Test Moving Forward And Backward


Test, once considered an important but rather mundane way of separating good chips from the not-so-good and the total rejects, is taking on a whole new life. After decades of largely living in the shadows behind design and advancements in materials and lithography, test has quietly shifted into a much more critical and more public role. But it has taken several rather significant shifts acro... » read more

Safety-Critical Coverage


Dave Landoll, solutions architect at OneSpin Solutions, discusses verification in safety-critical designs, why it’s more of a challenge in automotive than in avionics, and why verification of these systems includes what the system should not be doing as well as what it should be doing. https://youtu.be/Ze3WwEARfx0 » read more

Heterogeneous Design Creating Havoc With Firmware Versions


Adding different kinds of processing elements into chips is creating system-level incompatibilities because of sometimes necessary, but usually uncoordinated, firmware updates from multiple vendors. In the past, firmware typically was synchronized with other firmware and the chip was verified and debugged. But this becomes much more difficult when multiple heterogeneous processing elements a... » read more

2.5D, 3D Power Integrity


Chris Ortiz, principal applications engineer at ANSYS, zeroes in on some common issues that are showing up in 2.5D and 3D packaging, which were not obvious in the initial implementations of these packaging technologies. This includes everything from how to build a power delivery network to minimize the coupling between chips to dealing with variability and power integrity and placement of diffe... » read more

Domain Expertise Becoming Essential For Analytics


Sensors are being added into everything, from end devices to the equipment used to make those sensors, but the data being generated has limited or no value unless it's accompanied by domain expertise. There are two main problems. One is how and where to process the vast amount of data being generated. Chip and system architectures are being revamped to pre-process more of that data closer to... » read more

Next Wave Of Security For IIoT


A rush of new products and services promise to make the famously un-secured Industrial IoT (IIoT) substantially more secure in the near future. Although the semiconductor industry has been churning out a variety of security-related products and concepts, ranging from root of trust approaches to crypto processors and physically unclonable functions, most IIoT operations have been slow to adop... » read more

Testing AI Systems


AI is booming. It's coming to a device near you—maybe even inside of you. And AI will be used to design, manufacture and even ship those devices, regardless of what they are, where they are used, or how they are transported. The big questions now are whether these systems work, for how long—and what do those metrics even mean? An AI system, or AI-enhanced system, is supposed to adapt ove... » read more

Training a Neural Network to Fall


Who knew falling was so complicated? “I don’t want to work on a fall detection system ever again,” said MbientLab CEO Laura Kassovic in front of an ARMTech Con audience. The audience laughed as she flashed a picture of what could now be a better approach—the Apple Watch Series 4, which had recently been announced. “The Apple 4 has the fall detection sensor built in. It’s probably... » read more

Effectively Fighting Fake Medical Products


Counterfeit goods have long existed. The worldwide ‘black market’ for brand-name items like purses and sunglasses is estimated to exceed $460B (Los Angeles Times, 2017). While fashion brands make up the majority of this illicit market, a very concerning trend is the rising amount of counterfeit medical products, including equipment, medicines, and vaccines. The World Health Organization ... » read more

Safety, Security And PPA Tradeoffs


Safety and security are emerging as key design tradeoffs as chips are added into safety-critical markets, adding even more complexity into an already complicated optimization process. In the early days of semiconductor design, performance and area were traded off against each other. Then power became important, and the main tradeoffs became power, performance and area (PPA). But as chips inc... » read more

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