On-Chip Clock And Process Monitoring Using STAR Hierarchical System’s Measurement Unit


Functional safety is one of the most critical priorities for system-on-chips (SoCs) that are involved in automotive, aerospace and industrial applications. These requirements are driven by standards such as ISO 26262 and are the backbone of the design and testing of automotive ICs. Synopsys’ STAR Hierarchical System’s Measurement Unit helps ensure the accuracy of on-chip clock frequency and... » read more

Variation Spreads At 10/7nm


Variation between different manufacturing equipment is becoming increasingly troublesome as chipmakers push to 10/7nm and beyond. Process variation is a well-known phenomenon at advanced nodes. But some of that is actually due to variations in equipment—sometimes the exact same model from the same vendor. Normally this would fall well below the radar of the semiconductor industry. But as t... » read more

Lots Of Little Knobs For Power


Dynamic power is becoming a much bigger worry at new nodes as more finFETs are packed on a die and wires shrink to the point where resistance and capacitance become first-order effects. Chipmakers began seeing dynamic power density issues with the first generation of [getkc id="185" kc_name="finFETs"]. While the 3D transistor structures reduced leakage current by providing better gate contro... » read more

Mixed Messages For Mixed-Signal


There is no such thing as a purely digital design at advanced nodes today. Even designs that have no [getkc id="37" kc_name="analog"] content are likely relying on [getkc id="38" kc_name="mixed-signal"] components such as SerDes for communications, or voltage regulators for adaptive power control. But the days of purposely attempting to integrate everything including analog and RF onto a single... » read more

New Power Concerns At 10/7nm


As chip sizes and complexity continues to grow exponentially at 7nm and below, managing power is becoming much more difficult. There are a number of factors that come into play at advanced nodes, including more and different types of processors, more chip-package decisions, and more susceptibility to noise of all sorts due to thinner insulation layers and wires. The result is that engineers ... » read more

Noise Abatement


[getkc id="285" kc_name="Noise"] is a fact of life. Almost everything we do creates noise as a by-product and quite often what is a signal to one party is noise to another. Noise cannot be eliminated. It must be managed. But is noise becoming a larger issue in chips as the technology nodes get smaller and packaging becomes more complex? For some, the answer is a very strong yes, while for ot... » read more

Talking The Talk On Training


In my prior post, I discussed the value of good design flow training. A properly executed program can turn average engineers into above average problem solvers with the right tools and techniques. We got to thinking about this opportunity quite seriously at eSilicon. Is there a way to develop a focused, intense training program to create a new “army” of elite designers? In short, we thin... » read more

Tech Talk: 7nm Thermal Effects


ANSYS' Karthik Srinivasan talks about the effect of heat on reliability at advanced process nodes, including self-heating, circuit aging, and how that will affect automotive electronics. https://youtu.be/SS6iAXp0Kn8   Related Tech Talk: 7nm Power Dealing with thermal effects, electromigration and other issues at the most advanced nodes. » read more

Why Fabs Worry About Tool Parts


Achieving high yields with acceptable costs is becoming much more difficult as chipmakers migrate to next-generation 3D NAND and finFET devices—but not just because of rising complexity or lithography issues. To fabricate an advanced logic chip, for example, a wafer moves from one piece of equipment to another in what amounts to 1,000 process steps or more in a fab. Any glitch with the equ... » read more

How Reliable Are FinFETs?


Stringent safety requirements in the automotive and industrial sectors are forcing chipmakers to re-examine a number of factors that can impact reliability over the lifespan of a device. Many of these concerns are not new. Electrical overstress (EOS), electrostatic discharge (ESD) and [getkc id="160" kc_name="electromigration"] (EM) are well understood, and have been addressed by EDA tools f... » read more

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