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Process Model Calibration: The Key To Building Predictive And Accurate 3D Process Models


The semiconductor industry has always faced challenges caused by device scaling, architecture evolution, and process complexity and integration. These challenges are coupled with a need to provide new technology to the market quickly. In the initial stages of semiconductor technology development, innovative process flow schemes must be tested using silicon test wafers. These wafer tests are len... » read more

Using Model-Based Systems Engineering To Design Complex Systems


By Anthony Dawson and Jane Trenaman The benefits of using simulation early and often in the product development process are clear. You can verify requirements and begin studying and exploring design alternatives before prototyping and investing time in designs that ultimately won’t meet requirements. What may not be clear is how to integrate all the simulation tools that different engineer... » read more

Do We Have An IC Model Crisis?


Models are critical for IC design. Without them, it's impossible to perform analysis, which in turn limits optimizations. Those optimizations are especially important as semiconductors become more heterogenous, more customized, and as they are integrated into larger systems, creating a need for higher-accuracy models that require massive compute power to develop. But those factors, and other... » read more

Customized Micro-Benchmarks For HW/SW Performance


Raw performance used to be the main focus of benchmarks, but they may have outlived their usefulness for many applications. Dana McCarty, vice president of sales and marketing for AI Inference Products at Flex Logix, talks about why companies need to develop and utilize their own specific models to accurately gauge hardware and software performance, which can be slowed by bottlenecks in I/O and... » read more

Big Challenges In Verifying Cyber-Physical Systems


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss cyber-physical systems and how to verify them with Jean-Marie Brunet, senior director for the Emulation Division at Siemens EDA; Frank Schirrmeister, senior group director for solution marketing at Cadence; Maurizio Griva, R&D Manager at Reply; and Laurent Maillet-Contoz, system and architect specialist at STMicroelectronics. This discussion was... » read more

Machine Learning — Everywhere: Enabling Self-Optimizing Design Platforms for Better End-to-End Results


Machine-learning offers opportunities to enable self-optimizing design tools. Very much like self-driving cars that observe real-world interactions to improve their responses in different (local) driving conditions, AI-enhanced tools are able to learn and improve in (local) design environments after deployment. These new, ML-driven capabilities can be embedded in different design engines, gi... » read more

Model Variation And Its Impact On Cell Characterization


EDA (Electronic Design Automation) cell characterization tools have been used extensively to generate models for timing, power and noise at a rapidly growing number of process corners. Today, model variation has become a critical component of cell characterization. Variation can impact circuit timing due to process, voltage, and temperature changes and can lead to timing violations, resulting i... » read more

Dealing With Device Aging At Advanced Nodes


Premature aging of circuits is becoming troublesome at advanced nodes, where it increasingly is complicated by new market demands, more stress from heat, and tighter tolerances due to increased density and thinner dielectrics. In the past, aging and stress largely were separate challenges. Those lines are starting to blur for a number of reasons. Among them: In automotive, advanced-node... » read more

Creating Better Models For Software And Hardware Verification


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss what's ahead for verification with Daniel Schostak, Arm fellow and verification architect; Ty Garibay, vice president of hardware engineering at Mythic; Balachandran Rajendran, CTO at Dell EMC; Saad Godil, director of applied deep learning research at Nvidia; Nasr Ullah, senior director of performance architecture at SiFive. What follows are excerpt... » read more

Models Built With Water


A couple of years ago I wrote a post using the famous quote by statistician George Box: All Models Are Wrong; Some Are Useful. In that post, I discussed paper and plastic airplanes, but mostly I talked about modeling in computers, and especially what I call the "digital illusion." The digital illusion is the idea that signals in digital chips are ones and zeros, with timing, and not analog vol... » read more

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