Slower Metal Bogs Down SoC Performance


Metal interconnect delays are rising, offsetting some of the gains from faster transistors at each successive process node. Older architectures were born in a time when compute time was the limiter. But with interconnects increasingly viewed as the limiter on advanced nodes, there’s an opportunity to rethink how we build systems-on-chips (SoCs). ”Interconnect delay is a fundamental tr... » read more

RISC-V: Will There Be Other Open-Source Cores?


Part 3: Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the business and technology landscape for RISC-V with Zdenek Prikryl, CTO of Codasip; Helena Handschuh, a Rambus Security Technologies fellow; Louie De Luna, director of marketing at Aldec; Shubhodeep Roy Choudhury, CEO of Valtrix Systems; and Bipul Talukdar, North America director of applications engineering at SmartDV. What follows are exc... » read more

Confusion Persists In Verification Terms


I find it amazing that an area of technology that attempts to show, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a design will work before it is constructed can be so bad at getting some basic things right. I am talking about verification terminology. I have been in this industry for over 40 years and it is not improving. In fact, it is getting worse. The number of calls I have with people where they hav... » read more

The Emergence Of Hardware As A Key Enabler For The Age Of Artificial Intelligence


Over the past few decades, software has been the engine of innovation for countless applications. From PCs to mobile phones, well-defined hardware platforms and instruction set architectures (ISA) have enabled many important advancements across vertical markets. The emergence of abundant-data computing is changing the software-hardware balance in a dramatic way. Diverse AI applications in fa... » read more

Customization And Limitations At The Edge


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the edge constraints and the need for security with Jeff DeAngelis, managing director of the Industrial and Healthcare Business Unit at Maxim Integrated; Norman Chang, chief technologist at Ansys; Andrew Grant, senior director of artificial intelligence at Imagination Technologies; Thomas Ensergueix, senior director of the automotive and IoT line of... » read more

Open-Source Verification


Ask different people what open-source verification means and you will get a host of different answers. They range from the verification of open-source hardware, to providing an open-source verification infrastructure, to providing open-source stream generators or reference models, to open-source simulators and formal verification engines. Verification is about reducing risk. "Verification is... » read more

The Increasingly Ordinary Task Of Verifying RISC-V


As RISC-V processor development matures and its usage in SoCs and microcontrollers grows, engineering teams are starting to look beyond the challenges of the processor core itself. So far, the majority of industry verification efforts have focused on ISA compliance to standardize the RISC-V core. Now the focus is shifting to be how to handle verification as the system grows, especially as this... » read more

Domain-Specific Processors Enable More Than Moore


Last month was the 55th anniversary of Gordon Moore’s famous paper Cramming more components onto integrated circuits. He took a long-term view of the trends in integrated circuits being implemented using successively smaller feature sizes in silicon. Since that paper, integrated circuit developers have been relying on three of his predictions: The number of transistors per chip increas... » read more

Practical Processor Verification


Custom processors are making a resurgence, spurred on by the early success of the RISC-V ISA and the ecosystem that is rapidly building around it. But this shift is amid questions about whether processor verification has become a lost art. Years ago custom processors were common. But as the market consolidated around a handful of companies, so did the tools and expertise needed to develop th... » read more

Why It’s So Hard To Create New Processors


The introduction, and initial success, of the RISC-V processor ISA has reignited interest in the design of custom processors, but the industry is now grappling with how to verify them. The expertise and tools that were once in the market have been consolidated into the hands of the few companies that have been shipping processor chips or IP cores over the past 20 years. Verification of a pro... » read more

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