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Power, Performance — Avionics Designers Want It All


Not long ago, the prevailing philosophy among chip designers for aviation systems could be summed up as, “I feel the need — the need for speed.” Today, aviation’s top guns have pulled back on the throttle a bit. There’s a more nuanced discussion balancing the need for performance versus power, with other factors coming into consideration such as safety, security certifications and ove... » read more

HDL Simulation Acceleration Solution For Microchip FPGA Designs


Mission-critical FPGA designs for space and radar applications continue to increase in complexity, such that they require a comprehensive and robust verification environment. There are hardware-in-the-loop solutions in the market that utilize FPGA boards, but when it comes to establishing functional coverage and debugging the custom logic, users would typically need to go back to HDL simulation... » read more

Does HW Vs. SW Choice Affect Quality And Reliability?


Electronic systems comprise both hardware and software. Which functions are implemented with hardware and which with software are decisions made based upon a wide variety of considerations, including concerns about quality and reliability. Hardware may intrinsically provide for higher device quality, but it is also the source of reliability concerns. This is in contrast with popular views of... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


M&A Microchip Technology acquired LegUp Computing, a provider of a high-level synthesis compiler that automatically generates high-performance FPGA hardware from software. The LegUp HLS tool will be used alongside Microchip’s VectorBlox Accelerator Software Design kit and VectorBlox Neural Networking IP generator to provide a complete front-end solution stack for C/C++ algorithm develope... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Nvidia will acquire Arm from SoftBank in a $40 billion deal. Nvidia says that Arm will continue to operate its open-licensing model while maintaining global customer neutrality. SoftBank acquired Arm in 2016 for $32 billion; it also holds an ownership stake in Nvidia that is expected to remain under 10%. The deal does not include Arm's IoT Services Group. The acquisition will need to pass regul... » read more

Analog: Avoid Or Embrace?


We live in an analog world, but digital processing has proven quicker, cheaper and easier. Moving digital data around is only possible while the physics of wires can be safely abstracted away enough to provide reliable communications. As soon as a signal passes off-chip, the analog domain reasserts control for modern systems. Each of those transitions requires a data converter. The usage ... » read more

Using FPGAs For AI


Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are progressing at a rate that is outstripping Moore's Law. In fact, they now are evolving faster than silicon can be designed. The industry is looking at all possibilities to provide devices that have the necessary accuracy and performance, as well as a power budget that can be sustained. FPGAs are promising, but they also have some sig... » read more

Week in Review – IoT, Security, Autos


Products/Services Cadence Design Systems is working with Adesto Technologies to grow the Expanded Serial Peripheral Interface (xSPI) communication protocol ecosystem, for use in Internet of Things devices. The Cadence Memory Model for xSPI allows customers to ensure optimal use of the octal NOR flash with the host processor in an xSPI system, including support for Adesto’s EcoXiP octal xSPI ... » read more

Using Analog For AI


If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But development of artificial intelligence (AI) applications and the compute platforms for them may be overlooking an alternative technology—analog. The semiconductor industry has a firm understanding of digital electronics and has been very successful making it scale. It is predictable, has good yield, and while every de... » 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

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