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Design For Reliability


Circuit aging is emerging as a mandatory design concern across a swath of end markets, particularly in markets where advanced-node chips are expected to last for more than a few years. Some chipmakers view this as a competitive opportunity, but others are unsure we fully understand how those devices will age. Aging is the latest in a long list of issues being pushed further left in the desig... » read more

Designing Low Energy Chips And Systems


Energy optimization is beginning to shift left as design teams begin examining new ways to boost the performance of devices without impacting battery life or ratcheting up electricity costs. Unlike power optimization, where a skilled engineering team may reduce power by 1% to 5%, energy efficiency may be able to cut effective power in half. But those gains require a significant rethinking of... » read more

Is DVFS Worth The Effort?


Almost all designs have become power-aware and are being forced to consider every power saving technique, but not all of them are yielding the expected results. Moreover, they can add significant complexity into designs, increasing the time it takes to get to tapeout and boosting up the cost. Dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS) is one such power and energy saving technique now being... » read more

Managing Power Dynamically


Design teams are beginning to consider dynamic power management techniques as a way of pushing the limits on performance and low power, leveraging approaches that were sidelined in the past because they were considered too difficult to deploy. Dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS), in particular, has resurfaced as a useful approach. Originally intended to dynamically balance performan... » read more

Variation In Low-Power FinFET Designs


One of the biggest advantages of moving to the a leading edge process node is ultra-low voltage operation, where devices can achieve better performance using less power. But the latest generation process nodes also introduce a number of new challenges due to increased variation that can affect everything from signal integrity to manufacturing yield. While variation is generally well understo... » read more

What Happened To UPF?


Two years ago there was a lot of excitement, both within the industry and the standards communities, about rapid advancements that were being made around low-power design, languages and methodologies. Since then, everything has gone quiet. What happened? At the time, it was reported that the [gettech id="31043" comment="IEEE 1801"] committee was the largest active committee within the IEEE. ... » read more

New Thermal Issues Emerge


Thermal monitoring is becoming more critical as gate density continues to increase at each new node and as chips are developed for safety critical markets such as automotive. This may sound counterintuitive because the whole point of device scaling is to increase gate density. But at 10/7 and 7/5nm, static current leakage is becoming a bigger issue, raising questions about how long [getkc id... » read more

Powerful New Standard


In December 2015, the IEEE released the latest version of the 1801 specification, titled the IEEE standard for design and verification of low-power integrated circuits, but most people know it as UPF or the Unified Power Format. The standard provides a way to specify the power intent associated with a design. With it, a designer can define the various power states of the design and the contexts... » read more

Talk Fast And Stop


Power management. If you’re responsible for the design of low-power, energy-efficient electronic systems and SoCs, you need to have a power management strategy and you need to know as soon as possible if it will meet the demands of your product and its target applications. For example, dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS) is a power management strategy that adjusts the frequency an... » read more

One Flow To Rule Them All


The new mantra of shift left within EDA is nothing new and first made an appearance more than a decade ago. At that time there was a very large divide between logic synthesis and place and route. As wire delays became more important, timing closure became increasingly difficult with a logic synthesis flow that did not take that into account. The tools subsequently became tied much closer togeth... » read more

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