Winners And Losers At The Edge


The edge is a vast collection of niches tied to narrow vertical markets, and it is likely to stay that way for years to come. This is both good and bad for semiconductor companies, depending upon where they sit in the ecosystem and their ability to adapt to a constantly shifting landscape. Some segments will see continued or new growth, including EDA, manufacturing equipment, IP, security an... » read more

Open-Source Hardware Momentum Builds


Open-source hardware continues to gain ground, spearheaded by RISC-V — despite the fact that this processor technology is neither free nor simple to use. Nevertheless, the open-source hardware movement has established a solid foothold after multiple prior forays that yielded only limited success, even for processors. With demand for more customized hardware, and a growing field of startups... » read more

About The SweRV Core EH2


In mid-May, CHIPS Alliance announced the open sourcing of the SweRV Core EH2 and SweRV Core EL2 designed by Western Digital. These cores, as well as the earlier EH1, are now supported by Codasip’s SweRV Core Support Package which provides all of the components necessary to design, implement, test, and write software for a SweRV Core-based system-on-chip. But what is SweRV Core EH2? ... » read more

Simplifying And Speeding Up Verification


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss what's ahead for verification with Daniel Schostak, Arm fellow and verification architect; Ty Garibay, vice president of hardware engineering at Mythic; Balachandran Rajendran, CTO at Dell EMC; Saad Godil, director of applied deep learning research at Nvidia; Nasr Ullah, senior director of performance architecture at SiFive. What follows are excerpt... » read more

Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing


Edge, cloud, data center Programmable logic company Efinix used Cadence’s Digital Full Flow to finish Efinix’s Trion FPGA family for edge computing, AI/ML and vision processing applications, according to a press release. Last week Efinix also announced three software defined SoCs based on the RISC-V core. The SoCs are optimized to the Trion FPGAs. AI, machine learning Amazon will tempo... » read more

Fundamental Changes In Economics Of Chip Security


Protecting chips from cyberattacks is becoming more difficult, more expensive and much more resource-intensive, but it also is becoming increasingly necessary as some of those chips end up in mission-critical servers and in safety-critical applications such as automotive. Security has been on the semiconductor industry's radar for at least the past several years, despite spotty progress and ... » read more

Configuring Processors In The Field


The convergence of two technologies, extensible processors and embedded FPGAs, is enabling the creation of processors that can be dynamically configured in the field. But it's not clear if there is a need for them or how difficult would it be to program them. This remains an open question even though there is evidence of its usefulness in the past and new products are expected to reach the mark... » read more

The Increasingly Ordinary Task Of Verifying RISC-V


As RISC-V processor development matures and its usage in SoCs and microcontrollers grows, engineering teams are starting to look beyond the challenges of the processor core itself. So far, the majority of industry verification efforts have focused on ISA compliance to standardize the RISC-V core. Now the focus is shifting to be how to handle verification as the system grows, especially as this... » read more

What’s So Important About Processor Extensibility?


While the ability to extend a processor is nothing new, market dynamics are forcing a growing percentage of the industry to consider it a necessary part of their product innovation. From small IoT functions to massive data centers and artificial intelligence, the need to create an optimized processing platform is often the only way to get more performance or lower power out of the silicon area ... » read more

The Hidden Costs of Open Source


It is often implied that if you use an open source processor core there are no costs associated with using it. Of course, the RTL may be free of a license fee and royalties and it might be possible to access a free of charge toolchain for RISC-V, but there are plenty of hidden costs associated with using the core in a real integrated circuit design. If you are using the core in a product... » read more

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