What Makes A Good AI Accelerator


The rapid growth and dynamic nature of AI and machine learning algorithms is sparking a rush to develop accelerators that can be optimized for different types of data. Where one general-purpose processor was considered sufficient in the past, there are now dozens vying for a slice of the market. As with any optimized system, architecting an accelerator — which is now the main processing en... » 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

Design Reuse Vs. Abstraction


Chip designers have been constantly searching for a hardware description language abstraction level higher than RTL for a few decades. But not everyone is moving in that direction, and there appear to be enough options available through design reuse to forestall that shift for many chipmakers. Pushing to new levels of abstraction is frequent topic of discussion in the design world, particula... » read more

The Darker Side Of Consolidation


Another wave of consolidation is underway in the semiconductor industry, setting the stage for some high-stakes competitive battles over market turf and sowing confusion across the supply chain about continued support throughout a product's projected lifetime. The consolidation comes as chipmakers already are grappling with rising complexity, the loss of a roadmap for future designs as Moore... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


M&A MIPS has reportedly been acquired again, this time by AI startup Wave Computing. Wave focuses on data center-based neural network training using its parallel dataflow processing architecture. In March, the company signed on to use 64-bit multi-threaded processor cores from MIPS in future projects. Previously, MIPS was owned by Tallwood Venture Capital, which acquired MIPS from Imaginat... » read more

CEO Outlook On Chip Industry


Semiconductor Engineering sat down with Wally Rhines, president and CEO of Mentor, a Siemens Business; Simon Segars, CEO of Arm; Grant Pierce, CEO of Sonics; and Dean Drako, CEO of IC Manage. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. L-R: Dean Drako, Grant Pierce, Wally Rhines, Simon Segars. Photo: Paul Cohen/ESD Alliance SE: What are the big changes ahead, and where do you see th... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


M&A ANSYS finalized its acquisition of OPTIS. Founded in 1989, OPTIS provided software for scientific simulation of light, human vision and physics-based visualization. The acquisition boosts the company's automotive simulation portfolio with radar, lidar and camera simulation. Terms were not disclosed. IP Arm debuted the Cortex-M35P processor. Aimed at IoT applications, the IP combine... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


Tools & IP Arm unveiled a new suite of IP focused on machine learning for edge devices. Currently dubbed Project Trillium, it includes the Arm ML processor, the second-generation Arm Object Detection (OD) processor, and open-source Arm NN software. The ML processor provides more than 4.6 TOPs in mobile environments with efficiency of 3 TOPs/W. People detection is a focus of the OD processo... » read more

The Week in Review: IoT


Products/Services At this week’s AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, Amazon Web Services introduced a number of products and services for the Internet of Things, machine learning, and other areas. These include Amazon FreeRTOS (an operating system for IoT microcontrollers), AWS IoT Device Defender (security management), AWS IoT 1-Click, AWS IoT Device Management, AWS IoT Analytics... » read more

Safety Plus Security: A New Challenge


Nobody has ever integrated safety or security features into their design just because they felt like it. Usually, successive high-profile attacks are needed to even get an industry's attention. And after that, it's not always clear how to best implement solutions or what the tradeoffs are between cost, performance, and risk versus benefit. Putting safety and security in the same basket is a ... » read more

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