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

IP Requires System Context At 6/5/3nm


Driven by each successive generation of semiconductor manufacturing technology, complexity has reached dizzying levels. Every part of the design, verification and manufacturing is more complicated and intense the more transistors are able to be packed onto a die. For these reasons, the entire system must be taken into consideration as a whole – not just as individual building blocks as could ... » read more

Optimization Challenges For Safety And Security


Complexity challenges long-held assumptions. In the past, the semiconductor industry thought it understood performance/area tradeoffs, but over time it became clear this is not so simple. Measuring performance is no longer an absolute. Power has many dimensions including peak, average, total energy and heat, and power and function are tied together. Design teams are now dealing with the impl... » read more

The Challenge Of RISC-V Compliance


The open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA) continues to gain momentum, but the flexibility of RISC-V creates a problem—how do you know if a RISC-V implementation fits basic standards and can play well with other implementations so they all can run the same ecosystem? In addition, how do you ensure that ecosystem development works for all implementations and that all cores that ... » read more

IoT Device Security Makes Slow Progress


Semiconductor Engineering sat down with Chris Jones, vice president of marketing at Codasip; Martin Croome, vice president of business development at GreenWaves Technologies; Kevin McDermott, vice president of marketing at Imperas; Scot Morrison, general manager, embedded platform technology at Mentor, a Siemens Business; Lauri Koskinen, CTO at Minima; and Mike Borza, principal security technol... » read more

Power Optimization Strategies Widen


An increasing amount of electronic content in new and existing markets is creating different and sometimes competing demands for power optimization. For the past decade, EDA has been driven by the mobile phone industry, where the emphasis is on better power analysis and optimization tools to reduce power consumption and extend battery life. While energy efficiency continues to improve, other... » read more

Does Power Verification Work?


Functional verification continues to evolve, but power verification—a somewhat new concern—remains at levels of sophistication reminiscent of functional verification 30 years ago. When will power verification catch up and what must to happen to make it possible? These are questions that the industry is still grappling with, and not everyone believes they require answers. Functional error... » read more

Big Challenges, Changes For Debug


By Ann Steffora Mutschler & Ed Sperling Debugging a chip always has been difficult, but the problem is getting worse at 7nm and 5nm. The number of corner cases is exploding as complexity rises, and some bugs are not even on anyone's radar until well after devices are already in use by end customers. An estimated 39% of verification engineering time is spent on debugging activities the... » read more

The Darker Side Of Machine Learning


Machine learning can be used for many purposes, but not all of them are good—or intentional. While much of the work underway is focused on the development of machine learning algorithms, how to train these systems and how to make them run faster and do more, there is a darker side to this technology. Some of that involves groups looking at what else machine learning can be used for. So... » read more

Toward Continuous HW-SW Integration


Hardware is only as good as the software that runs on it, and as system complexity grows that software is lagging behind. The way to close that gap is to improve the [getkc id="100" kc_name="methodology"] for developing that software in the first place. That includes making sure updates are verified and tested before being pushed out to devices, adding the same kinds of detailed checks that ... » read more

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