Easier Low Power ICs With Reference Flows


By Terence Chen and Alexander Volkov Power-sensitive ICs for wearables and internet of things (IoT) products are in demand for markets ranging from automotive to military/aerospace to consumer. As with most ICs, cost and time-to-market pressures are important determiners of success. Reducing risk by using a vendor-created reference flow can confer a serious business advantage. Reference f... » read more

Moving Data And Computing Closer Together


The speed of processors has increased to the point where they often are no longer the performance bottleneck for many systems. It's now about data access. Moving data around costs both time and power, and developers are looking for ways to reduce the distances that data has to move. That means bringing data and memory nearer to each other. “Hard drives didn't have enough data flow to cr... » read more

Designing For Extreme Low Power


There are several techniques available for low power design, but whenever a nanowatt or picojoule matters, all available methods must be used. Some of the necessary techniques are different from those used for high-end designs. Others have been lost over time because their impact was considered too small, or not worth the additional design effort. But for devices that last a lifetime on a si... » read more

Power Impact At The Physical Layer Causes Downstream Effects


Data movement is rapidly emerging as one of the top design challenges, and it is being complicated by new chip architectures and physical effects caused by increasing density at advanced nodes and in multi-chip systems. Until the introduction of the latest revs of high-bandwidth memory, as well as GDDR6, memory was considered the next big bottleneck. But other compute bottlenecks have been e... » read more

Fast And Accurate Variation-Aware Mixed-Signal Verification Of Time-Domain 2-Step ADC


To meet today’s analog-to-digital converter (ADC) specifications and to produce a high-yield design, teams typically need to perform extensive brute force mixed-signal simulations to account for all potential design variation. However, at nanometer nodes, the number of process, voltage and temperature (PVT) corners and parametric variation grow exponentially making the simulation impractical ... » read more

Blog Review: July 8


Cadence's Paul McLellan profiles Alessandra Nardi, recipient of this year's Marie R. Pistilli Women in EDA award, how she entered the industry and her latest work on automotive and a functional safety language. In a video, Mentor's Colin Walls checks out why RISC-V is the hot new fashion in embedded systems development. A Synopsys writer explains why the MACsec security protocol is so imp... » read more

Chip Reliability Vs. Cost


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the cost, reliability and security with Simon Segars, CEO of Arm; Joseph Sawicki, executive vice president of IC EDA at Mentor, a Siemens Business; Raik Brinkmann, CEO of OneSpin Solutions; Babak Taheri, CEO of Silvaco; John Kiberian, CEO of PDF Solutions; and Prakash Narain, CEO of Real Intent. What follows are excerpts of that virtual conversation... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools, packaging/test VLSI Research has released its 200mm wafer fab equipment (WFE) market share figures for 2019. The top three suppliers--Applied Materials, TEL, and ASML—saw growth in the 2019 200mm WFE business. Lam Research was in fourth place, followed by KLA and Canon. In total, 200mm wafer fab equipment sales were $3.6 billion in 2019, declining 5% from 2018, according to the fi... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Galaxy Semiconductor re-established with the planned acquisition of the Quantix Business assets from Mentor, a Siemens business. The software products Galaxy is acquiring focus on yield optimization, device characterization, and reliability improvement. Galaxy was initially founded in 1998; the Galway, Ireland-based company was then acquired by Mentor Graphics in 2016. The re-established compan... » read more

Mitigating The Effects Of Radiation On Advanced Automotive ICs


The safety considerations in an automotive IC application have similarities to what is seen in other safety critical industries, such as the avionics, space, and industrial sectors. ISO 26262 is the state-of-the-art safety standard guiding the safety activities and work products required for electronics deployed in an automotive system. ISO 26262 requires that a design be protected from the eff... » read more

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