Big Challenges, Changes For Debug


By Ann Steffora Mutschler & Ed Sperling Debugging a chip always has been difficult, but the problem is getting worse at 7nm and 5nm. The number of corner cases is exploding as complexity rises, and some bugs are not even on anyone's radar until well after devices are already in use by end customers. An estimated 39% of verification engineering time is spent on debugging activities the... » read more

Rediscovering Coverage Insurance


When coverage comes up in conversation, if it comes up at all, it’s always a matter of car, home or health insurance. Coverage and functional verification are unlikely to be used in that discussion, or any other for that matter. That’s too bad because engineering groups grapple with when is enough verification enough, like some kind of coverage insurance. Oh sure, simulation and emulatio... » read more

Fault Simulation Reborn


Fault simulation, one of the oldest tools in the EDA industry toolbox, is receiving a serious facelift after it almost faded from existence. In the early days, fault simulation was used to grade the quality of manufacturing test vectors. That task was replaced almost entirely by [getkc id="173" comment="scan test"] and automatic test pattern generation (ATPG). Today, functional safety is cau... » read more

DVCon Europe: 2 Days Of Verification Presentations To Enthusiastic Attendees


Design verification was on full display last week in Munich, Germany, as DVCon Europe offered two full days of more than 30 sessions. Attendees could choose from 16 tutorials, two panels, three keynotes and 16 technical presentations or wander through a small but active exhibit floor, with exhibitors that included OneSpin. The conference for engineers by engineers is meant to be educational,... » read more

Building Chips That Can Learn


The idea that devices can learn optimal behavior rather than relying on more generalized hardware and software is driving a resurgence in artificial intelligence, machine leaning, and cognitive computing. But architecting, building and testing these kinds of systems will require broad changes that ultimately could impact the entire semiconductor ecosystem. Many of these changes are wel... » read more

Customizable Apps – Avoiding The Pitfalls Of EDA Frameworks


For those of us involved with EDA tools in the late '80s and early '90s, the word “frameworks” brings back memories of rigid methodology and use models, coupled with CAD complexity. Cadence and Mentor, among others, proposed the EDA framework as a mechanism to provide design revision management coupled with tool flow control (I can already imagine your eyes glazing over). For some situat... » read more

Formal Has Its Day


As new technologies receive more mainstream attention, it is common for the experts in the area to provide a critical mass of enthusiasm. Formal is in this mode with multiple meetings throughout the year and around the globe. Perhaps one of the most successful of these is the annual Formal Day event put on by Test & Verification Solutions (TVS) based in the UK. This live and online event is... » read more

The Early Bird Catches The Bug Using Formal


It has been suggested that formal might replace simulation, at least in some parts of the design flow. Not likely! The question is, how can formal be layered on top of simulation flows to improve coverage and schedule? The way formal is being used at the larger semiconductor companies is evolving. In many of these companies a small team of hardcore formal experts are employed across differen... » read more

Planes, Cars, And Lagging Standards


Automotive and aerospace standards are struggling to adapt to pervasive connectivity, increased functionality, and new packaging approaches and architectures, leaving chipmakers and systems vendors unsure about what needs to be included in future designs. Each of these markets has a reputation for being lumbering and unresponsive, in part because they deal with safety-critical issues and i... » read more

Everything You Wanted to Know About Formal, But Were Too Afraid to Ask


Formal Verification is one of those EDA technologies that's been used in mainstream development in one or two applications for many years. The true power of the approach only now has started to capture the attention of engineers. Although there are a few reasons for this, perhaps the most significant is formal’s ill-gotten reputation as a mysterious beast too difficult to tame. After worki... » read more

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