RISC-V Challenges And Opportunities


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss open instruction set hardware and the future of RISC-V with Ben Levine, senior director of product management in Rambus' Security Division; Jerry Ardizzone, vice president of worldwide sales at Codasip; Megan Wachs, vice president of engineering at SiFive; and Rishiyur Nikhil, CTO of Bluespec. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. (L-... » read more

ML, Edge Drive IP To Outperform Broader Chip Market


The market for third-party semiconductor IP is surging, spurred by the need for more specific capabilities across a wide variety of markets. While the IP industry is not immune to steep market declines in semiconductor industry, it does have more built-in resilience than other parts of the industry. Case in point: The top 15 semiconductor suppliers were hit with an 18% decline in 2019 first-... » read more

Open ISAs Gaining Traction


Open instruction set architectures are starting to gain a foothold, often in combination with other processors, as chipmakers begin to add more specialized compute elements and more flexibility into their designs. There are a number of these open ISAs available today, including Power, MIPS, and RISC-V, and there are a number of permutations and tools available for sale based on those archite... » 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

Better Benchmarks Through Compiler Optimizations: Codasip Jump Threading


The architectural efficiency of embedded processor IP is measured by a small set of industry standard benchmarks, that even though often bear little correlation to real workloads, continue to persist. The most popular benchmarks are Dhrystone and CoreMark. An interesting observation regarding these test suites is that the performance numbers continue to improve for a given architecture, even... » read more

The New CXL Standard


Gary Ruggles, senior staff product marketing manager at Synopsys, digs into the new Compute Express Link standard, why it’s important for high bandwidth in AI/ML applications, where it came from, and how to apply it in current and future designs. » read more

What Is A Custom Processor?


Spurred by the latest cyclical development boom, the semiconductor industry is entering a new golden era of custom processors, but this time ‘custom processor’ means something different. A generation ago, every major semiconductor company had in-house processors: SuperH, PowerPC, V800, Alpha, MEP, Trimedia, etc., with some specializing more than others for particular domains. But industr... » read more

Assuring the Integrity of RISC-V Cores and SoCs


The open RISC-V processor architecture is shaking up the intellectual property (IP) and system-on-chip (SoC) worlds. There is great interest and much industry activity underway. However, successful RISC-V core providers will have to verify all aspects of integrity for their designs: functional correctness, safety, security, and trust. SOC developers evaluating potential RISC-V need to check tha... » read more

A Holistic View Of RISC-V Verification


Last month, we discussed the growth of the RISC-V open processor ecosystem, the two main organizations driving it, and the role that OneSpin plays. In addition, we have become very active in the RISC-V community and have more than a dozen technical articles published, conference talks presented, and upcoming talks accepted. We tend to focus on the challenges of verifying RISC-V IP cores and sys... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Deals Apple will pay $1 billion to buy Intel's smartphone modem unit. Under the terms of the agreement, Apple will hire 2,200 Intel employees and acquire Intel's IP and equipment. The deal, expected to close in Q4, puts an end to Intel's attempts to win a piece of the smartphone market. But the chipmaker retains the right to develop modems for non-smartphone applications, including PCs, IoT de... » read more

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