System-Aware Full-Chip Power Integrity And Reliability

At the core of every electronics system is a chip that has to meet multiple conflicting requirements such as increased functionality, best power efficiency, highest reliability, lowest design cost and short design schedule. Meeting these requirements poses a major challenge, especially for systems on chip (SoCs) that are designed using advanced processes. Ensuring that the SoCs meet power an... » read more

Stacked Die, Phase Two

The initial hype phase of [getkc id="82" kc_name="2.5D"] appears to be over. There are multiple offerings in development or on the market already from Xilinx, Altera, Cisco, Huawei, IBM, AMD, all focused on better throughput over shorter distances with better yield and lower power. Even Intel has jumped on the bandwagon, saying that 2.5D will be essential for extending [getkc id="74" comment="M... » read more

Optimizing Analog For Power At Advanced Nodes

As any engineering manager will tell you, analog and digital engineers seem like they could be from different planets. While this has changed somewhat over time, [getkc id="52" comment="analog"] is still something of a mystery to many in [getkc id="81" kc_name="SoC"] design teams. Throw power management into the mix and things really get interesting. Improvements in analog/mixed-signal tools... » read more

FinFET Based Designs: Reliability Verification Implications

Over the past few months, I’ve discussed various challenges associated with finFET-based designs. We all know that finFET devices enable design teams to operate their chips at significantly lower supply voltages with a very tight control on leakage current. But to control the overall power within a tight power budget, the challenge shifts to how the logic design is managed such that the overa... » read more

FinFET Based Designs: Power Analysis Considerations

Design teams working on mobile, computing, networking and other low power, high performance IPs and SoCs are migrating to FinFET-based technologies. However the benefits from their smaller sizes and the ability to deliver consistent performance at ultra-low sub-1V nominal supply voltage levels is outweighed by the worsening of power noise and reliability. As mentioned in an earlier blog on Powe... » read more

How Much Will That Chip Cost?

From the most advanced process nodes to the trailing edge of design there is talk about the skyrocketing cost of developing increasingly complex SoCs. At 16/14nm it’s a combination of multi-patterning, multiple power domains and factoring in physical and proximity effects. At older nodes, it’s the shift to more sophisticated versions of the processes and new tools to work within those proce... » read more

ESD Signoff No Longer A “Nice to Have” In FinFET Design Era

As the semiconductor industry transitions to finFETs, reliability challenges are increasing. ESD designers are challenged with new issues that would require significant rethinking and redesign of their existing ESD protection strategy. With significant complexity embedded in the silicon, failure analysis and silicon debug is challenging and time consuming even to the ESD experts. Technology ... » read more

Full-Chip IC ESD Integrity

ESD or electro-static discharge induced field failures for integrated circuits (IC) has always been an challenge. Literature survey indicates that as high as 35% of total chip field failures are ESD related. Several trends in the IC industry are exacerbating the impact of ESD induced failures: (a) move towards advanced processing technologies with shrinking geometries, (b) push for higher... » read more

Paving The Way To 16/14nm

The move to the next stop on the Moore’s Law road map isn’t getting any less expensive or easier, but it is becoming more predictable. Tools and programs are being expanded to address physical effects such as electrostatic discharge (ESD), electromigration and thermal effects from increased current density. Any or all of these three checklist items can affect the reliability of a chip. A... » read more

The Week In Review: July 12

By Ed Sperling Cadence rolled a new version of its layout suite of tools for electrically aware designs, allowing design teams to check on electrical issues while the layout is being done. The company says this can reduce circuit design time by up to 30%, in addition to optimizing for performance and area. Cadence also announced a deal with Global Unichip, which successfully taped out a 20nm ... » read more

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