What Makes A Chip Design Successful Today?


"Transistors are free" was the rallying cry of the semiconductor industry during the 1990s and early 2000s. That is no longer true. The end of Dennard scaling made the simultaneous use of all the transistors troublesome, but transistors remained effectively unlimited. This led to an era where large amounts of flexibility could be built into a chip. It didn't matter if all of it was being use... » read more

Collaborative IC Design Mandates Integrated Data Management


Due to complexity and multi-domain expertise, custom IC design typically requires a team to successfully design and verify the project. Often, specific blocks are assigned to team members based on analog, digital, MEMS, RF expertise, across multiple geographies, and separate verification team members focus on block and system validation. This means that unstructured design files with multiple c... » read more

IP Tracking and Management


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss IP tracking and management with Ranjit Adhikary, VP of marketing for ClioSoft; Jim Bruister, director digital systems (since retired) at Silvaco; Marc Greenberg, product marketing group director at Cadence; and Kelvin Low, VP of Marketing at Arm. What follows are excerpts from that conversation. SE: What is the scope of the problem? What are ... » read more

Getting Down To Business On Chiplets


Government agencies, industry groups and individual companies are beginning to rally around various chiplet models, setting the stage for complex chips that are quicker and cheaper to build using standardized interfaces and components. The idea of putting together different modules like LEGOs has been talked about for the better part of a decade. So far, only Marvell has used this concept co... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Cadence taped out a complete GDDR6 memory IP solution consisting of PHY, controller and Verification IP on Samsung's 7LPP process. The GDDR6 IP allows up to 16Gb/sec bandwidth per pin, or over 500Gb/sec peak bandwidth between the SoC and each GDDR6 memory die. It is targeted at very high-bandwidth applications including AI, cryptocurrency mining, graphics, ADAS and HPC. ClioSoft debuted a So... » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Internet of Things Gartner identified what it says are the top 10 strategic Internet of Things technologies and trends. Number one, no surprise, is artificial intelligence. Nick Jones, research vice president at Gartner, said in a statement, “AI will be applied to a wide range of IoT information, including video, still images, speech, network traffic activity, and sensor data.” Other top t... » read more

How To Improve Analog Design Reuse


Digital circuit design is largely automated today, but most analog components still are designed manually. This may change soon. As analog design grows increasingly complex and error-prone, design teams and tool vendors are focusing on how to automate as much of the design of analog circuits as possible. Analog design is notoriously difficult and varied. It can include anything from power ma... » read more

It’s Time For Companies To Embrace IP Management


Everything is a rat race these days. You can see everyone scurrying around trying to be ahead of everyone else. It is the same wherever you look, be it at schools, at work, at the grocery store, on the roads. Semiconductor companies – big and small alike – are more intent than ever on trying to be the first to get their SoCs into the market. Some are bound by cultures and traditions on ... » read more

Testing Millimeter Wave for 5G


By Susan Rambo and Ed Sperling The telecommunications world is hurtling toward 5G, but there is no consistency about how this next-gen wireless technology will be rolled out across various regions and plenty of unknowns about how it will be tested and how reliable it will be initially. A fair amount of confusion exists around what 5G constitutes in the first place. There is sub-6GHz 5G, w... » read more

Effectively Managing Maintenance Cost For Low-Touch IPs


Semiconductor design houses are in a race to differentiate themselves by integrating and delivering more functionality in their SoCs while addressing the common concerns of power, performance and cost. This global race has led to a steep rise in the number of design IPs integrated in any given SoC. As generations of SoCs are churned out, some of the design IPs repeatedly used in them reach a... » read more

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