The Week In Review: Design


M&A Design services firm Synapse Design acquired the assets of ACEIC Design Technologies, including the engineering team and verification IP. ACEIC, which was based in Bangalore, primarily focused on verification services for wireless 802.11ac MAC IP. This is only the latest expansion move from Synapse. Earlier this year, the company acquired the services companies Tech Vulcan in San Diego... » read more

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

The Week In Review: Design


Tools Imperas debuted its RISC-V Processor Developer Suite, a set of models, a software simulator, and tools to validate, verify, and provide early estimation of timing performance and power consumption for RISC-V processors. IP Minima Processor revealed its dynamic-margining subsystem IP for near-threshold voltage design. The startup's hardware and software IP works with a CPU or DSP proc... » read more

Advanced ASICs: It Takes An Ecosystem


I remember the days of the IDM (integrated device manufacturer). For me, it was RCA, where I worked for 15 years as the company changed from RCA to GE and then ultimately to Harris Semiconductor. It’s a bit of a cliché, but life was simpler then, from a customer point of view at least. RCA did it all. We designed all the IP, did the physical design, owned fabs, assembly and test facilities a... » read more

New Drivers For I/O


Interface standards are on a tear, and new markets are pushing the standards in several directions at the same time. The result could be a lot more innovation and some updates in areas that looked to be well established. Traditionally, this has been a sleepy and predictable part of the industry with standards bodies producing updates to their interfaces at a reasonable rate. Getting data int... » read more

Chiplets Gaining Steam


Building chips from pre-verified chiplets is beginning to gain traction as a way of cutting costs and reducing time to market for heterogeneous designs. The chiplet concept has been on the drawing board for some time, but it has been viewed more as a possible future direction than a necessary solution. That perception is beginning to change as complexity rises, particularly at advanced nodes... » read more

Tech Talk: Pseudo SRAM


eSilicon's Kar Yee Tang explains how to improve performance at 10/7nm without affecting power and area. https://youtu.be/4LI1pBLxxS4 » read more

The Week In Review: Design


M&A Synopsys acquired Sidense, a provider of antifuse one-time programmable (OTP) non-volatile memory (NVM) for standard-logic CMOS processes. Sidense was founded in 2004 in Canada. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. ArterisIP acquired the software and intellectual property rights of iNoCs, a provider of network-on-chip IP and design tools. Founded in 2007, the Swiss company was spun... » read more

Toward System-Level Test


The push toward more complex integration in chips, advanced packaging, and the use of those chips for new applications is turning the test world upside down. Most people think of test as a single operation that is performed during manufacturing. In reality it is a portfolio of separate operations, and the number of tests required is growing as designs become more heterogeneous and as they ar... » read more

Starting Point Is Changing For Designs


The starting point for semiconductor designs is shifting. What used to be a fairly straightforward exercise of choosing a processor based on power or performance, followed by how much on-chip versus off-chip memory is required, has become much more complicated. This is partly due to an emphasis on application-specific hardware and software solutions for markets that either never existed befo... » read more

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