The Week In Review: Design


Storage Western Digital uncorked disk drives based upon microwave-assisted magnetic recording technology. MAMR technology is one of two energy-assisted technologies the company has under development, the other being heat-assisted magnetic recording. Of the two, Western Digital said only MAMR has achieved the reliability required in data centers. The company noted that densities of its MAMR dev... » read more

Trimming Waste In Chips


Extra circuitry costs money, reduces performance and increases power consumption. But how much can really be trimmed? When people are asked that question they either get defensive or they see it as an opportunity to show the advantages of their architecture, design process or IP. The same holds true for IP suppliers. Others point out that the whole concept of waste is somewhat strange, becau... » 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

The Week In Review: Design


Tools Cadence unveiled an integrated memory design and verification tool, with environments for bitcell design, array and complier verification, and memory characterization. It utilizes existing simulation databases for multi-corner and Monte Carlo analysis, which the company says can lead to a 2X runtime improvement. Solido Design Automation uncorked PVTMC Verifier, which uses machine lear... » read more

A Chip For All Seasons


FPGAs are showing up in more designs and in more markets, and as they get included in more systems they are becoming much more complex. A decade ago, the key markets for [gettech id="31071" t_name="FPGAs"] were industrial, medical, automotive and aerospace. Those markets remain strong, but FPGAs also are playing a role in artificial intelligence, data centers, the [getkc id="76" kc_name="... » read more

The Limits Of IP Reuse


The basic business proposition for third-party IP is that it's cheaper, faster, and less problematic to buy rather than build. But things haven't exactly worked out according to plan, either for companies that license IP or those that develop it. For [getkc id="43" kc_name="IP"] licensees, just keeping track of an endless series of updates is becoming unwieldy. Complex designs often include ... » read more

IP Challenges Ahead


The revenue from semiconductor [getkc id="43" kc_name="IP"] has risen steadily to become the largest segment of the EDA industry. Industry forecasts expect it to keep growing at a CAGR of more than 10% for the next decade. Part one of this article examined the possibility those forecasts are wrong and that large semiconductor companies are likely to start bringing IP development back in hous... » read more

The Secret Life Of Accelerators


Accelerator chips increasingly are providing the performance boost that device scaling once provided, changing basic assumptions about how data moves within an electronic system and where it should be processed. To the outside world, little appears to have changed. But beneath the glossy exterior, and almost always hidden from view, accelerator chips are becoming an integral part of most des... » 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

Hardware/Software Tipping Point


It doesn't matter if you believe [getkc id="74" comment="Moore's Law"] has ended or is just slowing down. It is becoming very clear that design in the future will be significant different than it is today. Moore's law allowed the semiconductor industry to reuse design blocks from previous designs, and these were helped along by a new technology node—even if it was a sub-optimal solution. I... » read more

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