Explaining Adaptive Voltage Scaling And Dynamic Voltage Frequency Scaling


A Q&A with Moortec CTO Oliver King. What exactly do we mean by Adaptive Voltage Scaling versus Dynamic Voltage Frequency Scaling? Adaptive Voltage Scaling (AVS) involves the reduction of power by changing the operating conditions within an ASIC in a closed loop. Dynamic Voltage Frequency Scaling (DVFS), on the other hand, is a power management technique where the voltage is increased ... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


M&A Siemens acquired Austemper Design Systems, which provides tools for functional safety and safety-critical designs. Founded in 2015, Texas-based Austemper adds state-of-the-art safety analysis, auto-correction and fault simulation technology to address random hardware faults, as well as correct and harden vulnerable areas, subsequently performing fault simulation to ensure the design is... » read more

Process Detection & Variability


A Q&A with Moortec CTO Oliver King. What do we mean by process variation? Process variation is a complex subject which covers a range of effects, but broadly we can consider that the effects are caused by imperfections in the manufacturing process. Examples are implant variations, mask misalignments, and optical variations. These all add up to give statistical variation on the ideal o... » read more

Near-Threshold Issues Deepen


Complex issues stemming from near-threshold computing, where the operating voltage and threshold voltage are very close together, are becoming more common at each new node. In fact, there are reports that the top five mobile chip companies, all with chips at 10/7nm, have had performance failures traced back to process variation and timing issues. Once a rather esoteric design technique, near... » read more

Ensuring Chip Reliability From The Inside


Monitoring activity and traffic is emerging as an essential ingredient in complex, heterogeneous chips used in automotive, industrial, and data center applications. This is particularly true in safety-critical applications such as automotive, where much depends on the system operating exactly right at all times. To make autonomous and assisted driving possible, a mechanism to ensure systems ... » read more

Power Optimization Strategies Widen


An increasing amount of electronic content in new and existing markets is creating different and sometimes competing demands for power optimization. For the past decade, EDA has been driven by the mobile phone industry, where the emphasis is on better power analysis and optimization tools to reduce power consumption and extend battery life. While energy efficiency continues to improve, other... » read more

Designing 5G Chips


5G is the wireless technology of the future, and it’s coming fast. The technology boasts very high-speed data transfer rates, much lower latency than 4G LTE, and the ability to handle significantly higher densities of devices per cell site. In short, it is the best technology for the massive amount of data that will be generated by sensors in cars, IoT devices, and a growing list of next-g... » read more

What Happened To UPF?


Two years ago there was a lot of excitement, both within the industry and the standards communities, about rapid advancements that were being made around low-power design, languages and methodologies. Since then, everything has gone quiet. What happened? At the time, it was reported that the [gettech id="31043" comment="IEEE 1801"] committee was the largest active committee within the IEEE. ... » read more

Supply Monitoring On 28nm & FinFET: The Challenges Posed


A Q&A with Moortec CTO Oliver King. What are the issues with supplies on advanced nodes? The supplies have been coming down, quicker than the threshold voltages which has led to less supply margin. In addition to this, the interconnects are becoming thinner and closer together, which is pushing up resistance and also capacitance. What is the effect of these issues? In short, it... » read more

Thermal Issues And Modern SoCs: How Hot Is Hot?


A Q&A with Moortec CTO Oliver King. What are the thermal issues of modern SoCs? Gate density has been increasing with each node and that pushes up power per unit area, and I think that has become an even bigger issue with FinFET processes where the channels are more thermally isolated than the planar processes before them. In the last few planar nodes, leakage was an issue which led ... » read more

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