Service Revenue Growing With Chip Complexity


Rising complexity, new markets, and a shortage of in-house expertise are beginning to rekindle demand for services for the first time in nearly a decade. The semiconductor industry has been racing to design chips for a variety of new and existing applications, but they are facing challenges on a number of fronts: Leading-edge chips require new architectures due to a sharp reduction in s... » read more

Rapid Evolution For Verification Plans


Verification plans are rapidly evolving from mechanisms to track verification progress into multi-faceted coordination vehicles for several teams with disparate goals, using complex resource management spread across multiple abstractions and tools. New system demands from industries such as automotive are forcing tighter integration of those plans with requirements management and product lif... » read more

A Glossary For Chip And Semiconductor IP Security And Trust


A significant portion of electronic system vulnerabilities involves hardware. In 2015 the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE-MITRE) database recorded 6,488 vulnerabilities. A considerable proportion (43%) can be classified as software-assisted hardware vulnerabilities (see Fig. 1). The discovery of Meltdown and Spectre in January 2018 has sparked a series of investigations into hardware ... » read more

Scaling Formal Connectivity Checking To Multi-Billion-Gate SoCs With Specification Automation


Connectivity checking is a popular formal verification application. Formal tools can automatically generate assertions using a specification table as input and prove them exhaustively. Simulation-based verification, on the other hand, requires significantly more effort while providing a fraction of the coverage. However, chip complexity is rapidly increasing. ASICs and FPGAs for heterogeneous c... » read more

Extending Portable Stimulus


It has been a year since Accellera's Portable Test and Stimulus Specification became a standard. Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the impact it has had, and the future direction of it, with Larry Melling, product management director for Cadence; Tom Fitzpatrick, strategic verification architect for Mentor, a Siemens Business; Tom Anderson, technical marketing consultant for OneSpin... » read more

High-Level Design And High-Level Verification


Not so long ago, some EDA vendors were painting a very attractive picture of chip design in the then-near future. The idea was that an architectural team would write a single description of the complete system in some high-level language, usually C/C++/SystemC, and that a new class of EDA tool would automatically partition the design into hardware and software, choosing the functionality of eac... » read more

The Growing Impact Of Portable Stimulus


It has been a year since Accellera's Portable Test and Stimulus Specification became a standard. Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the impact it has had, and the future direction of it, with Dave Kelf, chief marketing officer for Breker Verification Systems; Larry Melling, product management director for Cadence; Tom Fitzpatrick, strategic verification architect for Mentor, a Siemen... » read more

FPGA Design Tradeoffs Getting Tougher


FPGAs are getting larger, more complex, and significantly harder to verify and debug. In the past, FPGAs were considered a relatively quick and simple way to get to market before committing to the cost and time of developing an ASIC. But today, both FPGAs and eFPGAs are being used in the most demanding applications, including cloud computing, AI, machine learning, and deep learning. In some ... » read more

IP’s Growing Impact On Yield And Reliability


Chipmakers are finding it increasingly difficult to achieve first-pass silicon with design IP sourced internally and from different IP providers, and especially with configurable IP. Utilizing poorly qualified IP and waiting for issues to appear during the design-to-verification phase just before tape-out can pose high risks for design houses and foundries alike in terms of cost and time to... » read more

Chip Security Needs A New Language


By Sven Beyer and Sergio Marchese Safety- and security-critical systems, such as connected autonomous vehicles, require high-integrity integrated circuits (ICs). Functional correctness and safety are necessary to establish IC integrity, but not sufficient. Security is another critical pillar of IC integrity. Systems and products using ICs with security vulnerabilities ultimately undermine th... » read more

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