Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Tools & IP Cadence debuted System-Level Verification IP (System VIP), a suite of tools and libraries for automating SoC testbench assembly, bus and CPU traffic generation, cache-coherency validation, and system performance bottleneck analysis. Tests created using the System VIP solution are portable across Cadence simulation, emulation and prototyping engines and can also be extended to po... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers TSMC posted mixed results in the quarter, although the news was generally positive. The foundry giant raised its capital spending plans. “Our second quarter business was sequentially flat, as the continued 5G infrastructure deployment and HPC-related product launches offset weaknesses in other platforms,” said Wendell Huang, vice president and CFO at TSMC. “Moving into third q... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Siemens will acquire Avatar Integrated Systems. The company's place-and-route tools, which will become part of Mentor's Xcelerator portfolio, include a netlist-to-GDS full-function block-level physical implementation tool and a complete top-level prototyping, floor-planning and chip assembly tool. Based in Santa Clara, CA, Avatar was formed in 2017 from the acquired assets of ATopTech. ATopTech... » read more

Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing


Arm's parent company, Japanese tech conglomerate Softbank, reportedly is considering a sale or IPO of its Arm subsidiary, which it purchased in 2016 for $32 billion in cash. Considering that Arm chips are in most smart phones, as well as an increasing number of computers and IoT and edge devices, this development is being closely followed by most of the tech world. Last week, Softbank directed ... » read more

Improving Reliability For GaN And SiC


Suppliers of gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC) power devices are rolling out the next wave of products with some new and impressive specs. But before these devices are incorporated in systems, they must prove to be reliable. As with previous products, suppliers are quick to point out that the new devices are reliable, although there are some issues that can occasionally surface... » read more

Essential DDR5 Features Designers Must Know


JEDEC has defined and developed three DDR standards – standard DDR, mobile DDR, and graphic DDR – to help designers meet their memory requirements. DDR5 will support a higher data rate (up to 6400 Mb/s) at a lower I/O Voltage (1.1V) and a higher density (based on 16Gb DRAM dies) than DDR4. DDR5 DRAMs and dual-inline memory modules (DIMMs) are expected to hit the market in 2020. This article... » read more

ESD Requirements Are Changing


Standards for specifying a chip’s ability to withstand electrostatic discharge (ESD) are changing – in some cases, getting tougher, and in others, easing up. ESD protection has been on a path from a one-size-fits-all approach to one where a signal’s usage helps to determine what kind of protection it should get. Protecting chips from ESD damage has been a longstanding part of IC design... » read more

The Good And Bad Of Chiplets


The chiplet model continues to gain traction in the market, but there are still some challenges to enable broader support for the technology. AMD, Intel, TSMC, Marvell and a few others have developed or demonstrated devices using chiplets, which is an alternative way to develop an advanced design. Beyond that, however, the adoption of chiplets is limited in the industry due to ecosystem issu... » read more

DDR PHY Training


Brett Murdock, senior product marketing manager at Synopsys, explains how to train the DRAM physical layer using firmware, why that is so important for flexibility, and what kinds of issues engineers encounter when using this approach. » read more

HBM Issues In AI Systems


All systems face limitations, and as one limitation is removed, another is revealed that had remained hidden. It is highly likely that this game of Whac-A-Mole will play out in AI systems that employ high-bandwidth memory (HBM). Most systems are limited by memory bandwidth. Compute systems in general have maintained an increase in memory interface performance that barely matches the gains in... » read more

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