3D Power Delivery


Getting power into and around a chip is becoming a lot more difficult due to increasing power density, but 2.5D and 3D integration are pushing those problems to whole new levels. The problems may even be worse with new packaging approaches, such as chiplets, because they constrain how problems can be analyzed and solved. Add to that list issues around new fabrication technologies and an emph... » read more

Trading Off Power And Performance Earlier In Designs


Optimizing performance, power and reliability in consumer electronics is an engineering feat that involves a series of tradeoffs based on gathering as much data about the use cases in which a design will operate. Approaches vary widely by market, by domain expertise, and by the established methodologies and perspective of the design teams. As a result, one team may opt for a leading-edge des... » read more

Determining Where Power Analysis Matters Most


How much accuracy is required in every stage of power analysis is becoming a subject of debate, as engineering teams wrestle with a mix of new architectures, different use cases and increasing pressure to get designs out on time. The question isn't whether power is a critical factor in designs anymore. That is a given. It is now about the most efficient way to tackle those issues, as well as... » read more

Hardware-Software Co-Design Reappears


The core concepts in hardware-software co-design are getting another look, nearly two decades after this approach was first introduced and failed to catch on. What's different this time around is the growing complexity and an emphasis on architectural improvements, as well as device scaling, particularly for AI/ML applications. Software is a critical component, and the more tightly integrate... » read more

Low-Power Design Becomes Even More Complex


Throughout the SoC design flow, there has been a tremendous amount of research done to ease the pain of managing a long list of power-related issues. And while headway has been made, the addition of new application areas such as AI/ML/DL, automotive and IoT has raised as many new problems as have been solved. The challenges are particularly acute at leading-edge nodes where devices are power... » read more

From Constraints to Tape-Out: Towards A Continuous AMS Design Flow


The effort in designing analog/mixed-signal (AMS) integrated circuits is characterized by the largely manual work involved in the design of analog cells and their integration into the overall circuit. This inequality in effort between analog and digital cells increases with the use of modern, more complex technology nodes. To mitigate this problem, this paper presents four methods to improve ex... » read more

From Constraints To Tape-Out: Towards A Continuous AMS Design Flow


The effort in designing analog/mixed-signal (AMS) integrated circuits is characterized by the largely manual work involved in the design of analog cells and their integration into the overall circuit. This inequality in effort between analog and digital cells increases with the use of modern, more complex technology nodes. To mitigate this problem, this paper presents four methods to improve ex... » read more

Optimization Challenges For Safety And Security


Complexity challenges long-held assumptions. In the past, the semiconductor industry thought it understood performance/area tradeoffs, but over time it became clear this is not so simple. Measuring performance is no longer an absolute. Power has many dimensions including peak, average, total energy and heat, and power and function are tied together. Design teams are now dealing with the impl... » read more

Toward Consistent Circuit-Level Aging Simulations In Different EDA Environments


Aging simulations on circuit level allow integrated circuit (IC) designers to verify their circuits with respect to lifetime reliability requirements by considering the degradation of field effect transistors (FETs). To obtain significant analysis results with a reasonable effort, two prerequisites have to be fulfilled. First, reasonable models for FET degradation effects have to be set up. Sec... » read more

Why Analog Designs Fail


The gap between analog and digital reliability is growing, and digital designs appear to be winning. Reports show that analog content causes the most test failures and contributes significantly more than digital to field returns. The causes aren't always obvious, though. Some of it is due to the maturity of analog design and verification. While great strides have been made in digital circuit... » read more

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