New Design Approaches At 7/5nm


The race to build chips with a multitude of different processing elements and memories is making it more difficult to design, verify and test these devices, particularly when AI and leading-edge manufacturing processes are involved. There are two fundamental problems. First, there are much tighter tolerances for all of the components in those designs due to proximity effects. Second, as a re... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Tools & IP OneSpin Solutions debuted the Hardware Metric Calculation (HMC) App, which uses automatically extracted design information to calculate key hardware metrics to comply with functional safety standards. In particular, it focuses on automotive and autonomous driving SoCs needing to meet the highest functional safety requirements defined by the ISO 26262 standard. The HMC App calcul... » read more

Formal Verification Of RISC-V Cores


By Sven Beyer RISC-V is hot and stands at the beginning of what may be a major shift in the industry. Even a cursory review of upcoming conferences programs and recent technical articles makes that clear. While it is still early in the evolution of the processor architecture, there is certainly the potential that RISC-V will be a game-changer in the IP and semiconductor industry. As “a fre... » read more

The Challenge Of RISC-V Compliance


The open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA) continues to gain momentum, but the flexibility of RISC-V creates a problem—how do you know if a RISC-V implementation fits basic standards and can play well with other implementations so they all can run the same ecosystem? In addition, how do you ensure that ecosystem development works for all implementations and that all cores that ... » read more

The Problem With Post-Silicon Debug


Semiconductor engineers traditionally have focused on trying to create 'perfect' GDSII at tape-out, but factors such as hardware-software interactions, increasingly heterogeneous designs, and the introduction of AI are forcing companies to rethink that approach. In the past, chipmakers typically banked on longer product cycles and multiple iterations of silicon to identify problems. This no ... » read more

Can Debug Be Tamed?


Debug consumes more time than any other aspect of the chip design and verification process, and it adds uncertainty and risk to semiconductor development because there are always lingering questions about whether enough bugs were caught in the allotted amount of time. Recent figures suggest that the problem is getting worse, too, as complexity and demand for reliability continue to rise. The... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Tools OneSpin unveiled a set of formal apps for development and assessment of RISC-V cores. The RISC-V Integrity Verification Solution formalizes the RISC-V ISA in a set of SystemVerilog Assertions to verify compliance for the ISA is met. It provides a formal bug absence core assessment environment for unbounded proofs and systematic discovery of all hidden instructions or unintended side effe... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Tools & IP OneSpin revealed its latest formal app, Connectivity XL, providing formal connectivity checking to 7nm, multi-billion gate SoC designs. The app generates detailed connectivity specification tables from abstract connectivity specs through a dedicated checking engine that integrates structural and formal analysis to perform on-the-fly, automated abstractions. It supports verificat... » read more

Connectivity Checking Is A Perfect Fit For Formal Verification


Formal verification has traditionally been regarded as an advanced technique for experts to thoroughly verify individual blocks of logic, or perhaps small clusters of blocks. However, if you talk to anyone involved in the field these days, you’ll find that the majority of formal users are running applications (“apps”) targeted for specific verification problems. Further, many of these app... » read more

EDA Grabs Bigger Slice Of Chip Market


EDA revenues have been a fairly constant percentage of semiconductor revenues, but that may change in 2019. With new customers creating demand, and some traditional customers shifting focus from advanced nodes, the various branches of the EDA tool industry may be where sticky technical problems are solved. IC manufacturing, packaging and development tools all are finding new ways to handle t... » read more

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