Von Neumann Is Struggling


In an era dominated by machine learning, the von Neumann architecture is struggling to stay relevant. The world has changed from being control-centric to one that is data-centric, pushing processor architectures to evolve. Venture money is flooding into domain-specific architectures (DSA), but traditional processors also are evolving. For many markets, they continue to provide an effective s... » read more

Powering The Edge: Driving Optimal Performance With Ethos-N77 Processor


Repurposing a CPU, GPU, or DSP is an easy way to add ML capabilities to an edge device. However, where responsiveness or power efficiency is critical, a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU) may be the best solution. In this paper, we describe how the Arm Ethos-N77 NPU delivers optimal performance. Click here to immediately download the paper. » read more

Versal: The First Adaptive Compute Acceleration Platform (ACAP)


Recent technical challenges have forced the industry to explore options beyond the conventional “one size fits all” CPU scalar processing solution. Very large vector processing (DSP, GPU) solves some problems, but it runs into traditional scaling challenges due to inflexible, inefficient memory bandwidth usage. Traditional FPGA solutions provide programmable memory hierarchy, but the tradit... » read more

The Next Phase Of Computing


Apple's new M1 chip offers a glimpse of what's ahead, and not just from Apple. Being able to get 18 to 20 hours of battery life from a laptop computer moves the ball much farther down the field in semiconductor design. All of this is entirely dependent on the applications, of course. But what's important here is how much battery life and performance can be gained by designing hardware specif... » read more

Designs Beyond The Reticle Limit


Designs continue to grow in size and complexity, but today they are reaching both physical and economic challenges. These challenges are causing a reversal of the integration trend that has provided much of the performance and power gains over the past couple of decades. The industry, far from giving up, is exploring new ways to enable designs to go beyond the reticle size, which is around 8... » read more

System-Level Packaging Tradeoffs


Leading-edge applications such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, automotive, and 5G, all require high bandwidth, higher performance, lower power and lower latency. They also need to do this for the same or less money. The solution may be disaggregating the SoC onto multiple die in a package, bringing memory closer to processing elements and delivering faster turnaround time. But ... » read more

Deals That Change The Chip Industry


Nvidia's pending $40 billion acquisition of Arm is expected to have a big impact on the chip world, but it will take years before the effects of this deal are fully understood. More such deals are expected over the next couple of years due to several factors — there is a fresh supply of startups with innovative technology, interest rates are low, and market caps and stock prices of buyers ... » read more

Have Processor Counts Stalled?


Survey data suggests that additional microprocessor cores are not being added into SoCs, but you have to dig into the numbers to find out what is really going on. The reasons are complicated. They include everything from software programming models to market shifts and new use cases. So while the survey numbers appear to be flat, market and technology dynamics could have a big impact in resh... » read more

Productivity Keeping Pace With Complexity


Designs have become larger and more complex and yet design time has shortened, but team sizes remain essentially flat. Does this show that productivity is keeping pace with complexity for everyone? The answer appears to be yes, at least for now, for a multitude of reasons. More design and IP reuse is using more and larger IP blocks and subsystems. In addition, the tools are improving, and mo... » read more

Custom Designs, Custom Problems


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss power optimization with Oliver King, CTO at Moortec; João Geada, chief technologist at Ansys; Dino Toffolon, senior vice president of engineering at Synopsys; Bryan Bowyer, director of engineering at Mentor, a Siemens Business; Kiran Burli, senior director of marketing for Arm's Physical Design Group; Kam Kittrell, senior product management group d... » read more

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