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Designing Chips For Test Data


Collecting data to determine the health of a chip throughout its lifecycle is becoming necessary as chips are used in more critical applications, but being able to access that data isn't always so simple. It requires moving signals through a complex, sometimes unpredictable, and often hostile environment, which is a daunting challenge under the best of conditions. There is a growing sense of... » read more

Do We Have An IC Model Crisis?


Models are critical for IC design. Without them, it's impossible to perform analysis, which in turn limits optimizations. Those optimizations are especially important as semiconductors become more heterogenous, more customized, and as they are integrated into larger systems, creating a need for higher-accuracy models that require massive compute power to develop. But those factors, and other... » read more

Next-Gen Design Challenges


As more heterogeneous chips and different types of circuitry are designed into one system, that all needs to be simulated, verified and validated before tape-out. Aveek Sarkar, vice president of engineering at Synopsys, talks with Semiconductor Engineering about the intersection of scale complexity and systemic complexity, the rising number of corners, and the reduced margin with which to buffe... » read more

Brute-Force Analysis Not Keeping Up With IC Complexity


Much of the current design and verification flow was built on brute force analysis, a simple and direct approach. But that approach rarely scales, and as designs become larger and the number of interdependencies increases, ensuring the design always operates within spec is becoming a monumental task. Unless design teams want to keep adding increasing amounts of margin, they have to locate th... » read more

Performance and Power Tradeoffs At 7/5nm


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss power optimization with Oliver King, CTO at Moortec; João Geada, chief technologist at Ansys; Dino Toffolon, senior vice president of engineering at Synopsys; Bryan Bowyer, director of engineering at Mentor, a Siemens Business; Kiran Burli, senior director of marketing for Arm's Physical Design Group; Kam Kittrell, senior product management group d... » read more

Custom Designs, Custom Problems


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss power optimization with Oliver King, CTO at Moortec; João Geada, chief technologist at Ansys; Dino Toffolon, senior vice president of engineering at Synopsys; Bryan Bowyer, director of engineering at Mentor, a Siemens Business; Kiran Burli, senior director of marketing for Arm's Physical Design Group; Kam Kittrell, senior product management group d... » read more

Wrestling With Variation In Advanced Node Designs


Variation is becoming a major headache at advanced nodes, and issues that used to be dealt with in the fab now must be dealt with on the design side, as well. What is fundamentally changing is that margin, which has long been used as a buffer for variation and other manufacturing process-related problems, no longer works in these leading-edge designs for a couple of reasons. First, margin im... » read more

Analog Simulation At 7/5/3nm


Hany Elhak, group director of product management at Cadence, talks with Semiconductor Engineering about analog circuit simulation at advanced nodes, why process variation is an increasing problem, the impact of parasitics and finFET stacking, and what happens when gate-all-around FETs are added into the chip. » read more

Thermal Guardbanding


Stephen Crosher, CEO of Moortec, looks at the causes of thermal runaway in racks of servers and explains why accurate temperature measurement in AI and advanced-node chips is more critical, and what impact this has on performance when temperatures begin approaching acceptable limits. » read more

The Challenge Of Defining Worst Case


Worst case conditions within a chip are impossible to define. But what happens if you missed a corner case that causes chip failure? As the semiconductor market becomes increasingly competitive — startups and systems companies are now competing with established chipmakers — no one can afford to consider theoretical worst cases. Instead, they must intelligently prune the space to make sur... » read more

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