Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Synopsys announced several new products: a new test family, a physical verification solution, and a software library for neural net SoCs. TestMAX, the new family of test products, includes soft error analysis and X-tolerant logic BIST for automotive test and functional safety requirements. TestMAX enables test through functional high-speed interfaces and supports early validation of DFT logi... » read more

Finding Defects In Chips With Machine Learning


Chipmakers are using more and different traditional tool types than ever to find killer defects in advanced chips, but they are also turning to complementary solutions like advanced forms of machine learning to help solve the problem. A subset of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning has been used in computing and other fields for decades. In fact, early forms of machine learning ha... » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Internet of Things Dialog Semiconductor is shifting its product portfolio away from smartphones following its pending $600 million deal with Apple. The chip company is looking toward connected-health products and video-game consoles for future growth. The connected-health devices, developed in collaboration with pharmaceutical firms, would monitor blood pressure and check glucose levels, accor... » read more

AI: Where’s The Money?


A one-time technology outcast, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has come a long way. Now there’s groundswell of interest and investments in products and technologies to deliver high performance visual recognition, matching or besting human skills. Equally, speech and audio recognition are becoming more common and we’re even starting to see more specialized applications such as finding optimized... » read more

How To Build An Automotive Chip


The introduction of advanced electronics into automotive design is causing massive disruption in a supply chain that, until very recently, hummed along like a finely tuned sports car. The rapid push toward autonomous driving has changed everything. This year, Level 3 autonomy will begin hitting the streets, and behind the scenes, work is underway to design SoCs for Level 4. But how these chi... » read more

Inference Acceleration: Follow The Memory


Much has been written about the computational complexity of inference acceleration: very large matrix multiplies for fully-connected layers and huge numbers of 3x3 convolutions across megapixel images, both of which require many thousands of MACs (multiplier-accumulators) to achieve high throughput for models like ResNet-50 and YOLOv3. The other side of the coin is managing the movement of d... » read more

The Other Side Of Makimoto’s Wave


Custom hardware is undergoing a huge resurgence across a variety of new applications, pushing the semiconductor industry to the other side of Makimoto's Wave. Tsugio Makimoto, the technologist who identified the chip industry’s 10-year cyclical swings between standardization and customization, predicted there always will be room in ASICs for general-purpose processors. But it's becoming mo... » read more

Can Debug Be Tamed?


Debug consumes more time than any other aspect of the chip design and verification process, and it adds uncertainty and risk to semiconductor development because there are always lingering questions about whether enough bugs were caught in the allotted amount of time. Recent figures suggest that the problem is getting worse, too, as complexity and demand for reliability continue to rise. The... » read more

Using AI Data For Security


Artificial intelligence is migrating from the cloud to IoT edge devices. Now the question is how to apply that same technology to protect data and identify abnormal activity in those devices and the systems connected to them. This is a complex problem because AI is being used on multiple fronts in this battle, as well as for multiple purposes. The technology has advanced to the point where e... » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Internet of Things Is Google developing a Pixel Watch wearable? Perhaps, if recent job listings are any indication. The company recently was looking to hire someone as vice president of hardware engineering, wearables. Last month, Fossil Group sold smartwatch technology intellectual property to Google for $40 million, while Google hired certain members of Fossil’s wearables R&D team. ... » read more

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