Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Inphi Corporation and Synopsys finalized the acquisition of eSilicon. Synopsys acquired certain IP assets from eSilicon, including TCAMs and multi-port memory compilers, as well as its Interface IP portfolio with High-Bandwidth Interface (HBI) IP and a team of R&D engineers; it did not disclose terms of the deal. Inphi Corporation bought the rest of the company for approximately $216 millio... » read more

Open Source Faces Challenges In 2020


I recently wrote a couple of posts about open-source EDA tools, OpenROAD: Open-Source EDA from RTL to GDSII and 2nd WOSET Workshop on Open-Source EDA. I have also written about open-source in general, as an approach to development and an approach to business in a post from over four years ago that I think stands up well: The Paradox of Open Source. The reason I called it a paradox is that ... » read more

Hardware-Software Co-Design Reappears


The core concepts in hardware-software co-design are getting another look, nearly two decades after this approach was first introduced and failed to catch on. What's different this time around is the growing complexity and an emphasis on architectural improvements, as well as device scaling, particularly for AI/ML applications. Software is a critical component, and the more tightly integrate... » read more

Deep Learning Models With MATLAB And Cortex-A


Today, I’ve teamed up with Ram Cherukuri of MathWorks to provide an overview of the MathWorks toolchain for machine learning (ML) and the deployment of embedded ML inference on Arm Cortex-A using the Arm Compute Library. MathWorks enables engineers to get started quickly and makes machine learning possible without having to become an expert. If you’re an algorithm engineer interested ... » read more

How To Build A Better MEMS Microphone


We are seeing a lot of interest in simulating noise, particularly for condenser microphones. With any transducer, noise reduction is always a plus, and with microphones there are two specific applications that need low noise. One is where the microphone is positioned away from the sound source, such as in video calling or when using voice commands with tablet computers. The other is where multi... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


M&A Consultancy Sondrel acquired IMGworks, formerly the design services unit of Imagination. Sondrel says it plans to focus on design services for ADAS systems, AI, and machine vision and learning devices. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Tools Cadence expanded its formal verification platform, JasperGold, adding linting and clock domain crossing apps that address RTL signoff ... » read more

MEMS Microphones: A Bright Spot Among Commoditized Consumer Sensors


MEMS microphones have emerged as a bright spot among consumer sensors, which in general are going through a rapid commoditization and profit-squeezing trend. To understand what’s driving the MEMS microphone market, consider that the Apple iPhone 7 and 7S each have 4 MEMS microphones. As reported by System Plus Consulting, the latest iPhones have “a front-facing top microphone, presumably f... » read more

Antenna Design Grows Up


Apple’s iPhone 4 antenna issue represents a classic example of what can go wrong in modern antenna design. Put one in the wrong place, and a seemingly insignificant part can turn a cool new product into a public relations nightmare. Ever since antennas dropped out of sight, most consumers don't give them a second thought. In the 1960s, almost every home had a rooftop antenna. Fast forward ... » read more

Hybrid Simulation Picks Up Steam


As electronic products shift from hardware-centric to software-directed, design teams are relying increasingly on a simulation approach that includes multiple engines—and different ways to use those engines—to encompass as much of the system as possible. How engineers go about using these approaches, and even how they define them, varies greatly from one company to the next. Sometimes it... » read more

An Easier Path To Faster C With FPGAs


For most scientists, what is inside a high-performance computing platform is a mystery. All they usually want to know is that a platform will run an advanced algorithm thrown at it. What happens when a subject matter expert creates a powerful model for an algorithm that in turn automatically generates C code that runs too slowly? FPGA experts have created an answer. More and more, the genera... » read more

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