How Chips Age


Andre Lange, group manager for quality and reliability at Fraunhofer IIS’ Engineering of Adaptive Systems Division, talks about circuit aging, whether current methods of predicting reliability are accurate for chips developed at advanced process nodes, and where additional research is needed. » read more

Making 3D Structures And Packages More Reliable


The move to smaller vertical structures and complex packaging schemes is straining existing testing approaches, particularly in heterogeneous combinations on a single chip and in multi-die packages. The complexity of these devices has exploded with the slowdown in scaling, as chipmakers turn to architectural solutions and new transistor structures rather than just relying on shrinking featur... » read more

Managing Power Dynamically


Design teams are beginning to consider dynamic power management techniques as a way of pushing the limits on performance and low power, leveraging approaches that were sidelined in the past because they were considered too difficult to deploy. Dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS), in particular, has resurfaced as a useful approach. Originally intended to dynamically balance performan... » read more

Defining And Improving AI Performance


Many companies are developing AI chips, both for training and for inference. Although getting the required functionality is important, many solutions will be judged by their performance characteristics. Performance can be measured in different ways, such as number of inferences per second or per watt. These figures are dependent on a lot of factors, not just the hardware architecture. The optim... » read more

Reducing Data At The Source


Jens Döge, group manager for image acquisition and processing in Fraunhofer IIS’ Engineering of Adaptive Systems Division, talks about how to slash the amount of data that needs to be sent to the cloud or edge for processing by focusing only on the regions of interest in an image, and how that reduces the cost of moving that data. » read more

Power Complexity On The Rise


New chip architectures and custom applications are adding significant challenges to chip design and verification, and the problems are becoming much more complex as low power is added into the mix. Power always has been a consideration in design, but in the past it typically involved different power domains that were either on, off, or in some level of sleep mode. As hardware architectures s... » read more

Using Emulators For Power/Performance Tradeoffs


Emulation is becoming the tool of choice for power and performance tradeoffs, scaling to almost unlimited capacity for complex chips used in data centers, AI/ML systems and smart phones. While emulation has long been viewed as an important but expensive asset for chipmakers trying to verify and debug chips, it is now viewed as an essential component for design optimization and analysis much ... » read more

Open ISAs Gaining Traction


Open instruction set architectures are starting to gain a foothold, often in combination with other processors, as chipmakers begin to add more specialized compute elements and more flexibility into their designs. There are a number of these open ISAs available today, including Power, MIPS, and RISC-V, and there are a number of permutations and tools available for sale based on those archite... » read more

Driving With Chiplets


The first examples of the upper class of vehicles that can drive autonomously on the highway already have arrived on the market or will be introduced to the market in the coming years. Travel on the highway was selected as the first application because the number of objects that have to be taken into account in front of, next to, and behind the vehicle is manageable. This means the required ... » read more

Digital Twins Deciphered


Ever since Siemens acquired Mentor Graphics in 2016, a new phrase has become more common in the semiconductor industry – the digital twin. Exactly what that is, and what impact it will have on the semiconductor industry, is less clear. In fact, many in the industry are scratching their heads over the term. The initial reaction is that the industry has been creating what are now termed digi... » read more