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Software-Hardware Co-Design Becomes Real


For the past 20 years, the industry has sought to deploy hardware/software co-design concepts. While it is making progress, software/hardware co-design appears to have a much brighter future. In order to understand the distinction between the two approaches, it is important to define some of the basics. Hardware/software co-design is essentially a bottom-up process, where hardware is deve... » read more

Formally Verifying SystemC/C++ Designs


We’re seeing an increase in the number of designs employing SystemC/C++. This isn’t surprising given the fact that specific use models have emerged to drive common design flows across engineering teams leading to the adoption of high-level synthesis (HLS) at many large semiconductor and electronic systems companies. These HLS tools are a popular method to rapidly generate design components ... » read more

Dynamically Reconfiguring Logic


Dynamic reconfiguration of semiconductor logic has been possible for years, but it never caught on commercially. Cheng Wang, co-founder and senior vice president of software and engineering at Flex Logix, explains why this capability has been so difficult to utilize, what’s changed, how a soft logic layer can be used to control when to read, compute, steer, and write data back to memory, and ... » read more

Power, Performance — Avionics Designers Want It All


Not long ago, the prevailing philosophy among chip designers for aviation systems could be summed up as, “I feel the need — the need for speed.” Today, aviation’s top guns have pulled back on the throttle a bit. There’s a more nuanced discussion balancing the need for performance versus power, with other factors coming into consideration such as safety, security certifications and ove... » read more

Machine Learning At The Edge


Moving machine learning to the edge has critical requirements on power and performance. Using off-the-shelf solutions is not practical. CPUs are too slow, GPUs/TPUs are expensive and consume too much power, and even generic machine learning accelerators can be overbuilt and are not optimal for power. In this paper, learn about creating new power/memory efficient hardware architectures to meet n... » read more

A Better Path From Simulink To RTL With Catapult HLS


Design teams working on ASIC or FPGA projects often start with algorithm exploration using MATLAB in order to prove out the mathematical behavior of the functional blocks at a high level of abstraction. MATLAB as a high-level programming language doesn’t support hardware architecture modeling, so many teams use the Simulink environment for performing model-based, multi-domain simulation of th... » read more

The Evolution Of High-Level Synthesis


High-level synthesis is getting yet another chance to shine, this time from new markets and new technology nodes. But it's still unclear how fully this technology will be used. Despite gains, it remains unlikely to replace the incumbent RTL design methodology for most of the chip, as originally expected. Seen as the foundational technology for the next generation of EDA companies around the ... » read more

Power And Performance Optimization At 7/5/3nm


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss power optimization with Oliver King, CTO at Moortec; João Geada, chief technologist at Ansys; Dino Toffolon, senior vice president of engineering at Synopsys; Bryan Bowyer, director of engineering at Mentor, a Siemens Business; Kiran Burli, senior director of marketing for Arm's Physical Design Group; Kam Kittrell, senior product management group d... » read more

Designing For Extreme Low Power


There are several techniques available for low power design, but whenever a nanowatt or picojoule matters, all available methods must be used. Some of the necessary techniques are different from those used for high-end designs. Others have been lost over time because their impact was considered too small, or not worth the additional design effort. But for devices that last a lifetime on a si... » read more

ML Opening New Doors For FPGAs


FPGAs have long been used in the early stages of any new digital technology, given their utility for prototyping and rapid evolution. But with machine learning, FPGAs are showing benefits beyond those of more conventional solutions. This opens up a hot new market for FPGAs, which traditionally have been hard to sustain in high-volume production due to pricing, and hard to use for battery-dri... » read more

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