The Increasingly Ordinary Task Of Verifying RISC-V


As RISC-V processor development matures and its usage in SoCs and microcontrollers grows, engineering teams are starting to look beyond the challenges of the processor core itself. So far, the majority of industry verification efforts have focused on ISA compliance to standardize the RISC-V core. Now the focus is shifting to be how to handle verification as the system grows, especially as this... » read more

FPGA Prototyping Complexity Rising


Multi-FPGA prototyping of ASIC and SoC designs allows verification teams to achieve the highest clock rates among emulation techniques, but setting up the design for prototyping is complicated and challenging. This is where machine learning and other new approaches are beginning to help. The underlying problem is that designs are becoming so large and complex that they have to be partitioned... » read more

Practical Processor Verification


Custom processors are making a resurgence, spurred on by the early success of the RISC-V ISA and the ecosystem that is rapidly building around it. But this shift is amid questions about whether processor verification has become a lost art. Years ago custom processors were common. But as the market consolidated around a handful of companies, so did the tools and expertise needed to develop th... » read more

Banking On FPGA Prototyping


Juergen Jaeger, product management director at Cadence, explains how FPGA prototyping can improve efficiency and reduce design costs, what the development costs are for various phases of the design flow, how that changes across different markets such as automotive and 5G, and why software is now the biggest knob to turn for reducing cost and time to market. » read more

Thoroughly Verifying Complex SoCs


The number of things that can go wrong in complex SoCs targeted at leading-edge applications is staggering, and there is no indication that verifying these chips will function as expected is going to get any easier. Heterogeneous designs developed for leading-edge applications, such as 5G, IoT, automotive and AI, are now complex systems in their own right. But they also need to work in conju... » read more

Debug Tools Are Improving


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss debugging complex SoCs with Randy Fish, vice president of strategic accounts and partnerships for UltraSoC; Larry Melling, product management director for Cadence; Mark Olen, senior product marketing manager for Mentor, a Siemens Business; and Dominik Strasser, vice president of engineering for OneSpin Solutions. Part one can be found here. Part two... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


M&A NXP will acquire Marvell's Wi-Fi Connectivity business in an all-cash, asset transaction valued at $1.76 billion. The deal includes the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology portfolios and related assets; the business employs approximately 550 people worldwide. The deal is expected to close by calendar Q1 2020. Tools Cadence unveiled a data center-optimized FPGA-based prototyping system, ... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


ANSYS acquired the assets of DfR Solutions, a developer of automated design reliability analysis software. Founded in 2004 and based in Maryland, DfR's tool translates ECAD and MCAE data into 3D finite element models, automates thermal derating and performs thermal and mechanical analysis of electronics earlier in the design cycle. "ANSYS brings industry-leading electronic simulation capabiliti... » read more

Accelerate SoC Simulation Time of Newer Generation FPGAs


Comprehensive verification that can be provided by HDL simulators is good, but not ideal. What is necessary is a faster, safer, and more thorough verification environment that combines the robustness of an HDL simulator with the speed of FPGA prototyping boards. The goal is to put together the power of these two verification methodologies into one platform. Read more. » read more

Partitioning Becomes More Difficult


The divide-and-conquer approach that has been the backbone of verification for decades is becoming more difficult at advanced nodes. There are more interactions from different blocks and features, more power domains, more physical effects to track, and far more complex design rules to follow. This helps explain why the number of tools required on each design—simulation, prototyping, em... » read more

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