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Auto Chipmakers Dig Down To 10ppb


How do engineers deliver 10 defective parts per billion (Dppb) to auto makers if they only screen 1 million parts per year? Answer: By comprehending failure mechanisms and proactively screening for them. Modern automobiles contain nearly 1,000 ICs that must perform over the vehicle’s life (15 years). This drives quality expectations ever higher. While 10 Dppm used to be a solid benchmark, ... » read more

Holistic FMEDA-Driven Safety Design And Verification For Analog, Digital, And Mixed-Signal Design


With state-of-the-art electronics propelling the automotive industry into the future, automotive OEMs require safety-certified semiconductors. The integration of these advanced technologies into cars drives a need for component suppliers to assess and audit the risk of the technologies they want to deploy. At the same time, safety requirements are constantly evolving and becoming more stringent... » read more

Anti-Tamper Benefits Of Encrypted Helper-Data Images For PUFs


PUFs are mixed-signal circuits which rely on variations unique to a specific chip to self-generate a digital “fingerprint.” Most PUFs require a “helper-data” image that is generated during the initial digitization process, also known as Enrollment. Leveraging the chip-unique transformation function of PUFs and encrypted helper data, an unclonable challenge-response mechanism can be impl... » read more

‘Hug The Debug’ – Before It’s Too Late


Though the term “shift-left” originated in the software industry, its importance is often cited in the hardware (semiconductor) industry where the end-product (chip) costs are skyrocketing. The increase in cost is driven by a global chip shortage, especially in the automotive industry. Manufacturing a robust chip is a long, iterative process that may require many re-spins. Shift-left refers... » read more

Virtuoso ADE Assembler


Cadence Virtuoso ADE Assembler is an advanced design and simulation environment that extends the capabilities of Virtuoso ADE Explorer, adding all the tests needed to fully verify a design over all operational, process, and environmental conditions. As more analysis is required, users can take incremental advantage of the Virtuoso Variation Option to do more advanced statistical analysis on the... » read more

Testing Analog Circuits Becoming More Difficult


Foundries and packaging houses are wrestling how to control heat in the testing phase, particularly as devices continue to shrink and as thermally sensitive analog circuits are added into SoCs and advanced packages to support everything from RF to AI. The overriding problem is that heat can damage chips or devices under test. That's certainly true for digital chips developed at advanced node... » read more

Re-Architecting SerDes


Serializer/Deserializer (SerDes) circuits have been helping semiconductors move data around for years, but new process technologies are forcing it to adapt and change in unexpected ways. Traditionally implemented as an analog circuit, SerDes technology has been difficult to scale, while low voltages, variation, and noise are making it more difficult to yield sufficiently. So to remain releva... » read more

Brute-Force Analysis Not Keeping Up With IC Complexity


Much of the current design and verification flow was built on brute force analysis, a simple and direct approach. But that approach rarely scales, and as designs become larger and the number of interdependencies increases, ensuring the design always operates within spec is becoming a monumental task. Unless design teams want to keep adding increasing amounts of margin, they have to locate th... » read more

Mixed-Signal Methodologies: Data Management


Software teams have long used version control and data management systems and they have become an integral part of a software development environment. Practically, no significant software project is started without a software data management system and methodology in place. There are a variety of solutions, typically referred to as Software Configuration Management (SCM) systems, to choose from... » read more

Increase In Analog Problems


Analog and mixed signal design has always been tough, but a resent survey suggests that the industry has seen significantly increased failures in the past year because the analog circuitry within an ASIC was out of tolerance. What is causing this spike in failures? Is it just a glitch in the data, or are these problems real? The answer is complicated, and to a large extent it depends heavily... » read more

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