Is Design Innovation Slowing?


Paul Teich, principal analyst for Tirias Research, gave a provocative talk at the recent DAC conference entitled, "Is Integration Leaving Less Room for Design Innovation?" The answer isn't as simple as the question might suggest. "Integration used to be a driver for increasing the functionality of silicon," Teich said. "Increasingly, it will be used to incorporate more features of an entire ... » read more

IP Business Changing As Markets Shift


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss IP protection, tracking and reuse with Srinath Anantharaman, CEO of [getentity id="22203" e_name="ClioSoft"]; and Jeff Galloway, CTO of Silicon Creations; Marc Greenberg, group director of product marketing for [getentity id="22032" e_name="Cadence"]'s IP Group; and John Koeter, vice president of marketing for [getentity id="22035" e_name="Synopsys"... » read more

Using Machine Learning In EDA


Machine learning is beginning to have an impact on the EDA tools business, cutting the cost of designs by allowing tools to suggest solutions to common problems that would take design teams weeks or even months to work through. This reduces the cost of designs. It also potentially expands the market for EDA tools, opening the door to even new design starts and more chips from more compan... » read more

CCIX Enables Machine Learning


It takes a lot of technology to enable something like machine learning, and not all of it is as glamorous as neural network architectures and algorithms. Several levels below that is the actual hardware on which these run, and that brings us into the even less sexy world of interfaces. One such interface, the Cache Coherent Interconnect for Accelerators (CCIX), pronounced C6, aims to make th... » read more

Improving VHDL


For the past several years, I have had the privilege to chair the IEEE 1076 VHDL working group. In March, we handed off the revisions to the VHDL LRM to our technical editor to finalize the document for balloting. As we are waiting for the standards process to finish up, I thought I would share my favorite new additions. Let me start with an executive summary: VHDL-2017 plus Open Source VHDL... » read more

Machine Learning Popularity Grows


Machine learning and deep learning are showing a sharp growth trajectory in many industries. Even the semiconductor industry, which generally has resisted this technology, is starting to changing its tune. Both [getkc id="305" kc_name="machine learning"] (ML) and deep learning (DL) have been successfully used for image recognition in autonomous driving, speech recognition in natural langua... » read more

The Future Of MEMS Design: Making MEMS Design More Like CMOS Design


MEMS-based component suppliers want to rapidly ramp their designs into high-volume production. This demand is driving MEMS suppliers to focus on ways to more efficiently re-use established process steps, stacks or technology platforms. To meet this need, we see the emergence of standard MEMS technology and design platforms similar to those used in CMOS design. The semiconductor industry and ... » read more

Dealing With System-Level Power


Analyzing and managing power at the system level is becoming more difficult and more important—and slow to catch on. There are several reasons for this. First, design automation tools have lagged behind an understanding of what needs to be done. Second, modeling languages and standards are still in flux, and what exists today is considered inadequate. And third, while system-level power ha... » read more

Transistor Aging Intensifies At 10/7nm And Below


Transistor aging and reliability are becoming much more troublesome for design teams at 10nm and below. Concepts like ‘infant mortality’ and 'bathtub curves' are not new to semiconductor design, but they largely dropped out of sight as methodologies and EDA tools improved. To get past infant mortality, a burn-in process would be done, particularly for memories. And for reliability, which... » read more

Is The IP Industry Healthy?


The semiconductor industry has been through many changes, each designed to reduce the total cost associated with the design and manufacture of chips. Twenty years ago, most companies had their own fabs and designed all of the circuitry on each chip. Today, only a handful of companies still own a fab and outsourcing design, in the form of intellectual property ([getkc id="43" kc_name="IP"]), has... » read more

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