Minimizing Chip Aging Effects


Aging kills semiconductors, and it is a growing problem for an increasing number of semiconductor applications—especially as they migrate to more advanced nodes. Additional analysis and prevention methods are becoming necessary for safety critical applications. While some aspects of aging can be mitigated up front, others are tied to the operation of the device. What can an engineering tea... » read more

Chip Aging Becomes Design Problem


Chip aging is a growing problem at advanced nodes, but so far most design teams have not had to deal with it. That will change significantly as new reliability requirements roll out across markets such as automotive, which require a complete analysis of factors that affect aging. Understanding the underlying physics is critical, because it can lead to unexpected results and vulnerabilities. ... » read more

Safety, Security And PPA Tradeoffs


Safety and security are emerging as key design tradeoffs as chips are added into safety-critical markets, adding even more complexity into an already complicated optimization process. In the early days of semiconductor design, performance and area were traded off against each other. Then power became important, and the main tradeoffs became power, performance and area (PPA). But as chips inc... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


M&A IoT-focused memory chipmaker Adesto Technologies acquired S3 Semiconductors, a provider of mixed-signal and RF ASICs and IP. Based in Ireland, S3 Semiconductors was founded in 1986. S3 Semiconductors will become a business unit of Adesto and will continue to operate under its current model in the $35 million deal. S3 Semiconductor's parent company, S3 Group, will continue as a separate... » 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

Pushing Performance Limits


Trying to squeeze the last bit of performance out of a chip sounds like a good idea, but it increases risk and cost, extends development time, reduced yield, and it may even limit the environments in which the chip can operate. And yet, given the amount of margin added at every step of the development process, it seems obvious that plenty of improvements could be made. "Every design can be o... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


Startups Two new companies unveiled this week – Metrics Technologies and Movellus. Metrics Technologies is providing a Software-as-a-Service SystemVerilog simulator and verification manager that are available as pay-per-minute. This allows companies to have fully elastic system capabilities to accommodate peak simulation demand. “Cloud technology and Software as a Service business mo... » read more