Automation And Fault Simulation Of Safety-Critical FPGA Designs


Functional safety is a major challenge for field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and other semiconductor designs. Safety requirements go beyond traditional verification, which focuses on design bugs. Chips in safety-critical applications must be able to handle a variety of faults from sources such as temperature and power extremes, device aging, radiation, ionization and component failures. Ap... » read more

Chinese EDA


If you saw this headline and thought you missed a press release, don't panic. China has not, at this point, announced to the world that it has a suite of EDA tools ready to roll. The rest of the world is content to look at the substandard attempts it have made so far and write them off as not being capable of developing competitive EDA software. But in all likelihood, given the current politica... » read more

Verification Of Multi-Cycle Paths And False Paths


All chip designers know that they must take special care to avoid metastability problems when they have multiple, asynchronous clock domains. In contrast, a design in which all clocks are synchronous may appear simple. Logic synthesis ensures that the shortest paths between registers don’t have races and that the longest paths fit within the target cycle time. However, single-clock design is ... » read more

Logic Synthesis Basics For FPGA


In the early days of digital design, all circuits were designed manually. You would draw K-map, optimize the logic and draw the schematics. If you remember, we all did many logic optimization exercises back in college. It was time consuming and very error prone. This works fine for designs with a few hundred gates, but as the designs get larger and larger this became non-feasible. Design... » read more

When Verification Leads


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the implications of having an executable specification that drives verification with Hagai Arbel, CEO for VTool; Adnan Hamid, CEO for Breker Verification; Mark Olen, product marketing manager for Mentor, a Siemens Business; Jim Hogan, managing partner of Vista Ventures; Sharon Rosenberg, senior solutions architect for Cadence Design Systems; and Tom... » 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