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Interconnects In A Domain-Specific World


Moving data around is probably the least interesting aspect of system design, but it is one of three legs that defines the key performance indicators (KPI) for a system. Computation, memory, and interconnect all need to be balanced. Otherwise, resources are wasted and performance is lost. The problem is that the interconnect is rarely seen as a contributor to system functionality. It is seen... » read more

Taming Non-Predictable Systems


How predictable are semiconductor systems? The industry aims to create predictable systems and yet when a carrot is dangled, offering the possibility of faster, cheaper, or some other gain, decision makers invariably decide that some degree of uncertainty is warranted. Understanding uncertainty is at least the first step to making informed decisions, but new tooling is required to assess the im... » read more

Verification’s Inflection Point


Functional verification is nearing an inflection point, brought on by rising complexity and the many tentacles that are intermixing it with other disciplines. New abstractions or different ways to approach the problems are needed. Being a verification engineer is no longer enough, except for those whose concerns is block-level verification. Most of the time and effort spent in verification i... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Synopsys acquired Light Tec, a provider of optical scattering measurements and measurement equipment. The company also provides optical engineering consulting services plus training for use of Synopsys' lighting simulation software. "Light Tec's proven optical measurement capabilities provide our customers with robust new tools for high-accuracy optical product simulations and visualizations," ... » read more

Confusion Persists In Verification Terms


I find it amazing that an area of technology that attempts to show, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a design will work before it is constructed can be so bad at getting some basic things right. I am talking about verification terminology. I have been in this industry for over 40 years and it is not improving. In fact, it is getting worse. The number of calls I have with people where they hav... » read more

The Evolution Of Digital Twins


Digital twins are starting to make inroads earlier in the chip design flow, allowing design teams to develop more effective models. But they also are adding new challenges in maintaining those models throughout a chip's lifecycle. Until a couple of years ago, few people in the semiconductor industry had even heard the term "digital twin." Then, suddenly, it was everywhere, causing confusion ... » read more

Universal Verification Methodology Running Out Of Steam


For the past decade or so, the Universal Verification Methodology (UVM) has been the de facto verification methodology supported by the entire EDA industry. But as chips become more heterogeneous, more complex, and significantly larger, UVM is running out of steam. Consensus is building that some fundamental changes are required, moving tools up a level of abstraction and making them more ag... » read more

Open-Source Verification


Ask different people what open-source verification means and you will get a host of different answers. They range from the verification of open-source hardware, to providing an open-source verification infrastructure, to providing open-source stream generators or reference models, to open-source simulators and formal verification engines. Verification is about reducing risk. "Verification is... » read more

The Meaning Of Verification


When I ask the question "Why do we do verification?" there are generally two types of responses. One of them sees the glass as half empty and the other as half full. It depends upon how you look at the problem and if you see verification as being a positive or negative operation. The negative answer is that we do verification to find bugs. This relies on the mechanical function of creating v... » read more

Will Open-Source Processors Cause A Verification Shift?


While the promised flexibility of open source could have advantages and possibilities for processors and SoCs, where does the industry stand on verification approaches and methodologies from here? Single-source ISAs of the past relied on general industry verification technologies and methodologies, but open-source ISA-based processor users and adopters will need to review the verification flows... » read more

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