product management at Cadence, talks with Semiconductor Engineering about analog circuit simulation at advanced nodes, why process variation is an increasing problem, the impact of parasitics and finFET stacking, and what happens when gate-all-around FETs are added into the chip. » read more

Connecting Wafer-Level Parasitic Extraction And Netlisting


The semiconductor technology simulation world is typically divided into device-level TCAD (technology CAD) and circuit-level compact modeling. Larger EDA companies provide high-level design simulation tools that perform LVS (layout vs. schematic), DRC (design rule checking), and many other software solutions that facilitate the entire design process at the most advanced technology nodes. In thi... » read more

The Growing Challenge Of Thermal Guard-Banding


Guard-banding for heat is becoming more difficult as chips are used across a variety of new and existing applications, forcing chipmakers to architect their way through increasingly complex interactions. Chips are designed to operate at certain temperatures, and it is common practice to develop designs with some margin to ensure correct functionality and performance throughout the operat... » read more

Boosting Analog Reliability


Aveek Sarkar, vice president of Synopsys’ Custom Compiler Group, talks about challenges with complex design rules, rigid design methodologies, and the gap between pre-layout and post-layout simulation at finFET nodes. https://youtu.be/JRYlYJ31LLw » read more

A Method to Measure Die Pad Capacitance


This paper defines a method to measure the chip die pad capacitance using time delay reflectometry (TDR). This method is useful for measuring the low-value capacitance that is present at the end of a transmission line. In all protocol specifications, pad capacitance is an important electrical parameter to be measured because it directly affects the bandwidth. However, it is a challenge to me... » read more

Electromagnetic Crosstalk Considerations In Low Power Designs


By Magdy Abadir, Padelis Papadopoulos, and Yehea Ismail
 Power consumption continues to be a critical design metric in high-performance mobile electronics. In order to meet the aggressive power budget targets, chips today need to operate at extremely low power levels, which increases the critical signals’ susceptibility to electromagnetic (EM) crosstalk effects. Because a low-power So... » read more

IP Electromagnetic Crosstalk Requires Contextual Signoff


By Magdy Abadir and Anand Raman Continuous advancement in technology scaling is enabling the emergence of high-performance application markets such as artificial intelligence, autonomous cars and 5G communication. These electronic systems operate at multi-GHz speed, while consuming the lowest amount of power possible leaving very little margin for error. Chips in these systems are highly in... » read more

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