Three Steps To Faster Low Power Coverage Using UPF 3.0 Information Models


Controlling power has its costs. The added power elements and their interactions make verification of low-power designs much more difficult and the engineer’s job overwhelmingly complex and tedious. Early versions of the Unified Power Format (UPF) provided some relief, but lacked provisions for a standardized methodology for low-power coverage. Ad hoc approaches are error prone and highly ... » read more

Spreadsheets In Virtuoso


The looming tape-out deadline is the nightmare that keeps most design managers up at night. Managing schedules and tracking progress is always a black art that few, if any, can master. Various project management tools and methodologies have been developed that can help, if followed diligently. However, the learning curve of the tools, or the training and overhead of the process, often result in... » read more

Writing Reusable UPF For RTL And Gate-Level Low Power Verification


By Durgesh Prasad, Jitesh Bansal and Madhur Bhargava The Unified Power Format (UPF) is used to specify the power intent of a design. Once written, the UPF file is applied at every stage of the design cycle — starting with the RTL, then the gate-level, and finally during place and route. A major problem is that the UPF needs to be refined or modified at every stage to keep it compatible ... » read more

ASIC/IC Trends With A Focus On Factors Of Silicon Success


“The more you know, the more you know you don't know.” ― Aristotle, 4th C. BC When Aristotle uttered this humble aphorism, he wasn’t telling us to throw up our hands and not bother with learning. He was encouraging us to continue digging deeper, to get answers and ask questions of those answers — that the thrills and rewards of study are truly without end. This is a big part of ou... » read more

Trends In FPGA Verification Effort And Adoption: The 2018 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study


As contributors and pioneers in the digital revolution, we are often so busy creating and innovating that we are compelled to focus on the trees, never mind the forest. But as we are all aware, the more we know about the bigger picture, context, historical and projected trends, or simply how other people are doing the same thing, the more efficiently and successfully we can do our jobs. Prov... » read more

Methodologies And Flows In A Rapidly Changing Market


A growing push toward more heterogeneity and customization in chip design is creating havoc across the global supply chain, which until a couple years ago was highly organized and extremely predictable. While existing tools still work well enough, no one has yet figured out the most efficient way to use them in a variety of new applications. Technology is still being developed in those marke... » read more

Re-using Common Simulation Set-Up Processes To Speed Regression


Functional verification of SoCs always has some kind of set up process. For complex SoCs, at least, this initial set up phase often consumes from 20 to 90% of each test’s total simulation time. And thousands of tests are run in the verification of a design. This set up phase could be either executing the exact same sequence of simulation steps, or programming the design to reach the same i... » read more

Overcoming Low Power Verification Challenges For Mixed-Signal SoC Designs


With increasing SoC complexity and advanced power-aware architectures, a robust low power verification methodology is important for signing off the design at different stages from RTL through netlist. For mixed-signal SoCs, the challenge is, there is no well-defined low power methodology, nor are the industry’s low power verification tools equipped to handle custom designs. This article propo... » read more

The Coming Golden Age For Automotive E/E Design Services And Consulting


By Andrew Macleod and Scott Majdecki The discipline of automotive E/E systems design is being transformed by trends like electrification and autonomous vehicles, which means there is a premium on methodologies like rapid platform (hardware/ software) prototyping, simulation and test, and electrical architecture optimization. Such methodologies hinge on advanced software design tools and the ... » read more

By the Power Vested in Me, I Now Pronounce You (The SoC Designer)…


…Doomed. Well, maybe that’s a little harsh, but your job won’t be getting any easier; that “happily ever after” may be harder to achieve than you think, and there are a number of reasons why. And by “me” (of vested power), here I’m really talking about the power of the consumer market as a whole and our collective insatiable demand for newer, shinier…well, just plain “coo... » read more

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