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Firmware Skills Shortage


Good hardware without good software is a waste of silicon, but with so many new processors and accelerator architectures being created, and so many new skills required, companies are finding it hard to hire enough engineers with low-level software expertise to satisfy the demand. Writing compilers, mappers and optimization software does not have the same level of pizazz as developing new AI ... » read more

Custom Designs, Custom Problems


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss power optimization with Oliver King, CTO at Moortec; João Geada, chief technologist at Ansys; Dino Toffolon, senior vice president of engineering at Synopsys; Bryan Bowyer, director of engineering at Mentor, a Siemens Business; Kiran Burli, senior director of marketing for Arm's Physical Design Group; Kam Kittrell, senior product management group d... » read more

DDR PHY Training


Brett Murdock, senior product marketing manager at Synopsys, explains how to train the DRAM physical layer using firmware, why that is so important for flexibility, and what kinds of issues engineers encounter when using this approach. » read more

Heterogeneous Design Creating Havoc With Firmware Versions


Adding different kinds of processing elements into chips is creating system-level incompatibilities because of sometimes necessary, but usually uncoordinated, firmware updates from multiple vendors. In the past, firmware typically was synchronized with other firmware and the chip was verified and debugged. But this becomes much more difficult when multiple heterogeneous processing elements a... » read more

Accelerate SSD Software Development And System Validation


The amount of data coming at us or that we produce ourselves in our daily lives continues to grow exponentially. It’s become the norm to stream movies and TV series from Netflix, as well as upload our own videos on YouTube. On top of this, a major shift in automotive (ADAS, autonomous driving) and surveillance are boosting the amount of data exchange that is happening every second. With th... » read more

Building Security Into RISC-V Systems


Semiconductor Engineering sat down with Helena Handschuh, a Rambus fellow; Richard Newell, senior principal product architect at Microsemi, a Microchip Company; and Joseph Kiniry, principal scientist at Galois. Part one is here. (This is the second of two parts.) L-R: Joseph Kiniry, Helena Handschuh, Richard Newell. SE: Some of the new applications for hardware designs are tied to AI, d... » read more

How Virtual Emulation Gives The Storage Market A Leg Up


By Ben Whitehead and Paul Morrison The storage market demands that huge amounts of data and information be stored securely and be accessible anywhere and anytime, driving the adoption of key technologies and use models. According to GSMAintelligence.com, newly created digital data is doubling every two years. This means increasing amounts of storage must be available at the same pace. A... » read more

What’s Next For IoT Security?


By Ed Sperling & Jeff Dorsch With security, the little things can cause as much of a problem as the big things. As shown in the recent distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) on Dyn, which created waves of attacks using Mirai malware, connected devices of all sizes can be amassed into an army of bots that can bring even giants like Amazon and Netflix to a dead stop. This attack was ... » read more

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: It Will Be On Your Phone


The advent of smart devices has ushered in a revolution all over the world. The most widely used smart device is the mobile phone, which has radically changed the way we communicate. There are many other types of devices running 24/7 in our homes, hospitals, businesses, etc. No matter what kind of functionality smart devices have, they have one thing in common: they all consume energy. They ... » read more

How Firm Is Firmware?


By Frank Schirrmeister When blogging recently about Xilinx’s presentation at the Cadence DAC 2012 EDA360 theater, which was given by Dave Beal, I ran across the diagram he had used to outline the “development stack” from hardware to software. Dave had described a virtual prototype to the audience as a functional model that recreates the WHAT rather than the HOW, duplicating the result ... » read more

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