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Firmware Skills Shortage


Good hardware without good software is a waste of silicon, but with so many new processors and accelerator architectures being created, and so many new skills required, companies are finding it hard to hire enough engineers with low-level software expertise to satisfy the demand. Writing compilers, mappers and optimization software does not have the same level of pizazz as developing new AI ... » read more

The Problem With Benchmarks


Benchmarks long have been used to compare products, but what makes a good benchmark and who should be trusted with their creation? The answer to those questions is more difficult than it may appear on the surface, and some benchmarks are being used in surprising ways. Everyone loves a simple, clear benchmark, but that is only possible when the selection criteria are equally simple. Unfortuna... » read more

Faster Inferencing At The Edge


Cheng Wang, senior vice president of engineering at Flex Logix, talks about inferencing at the edge, what are some of the main considerations in designing and choosing an inferencing chip, why programmability and modularity are important, and how hardware-software co-design with algorithms can improve performance and power. » read more

Optimizing What Exactly?


You can't optimize something without understanding it. While we inherently understand what this means, we are often too busy implementing something to stop and think about it. Some people may not even be sure what it is that they should be optimizing and that makes it very difficult to know if you have been successful. This was a key message delivered by Professor David Patterson at the Embedde... » read more

The Cost Of Programmability


Nothing comes for free, and that is certainly true for the programmable elements in an SoC. But without them we are left with very specific devices that can only be used for one fixed application and cannot be updated. Few complex devices are created that do not have many layers of programmability, but the sizing of those capabilities is becoming more important than in the past. There are... » read more

Optimizing Hardware Faster


Maximillian Odendahl, CEO of Silexica, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about high-level synthesis and the changing role of this technology. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: What is the direction that high-level synthesis is heading in? Odendahl: The direction hasn’t changed, but in the past HLS was not usable by the software guys. The main push right n... » read more

Building Quantum Espresso With Arm Compiler


This resource topic addresses how to build Quantum Espresso with Arm Compiler for HPC. Quantum Espresso is an integrated suite of open-source computer codes for electronic-structure calculations and materials modeling at the nanoscale. It is based on density-functional theory, plane waves, and pseudopotentials. Click here to read more. » read more

RISC-V Challenges And Opportunities


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss open instruction set hardware and the future of RISC-V with Ben Levine, senior director of product management in Rambus' Security Division; Jerry Ardizzone, vice president of worldwide sales at Codasip; Megan Wachs, vice president of engineering at SiFive; and Rishiyur Nikhil, CTO of Bluespec. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. (L-... » read more

Better Benchmarks Through Compiler Optimizations: Codasip Jump Threading


The architectural efficiency of embedded processor IP is measured by a small set of industry standard benchmarks, that even though often bear little correlation to real workloads, continue to persist. The most popular benchmarks are Dhrystone and CoreMark. An interesting observation regarding these test suites is that the performance numbers continue to improve for a given architecture, even... » read more

Challenges In Using HLS For FPGA Design


High-level synthesis (HLS) tools, which transform C/C++ source code to Verilog/VHDL, have been commercially available for over 15 years. HLS tools from FPGA vendors and EDA companies promise improved productivity through a higher-level of abstraction, faster verification and quicker design iterations. For example, simulating your design in C/C++ can be 10 to 100x faster than simulating in RTL (... » read more

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