Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Aldec launched the HES-MPF500-M2S150 Development Kit for early co-development and co-verification of hardware and software for FPGA-based embedded systems that will use devices from either or both of Microchip’s PolarFire or SmartFusion2 families. The HES-MPF500-M2S150 Development Kit features Microchip’s low power PolarFire MPF500T FCG1152 FPGA, which has 481k logic elements, 1480 math blo... » read more

Week In Review: IoT, Security, Autos


Internet of Things Amazon is expanding its IoT services. Alexa Voice Services will require less processing power on the device, moving from the 100MB of RAM and Arm Cortex A microprocessor to 1MB and an Arm Cortex-M. Amazon will do more of the processing in the cloud, enabling developers to add Alexa to smaller, single purpose devices. “It just opens up the what we call the real ambient inte... » read more

The Rapid Rise Of RISC-V


The first RISC-V Summit, which took place last month in Santa Clara, CA, appears to be a watershed for the RISC-V ecosystem. The technology is maturing and the ecosystem is growing fast – and that was reflected in the nature of the presentations and news announcements we saw. The accent has started to move to how the technology will be used in real life. UltraSoC’s announcement of a har... » read more

Building Security Into RISC-V Systems


Semiconductor Engineering sat down with Helena Handschuh, a Rambus fellow; Richard Newell, senior principal product architect at Microsemi, a Microchip Company; and Joseph Kiniry, principal scientist at Galois. Part one is here. (This is the second of two parts.) L-R: Joseph Kiniry, Helena Handschuh, Richard Newell. SE: Some of the new applications for hardware designs are tied to AI, d... » read more

Open-Source RISC-V Hardware And Security


Semiconductor Engineering sat down with Helena Handschuh, a Rambus fellow; Richard Newell, senior principal product architect at Microsemi, a Microchip Company; and Joseph Kiniry, principal scientist at Galois. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. (L-R) Joseph Kiniry, Helena Handschuh and Richard Newell. SE: Is open-source hardware more secure, or does it just open up vulnera... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


RISC-V Western Digital announced big plans for RISC-V with a new open source RISC-V core, an open standard initiative for cache coherent memory over a network, and an open source RISC-V instruction set simulator. The SweRV Core features a 2-way superscalar design with a 32-bit, 9 stage pipeline core. It has clock speeds of up to 1.8Ghz on a 28mm CMOS process technology and will be used in vari... » read more

Looking Beyond The CPU


CPUs no longer deliver the same kind of of performance improvements as in the past, raising questions across the industry about what comes next. The growth in processing power delivered by a single CPU core began stalling out at the beginning of the decade, when power-related issues such as heat and noise forced processor companies to add more cores rather than pushing up the clock frequency... » read more

FAA Traffic Management Anticipates Flying Cars


It may be a year or more before the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) changes its rules enough for Amazon or other hopefuls to deliver products by drones. But the five-year FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, signed into law Oct. 5, confirmed controversial rules the FAA considers critical to its ability to regulate drone traffic and confirmed funding and plans for drone-specific additi... » read more

RISC-V: More Than a Core


The open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA) is attracting a lot of attention across the semiconductor industry, but its long-term success will depend on levels of cooperation never seen before in the semiconductor industry. The big question now is how committed the industry is to RISC-V's success. The real value that RISC-V brings is the promise of an ecosystem and the opportun... » read more

RISC-V Inches Toward The Center


RISC-V is pushing further into the mainstream, showing up across a wide swath of designs and garnering support from a long and still-growing list of chipmakers, tools vendors, universities and foundries. In most cases it is being used as a complementary processor than a replacement for something else, but that could change in the future. What makes RISC-V particularly attractive to chipmaker... » read more

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