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

Pushing AI Into The Mainstream


Artificial intelligence is emerging as the driving force behind many advancements in technology, even though the industry has merely scratched the surface of what may be possible. But how deeply AI penetrates different market segments and technologies, and how quickly it pushes into the mainstream, depend on a variety of issues that still must be resolved. In addition to a plethora of techni... » read more

Process Variation And Aging


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss design reliability and circuit aging with João Geada, chief technologist for the semiconductor business unit at ANSYS; Hany Elhak, product management director, simulation and characterization in the custom IC and PCB group at Cadence; Christoph Sohrmann, advanced physical verification at Fraunhofer EAS; and Naseer Khan, vice president of sales at M... » read more

AI Market Ramps Everywhere


Artificial Intelligence (AI) has inspired the general populace, but its rapid rise over the past few years has given many people pause. From realistic concerns about robots taking over jobs to sci-fi scares about robots more intelligent than humans building ever smarter robots themselves, AI inspires plenty of angst. Within the technology industry, we have a better understanding about the pote... » read more

Designing For Ultra-Low-Power IoT Devices


Optimizing designs for power is becoming the top design challenge in battery-driven IoT devices, boxed in by a combination of requirements such as low cost, minimum performance and functionality, as well as the need for at least some of the circuits to be always on. Power optimization is growing even more complicated as AI inferencing moves from the data center to the edge. Even simple sens... » read more

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