Fusion Compiler: Comprehensive RTL-to-GDSII Implementation System


The semiconductor industry is going through a renaissance period with waves of technological advancements and innovation. There has been a significant uptick in demand for silicon in recent years, driven by market sectors including automotive, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and internet of things (IoT) that have their own unique mix of design and implementation requirements. The mobi... » read more

Domain Crossing Nightmares


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss problems associated with domain crossings with Alex Gnusin, design verification technologist for Aldec; Pete Hardee, director, product management for Cadence; Joe Hupcey, product manager and verification product technologist for Mentor, a Siemens Business; Sven Beyer, product manager design verification for OneSpin; and Godwin Maben, applications en... » read more

UPF-Aware Clock-Domain Crossing


Synopsys’ Namit Gupta talks with Semiconductor Engineering about low-power design techniques at the most advanced process nodes, including how to verify the impact of CDC on power at the register transfer level, how to avoid bugs caused by the post-RTL insertion of low-power devices such as isolation, retention and level shifters. https://youtu.be/HwRe9DHLfmg » read more

Is Software Necessary?


Hardware must be capable of running any software. While that might have been a good mantra when chips were relatively simple, it becomes an impossible verification task when dealing with SoCs that contain dozens of deeply embedded processors. When does it become necessary to use production software and what problems can that get you into? When verification targets such as power are added, it... » read more

Bugs That Kill


Are simulation-resistant superbugs stifling innovation? That is a question Craig Shirley, president and CEO of Oski Technology, asked a collection of semiconductor executives over dinner. Semiconductor Engineering was invited to hear that discussion and to present the key points of the discussion. To promote free conversation, the participants, who are listed below, asked not to be quoted di... » read more

Power Reduction In A Constrained World


Back when 40-28nm were new, leakage power for wireless designs dominated the optimization technology focus. This led to multiple VT optimization and power intent management for digital designs to minimize or shut off leakage. As wireless devices moved to FinFET nodes, dynamic power became dominant. As a result, optimization technology focus shifted to build up dynamic techniques to complement y... » read more

Getting Ahead With Early Power Analysis


Today’s mobile applications need to cater to a broad set of applications. They can be communications-heavy (Bluetooth and GPS), graphics-intensive (streaming 4K videos), or compute-intensive workloads (AR/VR gaming). At the heart of this processing lies the all-powerful mobile processor, which includes a multi-core CPU, GPU, memory and other IP and subsystems for performing a variety of ta... » read more

Pros, Cons Of ML-Specific Chips


Semiconductor Engineering sat down with Rob Aitken, an Arm fellow; Raik Brinkmann, CEO of OneSpin Solutions; Patrick Soheili, vice president of business and corporate development at eSilicon; and Chris Rowen, CEO of Babblelabs. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. To view part one, click here. Part two is here. SE: Is the industry's knowledge of machine learning keeping up with th... » read more

Design Reuse Vs. Abstraction


Chip designers have been constantly searching for a hardware description language abstraction level higher than RTL for a few decades. But not everyone is moving in that direction, and there appear to be enough options available through design reuse to forestall that shift for many chipmakers. Pushing to new levels of abstraction is frequent topic of discussion in the design world, particula... » read more

Abstraction Aging


During the course of doing interviews for my article on system simulation and abstraction, I spoke to several people who, just like myself, had started their career pushing abstraction. At the time, we were all frustrated that the industry didn't move fast enough. The advantages of abstraction appeared to be so clear. Everyone developed slides showing that the cost to fix bugs increased the fur... » read more

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