Open Source Processors: Fact Or Fiction?


Open source processors are rapidly gaining mindshare, fueled in part by early successes of RISC-V, but that interest frequently is accompanied by misinformation based on wishful thinking and a lack of understanding about what exactly open source entails. Nearly every recent conference has some mention of RISC-V in particular, and open source processors in general, whether that includes keyno... » read more

Will Open-Source EDA Work?


Open-source EDA is back on the semiconductor industry's agenda, spurred by growing interest in open-source hardware. But whether the industry embraces the idea with enough enthusiasm to make it successful is not clear yet. One of the key sponsors of this effort is the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is spearheading a number of programs to lower the cost of chip ... » read more

Complete Formal Verification of RISC V Processor IPs for Trojan-Free Trusted ICs


RISC-V processor IPs are increasingly being integrated into system-on-chip designs for a variety of applications. However, there is still a lack of dedicated functional verification solutions supporting high-integrity, trusted integrated circuits. This paper examines an efficient, novel, formal-based RISC-V processor verification methodology. The RISC-V ISA is formalized in a set of Operational... » read more

Who’s Responsible For Security Breaches?


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss industry attitudes towards safety and security with Dave Kelf, chief marketing officer for Breker Verification; Jacob Wiltgen, solutions architect for functional safety at Mentor, a Siemens Business; David Landoll, solutions architect for OneSpin Solutions; Dennis Ciplickas, vice president of characterization solutions at PDF Solutions; Andrew Dauma... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


M&A Intel will acquire Barefoot Networks, a maker of programmable Ethernet switch silicon and the P4 networking programming language for data centers. Founded in 2013, the Santa Clara-based company has raised $155.4 million in funding. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Intel expects the acquisition to be final in the third quarter of this year. Tools & IP Mentor extended it... » read more

Data Confusion At The Edge


Disparities in pre-processing of data at the edge, coupled with a total lack of standardization, are raising questions about how that data will be prioritized and managed in AI and machine learning systems. Initially, the idea was that 5G would connect edge data to the cloud, where massive server farms would infer patterns from that data and send it back to the edge devices. But there is far... » read more

Disregard Safety And Security At Your Own Peril


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss industry attitudes towards safety and security with Dave Kelf, chief marketing officer for Breker Verification; Jacob Wiltgen, solutions architect for functional safety at Mentor, a Siemens Business; David Landoll, solutions architect for OneSpin Solutions; Dennis Ciplickas, vice president of characterization solutions at PDF Solutions; Andrew Dauma... » read more

Moore Open Source Coming


The sunsetting of Moore's Law is creating some interesting ripples throughout the EDA and IP industries. No longer is the low-risk path defined by a migration to the next node. Most companies cannot afford it and don’t need it. Neither can their competitors. Suddenly, they have to do more with less, or at least the same amount. Consider just a few things that are changing today: Stick... » read more

Why IP Quality Is So Difficult To Determine


Differentiating good IP from mediocre or bad IP is getting more difficult, in part because it depends up on how and where it is used and in part because even the best IP may work better in one system than another—even in chips developed by the same vendor. This has been one of the challenges with IP over the years. In many cases, IP is poorly characterized, regardless of whether that IP wa... » read more

Extending RISC-V ISA With Custom Instruction Set Extension


RISC-V ISA (Instruction Set Architecture) is designed in a modular way. It means that the ISA has several groups of instructions (ISA extensions) that can be enabled or disabled as needed. This allows implementing precisely the instruction groups that the application needs, without having to pay for area or power that will not be used. One of the groups is special; it has no predefined instruct... » read more

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