Designing 5G Chips


5G is the wireless technology of the future, and it’s coming fast. The technology boasts very high-speed data transfer rates, much lower latency than 4G LTE, and the ability to handle significantly higher densities of devices per cell site. In short, it is the best technology for the massive amount of data that will be generated by sensors in cars, IoT devices, and a growing list of next-g... » read more

What Happened To UPF?


Two years ago there was a lot of excitement, both within the industry and the standards communities, about rapid advancements that were being made around low-power design, languages and methodologies. Since then, everything has gone quiet. What happened? At the time, it was reported that the [gettech id="31043" comment="IEEE 1801"] committee was the largest active committee within the IEEE. ... » read more

Spark Microsystems: LP On-Chip Radios


Spark Microsystems is taking aim at on-chip radios that continue to be the primary source of battery drain, even in power-conserving designs like Bluetooth Low Energy. "If you wear AirPods, something like 80% of the power is going to power the radio, not the sound. That's not the most efficient approach." according to Frederic Nabki, co-founder of Spark Microsystems, and a former professor o... » read more

How To Choose The Right Memory


When it comes to designing memory, there is no such thing as one size fits all. And given the long list of memory types and usage scenarios, system architects must be absolutely clear on the system requirements for their application. A first decision is whether or not to put the memory on the logic die as part of the SoC, or keep it as off-chip memory. "The tradeoff between latency and th... » read more

How The Brain Saves Energy By Doing Less


One of the arguments for neuromorphic computing is the efficiency of the human brain relative to conventional computers. By looking at how the brain works, this argument contends, we can design systems that accomplish more with less power. However, as Mireille Conrad and others at the University of Geneva pointed out in work presented at December's IEEE Electron Device Meeting, the brain... » read more

Why Inductance Is Good for Area, Power and Performance


By Magdy Abadir and Yehea Ismail For chips designed at advanced technology nodes, interconnect is the dominant contributor towards delay, power consumption, and reliability. Major interconnects such as clock trees, power distribution networks and wide buses play a significant role in chip failure mechanisms such as jitter, noise coupling, power distribution droops, and electro-migration. ... » read more

Exponentials At The Edge


The age of portable communication has set off a scramble for devices that can achieve almost anything a desktop computer could handle even five years ago. But this is just the beginning. The big breakthrough with mobile devices was the ability to combine voice calls, text and eventually e-mail, providing the rudiments of a mobile office-all on a single charge of a battery that was light enou... » read more

IP And Power


[getkc id="108" kc_name="Power"] is quickly becoming a major differentiator for products, regardless of whether they are connected to a wall outlet or dependent on a battery. At the same time, increasing amounts of a chips content comes from third-party [getkc id="43" kc_name="IP"]. So how do system designers ensure that the complete system has an optimal power profile, and what can they do to ... » read more

FD-SOI Adoption Expands


Fully depleted silicon-on-insulator (FD-SOI) is gaining ground across a number of new markets, ranging from IoT to automotive to machine learning, and diverging sharply from its original position as a less costly alternative to finFET-based designs. For years, [getkc id="220" kc_name="FD-SOI"] has been viewed as an either/or solution targeted at the same markets as bulk [gettech id="31093" c... » read more

Customizing Power And Performance


Designing chips is getting more difficult, and not just for the obvious technical reasons. The bigger issue revolves around what these chips going to be used for-and how will they be used, both by the end user and in the context of other electronics. This was a pretty simple decision when hardware was developed somewhat independently of software, such as in the PC era. Technology generally d... » read more

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