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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

Nvidia To Buy Arm For $40B


Nvidia inked a deal with Softbank to buy Arm for $40 billion, combining the No. 1 AI/ML GPU maker with the No. 1 processor IP company. Assuming the deal wins regulatory approval, the combination of these two companies will create a powerhouse in the AI/ML world. Nvidia's GPUs are the go-to platform for training algorithms, while Arm has a broad portfolio of AI/ML processor cores. Arm also ha... » read more

New Architectures, Much Faster Chips


The chip industry is making progress in multiple physical dimensions and with multiple architectural approaches, setting the stage for huge performance increases based on more modular and heterogeneous designs, new advanced packaging options, and continued scaling of digital logic for at least a couple more process nodes. A number of these changes have been discussed in recent conferences. I... » read more

The Challenge Of Keeping AI Systems Current


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss AI and its move to the edge with Steven Woo, vice president of enterprise solutions technology and distinguished inventor at Rambus; Kris Ardis, executive director at Maxim Integrated; Steve Roddy, vice president of Arm's Products Learning Group; and Vinay Mehta, inference technical marketing manager at Flex Logix. What follows are excerpts of that ... » read more

Power Impact At The Physical Layer Causes Downstream Effects


Data movement is rapidly emerging as one of the top design challenges, and it is being complicated by new chip architectures and physical effects caused by increasing density at advanced nodes and in multi-chip systems. Until the introduction of the latest revs of high-bandwidth memory, as well as GDDR6, memory was considered the next big bottleneck. But other compute bottlenecks have been e... » read more

Tracking Automotive’s Rapidly Shifting Ecosystem


The automotive ecosystem is becoming much harder to navigate as automakers, Tier 1s and IP vendors redefine their relationships based upon shifting value caused by an rapidly expanding amount of increasingly interdependent and complex electronic content. Predictions of massive change started almost a decade ago with a number of pilot programs around autonomous vehicles. But those shifts real... » read more

Why It’s So Hard To Create New Processors


The introduction, and initial success, of the RISC-V processor ISA has reignited interest in the design of custom processors, but the industry is now grappling with how to verify them. The expertise and tools that were once in the market have been consolidated into the hands of the few companies that have been shipping processor chips or IP cores over the past 20 years. Verification of a pro... » read more

Software-Defined Hardware Gains Ground — Again


The traditional approach of running generic software on x86-based CPUs is running out of steam for many applications due to the slowdown of Moore’s Law and the concurrent exponential growth in software application complexity and scale. In this environment, the software and hardware are disparate due the dominance of the x86 architecture. “The need for and advent of the hardware accelerat... » read more

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