Architecture First, Node Second


What a difference a node makes. A couple of rather important changes have occurred in the move from 16/14 to 10/7nm (aside from more confusing naming conventions). First, companies that require more transistors—processor companies such as [getentity id="22846" e_name="Intel"], AMD, [getentity id="22306" comment="IBM"] and [getentity id="22676" e_name="Qualcomm"]—have come to grips with t... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


Tools Mentor added new tools to its high-level synthesis portfolio. The DesignChecks tool helps find bugs during coding with a static mode that performs very fast linting-like checks of the code and a formal mode that uses a formal engine for a more exhaustive proof of issues. The synthesis-aware Coverage tool measures code coverage for C++ signoff and fast closure of synthesized RTL. It sup... » read more

Moore’s Law: Toward SW-Defined Hardware


Pushing to the next process node will continue to be a primary driver for some chips—CPUs, FPGAs and some ASICS—but for many applications that approach is becoming less relevant as a metric for progress. Behind this change is a transition from using customized software with generic hardware, to a mix of specialized, heterogeneous hardware that can achieve better performance with less ene... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


Imagination has put the MIPS embedded processor and Ensigma mobile connectivity groups up for sale, refocusing on graphics after last month's announcement that Apple would no longer use the company's GPU IP. Imagination also began formal dispute resolution procedures with Apple. Tools Synopsys released new versions of its HSPICE, FineSim and CustomSim circuit simulation products, adding n... » read more

Building Chips That Can Learn


The idea that devices can learn optimal behavior rather than relying on more generalized hardware and software is driving a resurgence in artificial intelligence, machine leaning, and cognitive computing. But architecting, building and testing these kinds of systems will require broad changes that ultimately could impact the entire semiconductor ecosystem. Many of these changes are wel... » read more