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Next-Gen Design Challenges


As more heterogeneous chips and different types of circuitry are designed into one system, that all needs to be simulated, verified and validated before tape-out. Aveek Sarkar, vice president of engineering at Synopsys, talks with Semiconductor Engineering about the intersection of scale complexity and systemic complexity, the rising number of corners, and the reduced margin with which to buffe... » read more

EDA, IP Revenues Soar


EDA and IP revenues increased 15.4% to $3.032 billion in Q4 2020, according to a just-released report, with huge increases reported in China and India, and a solid double-digit increase in the Americas. EDA/IP revenue from China increased 66.4% in Q4 EDA/IP compared with the same period in 2019, and for the 2020 calendar year it was up 52.3%. India's spending was up 32% for the quarter. And ... » read more

Startup Funding: September 2020


It was a good month for startups, with big rounds in automotive, data centers, and AI. A new startup with big backing is taking aim at energy inefficiency in the data center, and another is looking to make the industrial IoT battery-free. SK Hynix founded a new company to analyze semiconductor manufacturing data, and one of China's EV companies sees a massive cash infusion. This month, we look ... » read more

New Uses For Assertions


Assertions have been a staple in formal verification for years. Now they are being examined to see what else they can be used for, and the list is growing. Traditionally, design and verification engineers have used assertions in specific ways. First, there are assertions for formal verification, which are used by designers to show when something is wrong. Those assertions help to pinpoint wh... » read more

DDR PHY Training


Brett Murdock, senior product marketing manager at Synopsys, explains how to train the DRAM physical layer using firmware, why that is so important for flexibility, and what kinds of issues engineers encounter when using this approach. » read more

Medical, Industrial & Aerospace IC Design Changes


Medical, industrial and aerospace chips are becoming much more complex as more intelligence is added into these devices, forcing design teams to begin leveraging tools and methodologies that typically have been used only at the leading-edge nodes for commercial applications. But as with automotive, the needs of these systems are changing quickly. In addition to strict quality, safety and sec... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Tools & IP Synopsys revealed DSO.ai (Design Space Optimization AI), an autonomous AI application that searches for optimization targets in very large solution spaces of chip design, inspired by the process of DeepMind's game-playing AlphaZero. DSO.ai engines ingest large data streams generated by chip design tools and use them to explore search spaces, observing how a design evolves over t... » read more

EDA In The Cloud


Michael White, director of product marketing for Calibre physical verification at Mentor, a Siemens Business, looks at the growing compute requirements at 7, 5 and 3nm, why the cloud looks increasingly attractive from a security and capacity standpoint, and how the cloud as well as new lithography will affect the cost and complexity of developing new chips. » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Processors Arm rolled out a micro neural processing unit that, when combined with its newest microcontroller, can increase machine learning performance by up to 480 times. The company is aiming the MCU and co-processor across a wide swath of applications. Worth noting is that Arm calls its Cortex-M55 an AI-capable processor, rather than a microcontroller, as the lines between the various proce... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Presto Engineering, an outsourced operations provider to semiconductor and IoT device manufacturers, acquired the DELTA Microelectronics business unit of FORCE Technology. The acquisition adds DELTA's ASIC design and manufacturing to its portfolio. The two companies will retain a strong relationship: FORCE Technology has become a shareholder of Presto Engineering and Juan Farré, FORCE’s CTO,... » read more

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