Impact Of Instruction Memory On Processor PPA


The area of any part of a design contributes both to the silicon cost and to the power consumption. A simplistic following of the “A” in a processor IP vendor’s PPA numbers can be misleading. A processor is never in isolation but is part of a subsystem additionally including instruction memory, data memory, and peripherals. In most cases, instruction memory will be dominant and the proc... » read more

Brute-Force Analysis Not Keeping Up With IC Complexity


Much of the current design and verification flow was built on brute force analysis, a simple and direct approach. But that approach rarely scales, and as designs become larger and the number of interdependencies increases, ensuring the design always operates within spec is becoming a monumental task. Unless design teams want to keep adding increasing amounts of margin, they have to locate th... » read more

Arm Goes For Performance


At the recent Linley Processor Conference, Arm presented two processors. This was regarded as so confidential that the original pre-conference version of the presentations didn't contain the Arm one, even though that pdf was only put online about an hour before. But most of the outline of what they presented they already talked about in May, a few months ago. I said recently that this seem... » read more

Optimizing For Energy In Physical Design


Energy is a precious resource, which should not be wasted. Energy drives economies and sustains societies. Predictions show that the energy of electronics may soon consume 20% to 33% of the global energy supply, as it is highlighted in this blog post about "Design and Manufacturing in 2030" from Greg Yeric, fellow at Arm. Energy efficiency is such an important global issue that it is ... » read more

How ML Enables Cadence Digital Tools To Deliver Better PPA


Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are emerging as powerful new ways to do old things more efficiently, which is the benchmark that any new and potentially disruptive technology must meet. In chip design, results are measured in many different ways, but common metrics are power (consumed), performance (provided), and area (required), collectively referred to as PPA. These me... » read more

Understanding The Performance Of Processor IP Cores


Looking at any processor IP, you will find that their vendors emphasize PPA (performance, power & area) numbers. In theory, they should provide a level playing field for comparing different processor IP cores, but in reality, the situation is more complex. Let us consider performance. The first thing to think about is what aspect of performance you care about. Do you care more about the ... » read more

EDA Forms The Basis For Designing Secure Systems


By Adam Cron and Brandon Wang As Internet of Things (IoT) devices rapidly increase in popularity and deployment, security risks are arising at all levels. It could be at the usability level such as social engineering, pretexting, phishing; at the primitive level such as cryptanalysis; at the software level such as client-side scripting, code injection; and now even at the hardware level. Dur... » read more

Maximizing Value Post-Moore’s Law


When Moore's Law was in full swing, almost every market segment considered moving to the next available node as a primary way to maximize value. But today, each major market segment is looking at different strategies that are more closely aligned with its individual needs. This diversity will end up causing both pain and opportunities in the supply chain. Chip developers must do more with a ... » read more

The Fast, ‘Attractive’ Path From Great PPA To The Best PPA For High-Performance Arm Cores


By Mark Richards and Neel Desai When you want to create a website for your new side-hustle, or maybe for your local soccer team, it's rare that you would order a book on cascading-style sheets, break out the HTML editor and start from a blank sheet of “paper.” You'd do the smart thing and use a website builder, link it to some content management tool (this would get you to 90% of a usabl... » read more

Best Full-Flow PPA


In the past few years, Cadence revolutionized the way digital designers could solve their design challenges by revamping the entire digital tool suite with key enhancements such as integrated engines, massively parallel processing, and early signoff optimization, all delivering faster turnaround time and best-in-class power, performance, and area (PPA) optimization. In the era of FinFETs and ad... » read more

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