Big Challenges, Changes For Debug


By Ann Steffora Mutschler & Ed Sperling Debugging a chip always has been difficult, but the problem is getting worse at 7nm and 5nm. The number of corner cases is exploding as complexity rises, and some bugs are not even on anyone's radar until well after devices are already in use by end customers. An estimated 39% of verification engineering time is spent on debugging activities the... » read more

Electromagnetic (EM) Crosstalk Analysis: Unlocking the Mystery


Ignoring electromagnetic crosstalk is highly risky and can cause significant time-to-market delays as well significant cost over runs. Most current SoC design flows fundamentally ignore inductance and EM effects, and the term “EM crosstalk analysis” may sound Greek to them. This short article provides a quick overview of the basic steps involved in doing EM crosstalk analysis as part of an ... » read more

A Simple Way To Debug IIP-Based Designs And SoCs


Design problems that appear in the late phases of the development cycle can be extremely difficult to track down and debug, thus putting project schedules at risk. This whitepaper presents the concept of debugging with “real time simulation data” using Verdi Transaction Debug Platform (protocol analyzer, waveform viewer, source code browser) and show its benefits by taking a few generic USB... » read more

SerDes Signal Integrity Challenges At 28Gbps And Beyond


After nearly fifty years, NRZ technology continues to pose significant challenges as data rates approach 56Gbps and refreshed standards mandate increased receiver sensitivity (down to 35 mV). With shorter unit intervals and closing eyes, triggering becomes ever more complex and requires enhanced receiver equalization such as continuous-time-linear equalization and decision feedback equalization... » read more

Extracting Maximum Performance From Hardware


The Arm DS-5 Streamline performance analyzer provides system performance metrics, software tracing, and statistical profiling to help engineers get the most performance from hardware and find important bottlenecks in software. The Raspberry Pi 3 is one of the easiest systems for learning Streamline, and a quad-core Cortex-A53 also makes it a good target for learning Linux development. Many o... » read more

Focus Shifts To System Quality


For the past decade, many semiconductor industry insiders predicted that software would take over the world and hardware would become commoditized. The pendulum seems to have stopped, and if anything, it is reversing course. Initial predictions were based on several advantages for software. First, software is easier to modify and patch. Second, universities turn out far more software develop... » read more

SerDes Signal Integrity Challenges At 28Gbps And Beyond


After nearly fifty years, NRZ technology continues to pose significant challenges as data rates approach 56Gbps and refreshed standards mandate increased receiver sensitivity (down to 35 mV). With shorter unit intervals and closing eyes, triggering becomes ever more complex and requires enhanced receiver equalization such as continuous-time-linear equalization and decision feedback equalization... » read more

Debug Is About To Get Really Interesting Again


One of the great unheralded chapters in the history of electronics design is debug. After all, where there have been designs, there have been bugs. And there was debug, engaged in an epic wrestling match with faults, bugs and errors to determine which would prevail. Think about system in the 1970s and '80s. A typical system would consist of a CPU, (EP)ROM, RAM, Peripherals (PIC, UART, DMA, T... » read more

Finding The Unexpected In High Performance Designs


It was growing dark as I drove a winding road on Mt. Hood, deep in the American northwest forest. The firs were thick, creating a lot of shadows and making it tough to see things clearly. Then out of the corner of my eye, I swear I saw a 10-foot “man” covered with brown fur. It looked a lot like a Wookie. But everyone knows Wookies aren’t real. It had to be Bigfoot! I slammed on th... » read more

Finding Evasive System-Level Bugs Using Memory Consistency Algorithm


Over Easter weekend in 2015 there was a jewelry heist at the safe deposit building at Hatton Gardens in London. The safe deposit vault was in the basement of a building and is used by jewelers in the area for storing large amounts of diamonds, jewelry, precious metals, and cash. The thieves made off with over $300 million in loot, making it the biggest heist in British history. For a while it l... » read more

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