Using Less Power At The Same Node


Going to the next node has been the most effective way to reduce power, but that is no longer true or desirable for a growing percentage of the semiconductor industry. So the big question now is how to reduce power while maintaining the same node size. After understanding how the power is used, both chip designers and fabs have techniques available to reduce power consumption. Fabs are makin... » read more

Closing Functional And Structural Coverage On RTL Generated By High-Level Synthesis


Most hardware design teams have a verification methodology that requires a deep understanding of the RTL to reach their verification goals, but this type of methodology is difficult to apply to the machine generated RTL from High-level Synthesis (HLS). This paper describes innovative techniques to use with existing methodologies, for example the Universal Verification Methodology (UVM), to clos... » read more

Smoke Testing A High-Level Synthesis Design


Designing hardware using C++ and C++ testbenches brings orders of magnitude speed-up to simulation. But after High-Level Synthesis (HLS), teams need a way to quickly ensure that the newly-generated RTL is functionally the same as the original untimed C++. They don’t want to create an RTL testbench in order to make this comparison. What teams need is an automated smoke test to quickly make the... » read more

Can AI, 5G Chips Be Verified?


AI and 5G bode well for the semiconductor industry. They will require many billions of new, semi-customized and highly complex chips from the edge all the way to the data center, and they will require massive amounts of engineering time and tooling. But these technologies also are raising lots of questions on the design and verification front about what else can be automated and how to do it. ... » read more

Chips&Media: Design and Verification of Deep Learning Object Detection IP


Chips&Media, a leading provider of high-performance video IP for SoC design, took a unique approach to designing their latest IP for detecting objects in real time. They decided to adopt a new High-Level Synthesis (HLS) flow to implement their deep learning algorithm. But, they would have an RTL team create this algorithm, using traditional tools and another team would employ the Catapult H... » read more

Power Issues Rising For New Applications


Managing power in chips is becoming more difficult across a wide range of applications and process nodes, forcing chipmakers and systems companies to rethink their power strategies and address problems much earlier than in the past. While power has long been a major focus in the mobile space, power-related issues now are spreading well beyond phones and laptop computers. There are several re... » read more

Taming Concurrency


Concurrency adds complexity for which the industry lacks appropriate tools, and the problem has grown to the point where errors can creep into designs with no easy or consistent way to detect them. In the past, when chips were essentially a single pipeline, this wasn't a problem. In fact, the early pioneers of EDA created a suitable language to describe and contain the necessary concurrency ... » read more

Computer Vision Sees a Bright Future


Computer vision is powering advances in automotive, medical, consumer, and agriculture markets. Because the world of computer vision coupled with machine learning evolves so quickly, teams need a way to design and verify an algorithm while the specifications and requirements evolve without starting over every time there is a change. The only way to successfully develop these systems is to use h... » read more

Chip Industry In Rapid Transition


Wally Rhines, CEO Emeritus at Mentor, a Siemens Business, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about global economics, AI, the growing emphasis on customization, and the impact of security and higher abstraction levels. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Where do you see the biggest changes happening across the chip industry? Rhines: 2018 was a hot year for fab... » read more

Looking Beyond The CPU


CPUs no longer deliver the same kind of of performance improvements as in the past, raising questions across the industry about what comes next. The growth in processing power delivered by a single CPU core began stalling out at the beginning of the decade, when power-related issues such as heat and noise forced processor companies to add more cores rather than pushing up the clock frequency... » read more

← Older posts