Reducing Power In Data Centers


The rollout of generative AI, coupled with more data in general, is requiring data centers to run servers harder and longer. That, in turn, is generating more heat and accelerating aging, and to ensure these systems continue working over their projected lifetimes, chipmakers are building extra margin into chips. That increases the amount of energy required to run and cool them, and it can short... » read more

Battling Over Shrinking Physical Margin In Chips


Smaller process nodes, coupled with a continual quest to add more features into designs, are forcing chipmakers and systems companies to choose which design and manufacturing groups have access to a shrinking pool of technology margin. In the past margin largely was split between the foundries, which imposed highly restrictive design rules (RDRs) to compensate for uncertainties in new proces... » read more

Mitigating Voltage Droop


Voltage droop, also known as IR drop, is a phenomenon that occurs when the current in the power delivery network abruptly changes due to workload fluctuations. This can lead to supply voltage drops across system-on-chips (SoCs) which can cause severe performance degradation, limit their energy efficiency, and in extreme cases can cause catastrophic timing failures. To avoid these issues, conven... » read more

Taming Corner Explosion In Complex Chips


There is a tenuous balance between the number of corners a design team must consider, the cost of analysis, and the margins they insert to deal with them, but that tradeoff is becoming a lot more difficult. If too many corners of a chip are explored, it might never see production. If not enough corners are explored, it could reduce yield. And if too much margin is added, the device may not be c... » read more

Cutting Clock Costs On The Bleeding Edge Of Process Nodes


In a recent study done by McKinsey and IDC, we see that physical design and verification costs are increasing exponentially with shrinking transistor sizes. As figure 1 shows, physical design (PD) and pre-silicon verification costs are doubling each process leap. As companies leap from node to leading node, a natural question arises. Why is it becoming harder and more expensive to tapeout a chi... » read more

Customization, Heterogenous Integration, And Brute Force Verification


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss why new approaches are required for heterogeneous designs, with Bari Biswas, senior vice president for the Silicon Realization Group at Synopsys; John Lee, general manager and vice president of the Ansys Semiconductor business unit; Michael Jackson, corporate vice president for R&D at Cadence; Prashant Varshney, head of product for Microsoft Azu... » read more

Unknowns Driving Up The Cost Of Auto IC Reliability


Automotive chipmakers are considering a variety of options to improve the reliability of ICs used for everything from sensors to artificial intelligence. But collectively they could boost the number of process steps, increase the time spent in manufacturing and packaging, and stir up concerns about the amount of data that needs to be collected, shared, and stored. Accounting for advanced pro... » read more

Reliability Concerns Shift Left Into Chip Design


Demand for lower defect rates and higher yields is increasing, in part because chips are now being used for safety- and mission-critical applications, and in part because it's a way of offsetting rising design and manufacturing costs. What's changed is the new emphasis on solving these problems in the initial design. In the past, defectivity and yield were considered problems for the fab. Re... » read more

Challenges At 3/2nm


David Fried, vice president of computational products at Lam Research, talks about issues at upcoming process nodes, the move to EUV lithography and nanosheet transistors, and how process variation can affect yield and device performance. » read more

Last-Level Cache


Kurt Shuler, vice president of marketing at Arteris IP, explains how to reduce latency and improve performance with last-level cache in order to avoid sending large amounts of data to external memory, and how to ensure quality of service on a chip by taking into account contention for resources. » read more

← Older posts