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

The Impact of Moore’s Law Ending


Over the past couple of process nodes the chip industry has come to grips with the fact that Moore's Law is slowing down or ending for many market segments. What isn't clear is what comes next, because even if chipmakers stay at older nodes they will face a series of new challenges that will drive up costs and increase design complexity. Chip design has faced a number of hurdles just to get ... » read more

Autonomous Vehicles: IC Design Flow Walk Through


Automotive applications, particularly those related to AI and computer vision, are a significant driver of the current semiconductor boom. Established companies are mostly thriving, it’s true, but perhaps more interesting are all the new faces in the game. As usual, Mentor CEO Wally Rhines is one of the great sense-makers of the all this activity. Wally has been making the rounds at variou... » read more

Enabling Cheaper Design


While the EDA industry tends to focus on cutting edge designs, where design costs are a minor portion of the total cost of product, the electronics industry has a very long tail. The further along the tail you go, the more significant design costs become as a percent of total cost. Many of those designs are traditionally built using standard parts, such as microcontrollers, but as additional... » read more

Is Software Necessary?


Hardware must be capable of running any software. While that might have been a good mantra when chips were relatively simple, it becomes an impossible verification task when dealing with SoCs that contain dozens of deeply embedded processors. When does it become necessary to use production software and what problems can that get you into? When verification targets such as power are added, it... » read more

Synthesizing Computer Vision Designs To Hardware


Computer vision is one of the hottest markets in electronic design today. Digital processing of images and video with complex algorithms in order to interpret meaning has almost as many applications and markets as there are uses for the human eye. The biggest problem that designers face is that the computer vision system requirements and algorithms change quickly and often. Even the targ... » read more

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