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

The Week In Review: Design


M&A Microchip inked an agreement to acquire Microsemi, provider of chips for defense and aerospace, for $68.78 per share in cash. The acquisition price represents a total equity value of about $8.35 billion and a total enterprise value of about $10.15 billion, according to Microchip. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018. Silvaco acquired NanGate. Founded in 2004, ... » read more

IP And Power


[getkc id="108" kc_name="Power"] is quickly becoming a major differentiator for products, regardless of whether they are connected to a wall outlet or dependent on a battery. At the same time, increasing amounts of a chips content comes from third-party [getkc id="43" kc_name="IP"]. So how do system designers ensure that the complete system has an optimal power profile, and what can they do to ... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


Tools & IP Pro Design launched three new proFPGA Zynq UltraScale+ FPGA modules for SoC and IP prototyping. The modules combine FPGA logic with quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 and dual-core ARM Cortex-R5 processors and on-board interfaces. The modules offer a total of up to 5 extension sites with 531 standard I/Os and 16 multi-gigabit transceivers (MGTs). The board allows a maximum point-to-point ... » read more

Chip Aging Accelerates


Reliability is becoming an increasingly important proof point for new chips as they are rolled out in new markets such as automotive, cloud computing and industrial IoT, but actually proving that a chip will function as expected over time is becoming much more difficult. In the past, reliability generally was considered a foundry issue. Chips developed for computers and phones were designed ... » read more

New Thermal Issues Emerge


Thermal monitoring is becoming more critical as gate density continues to increase at each new node and as chips are developed for safety critical markets such as automotive. This may sound counterintuitive because the whole point of device scaling is to increase gate density. But at 10/7 and 7/5nm, static current leakage is becoming a bigger issue, raising questions about how long [getkc id... » read more

Understanding Your Chip’s Age


A Q&A with Moortec CTO Oliver King. Why is understanding your chip's age important? Semiconductor devices age over time, we all know that, but what is often not well understood are the mechanisms for aging or the limits that will cause a chip to fail. In addition, there is bound to be a requirement for a minimum lifetime of a device which will depend on application but could be two or... » read more

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