Synthesizing Hardware From Software


The ability to automatically generate optimized hardware from software was one of the primary tenets of system-level design automation that was never fully achieved. The question now is whether that will ever happen, and whether it is just a matter of having the right technology or motivation to make it possible. While high-level synthesis (HLS) did come out of this work and has proven to be... » 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

Signoff-Compatible CDC


Tanveer Singh, senior staff consulting applications engineer at Synopsys, explains why netlist clock domain crossing is now an essential complement to RTL CDC, why CDC issues are worse at advanced nodes and in AI chips, and why dealing with CDC effectively is becoming a competitive requirement for performance and low power. » read more

Hybrid Emulation Takes Center Stage


From mobile to networking to AI applications, system complexity shows no sign of slowing. These designs, which may contain multiple billion gates, must be validated, verified and tested, and it’s no longer possible to just throw the whole thing in a hardware emulator. For some time, emulation, FPGA-based prototyping, and virtual environments such as simulators have given design and verific... » 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

Machine Learning Drives High-Level Synthesis Boom


High-level synthesis (HLS) is experiencing a new wave of popularity, driven by its ability to handle machine-learning matrices and iterative design efforts. The obvious advantage of HLS is the boost in productivity designers get from working in C, C++ and other high-level languages rather than RTL. The ability to design a layout that should work, and then easily modify it to test other confi... » read more

The Case For Embedded FPGAs Strengthens And Widens


The embedded FPGA, an IP core integrated into an ASIC or SoC, is winning converts. System architects are starting to see the benefits of eFPGAs, which offer the flexibility of programmable logic without the cost of FPGAs. Programmable logic is especially appealing for accelerating machine learning applications that need frequent updates. An eFPGA can provide some architects the cover they ne... » read more

The Role Of EDA In AI


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the role that EDA has in automating artificial intelligence and machine learning with Doug Letcher, president and CEO of Metrics; Daniel Hansson, CEO of Verifyter; Harry Foster, chief scientist verification for Mentor, a Siemens Business; Larry Melling, product management director for Cadence; Manish Pandey, Synopsys fellow; and Raik Brinkmann, CEO ... » read more

The Value Of A Model


Increased talk about the Digital Twin has brought models to the forefront of the discussion. What are the right models for particular applications? What is the correct level of abstraction? Where do the models come from and how are they maintained? How does one value a model? The semiconductor industry has been reluctant to create any model that is not directly used in the development path. ... » read more

Fibonacci And Honey Bees Have Something In Common: A Sweet Spot For Formal


Time flies and the OneSpin’s Holiday Puzzle tradition has reached its third year. In December 2016, OneSpin challenged engineers everywhere to solve the Einstein riddle using assertions and a formal verification tool. In December 2017, the challenge was to model the hardest Sudoku in the world using assertions and find a solution with a formal tool. In addition, participants had to prove that... » read more

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