MPU Vs. MCU


There was a time when microprocessors and microcontrollers were distinct devices. There was never a question as to which one you were dealing with. But changes in the memory architecture have muddied the distinction in modern devices. There are a number of ways in which microprocessors and microcontrollers could possibly be differentiated. But there is no universal agreement as to how that s... » read more

Blog Review: Nov. 25


Mentor's Harry Foster finds growing complexity in FPGA design by looking at the number of embedded microprocessors, asynchronous clock domains, and safety/security features in the 2020 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study. Cadence's Paul McLellan points to the interim SRC/SIA Decadal Plan for Semiconductors and five big shifts it identifies in information and communication tec... » read more

Silo Busting In The Design Flow


An increasing number of dependencies in system design are forcing companies, people, tools, and flows to become more collaborative. Design and EDA companies must adapt to this new reality because it has become impossible for anyone to do it all by themselves. Moreover, what happens in manufacturing and packaging needs to be considered up front, and what gets designed in the design phase may ... » read more

Using AI And Bugs To Find Other Bugs


Debug is starting to be rethought and retooled as chips become more complex and more tightly integrated into packages or other systems, particularly in safety- and mission-critical applications where life expectancy is significantly longer. Today, the predominant bug-finding approaches use the ubiquitous constrained random/coverage driven verification technology, or formal verification techn... » read more

Brute-Force Analysis Not Keeping Up With IC Complexity


Much of the current design and verification flow was built on brute force analysis, a simple and direct approach. But that approach rarely scales, and as designs become larger and the number of interdependencies increases, ensuring the design always operates within spec is becoming a monumental task. Unless design teams want to keep adding increasing amounts of margin, they have to locate th... » read more

ESD P2P And CD Verification Doesn’t Have To Be Hard


As a designer or verification engineer, you’re fighting the effects of electrostatic discharge (ESD) in your integrated circuit (IC) designs all the time. ESD is one of those frustrating issues that can challenge even the most experienced designers. Once an IC is in the market, unexpected electrical shorts will cause immediate failure or dielectric breakdown will result in gradual circuit deg... » read more

A Better Path From Simulink To RTL With Catapult HLS


Design teams working on ASIC or FPGA projects often start with algorithm exploration using MATLAB in order to prove out the mathematical behavior of the functional blocks at a high level of abstraction. MATLAB as a high-level programming language doesn’t support hardware architecture modeling, so many teams use the Simulink environment for performing model-based, multi-domain simulation of th... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Synopsys acquired Light Tec, a provider of optical scattering measurements and measurement equipment. The company also provides optical engineering consulting services plus training for use of Synopsys' lighting simulation software. "Light Tec's proven optical measurement capabilities provide our customers with robust new tools for high-accuracy optical product simulations and visualizations," ... » read more

Blog Review: Nov. 18


Arm's Roberto Lopez Mendez finds that holographic displays can now be achieved on mobile processors thanks to recent algorithmic and computational advances. Mentor's Colin Walls examines the reasons the consolidate a number of automotive sub-systems onto a smaller number of powerful ECU to reduce complexity and increase system reliability. Cadence's Paul McLellan takes a look at the devel... » read more

Uniquely Identifying PCBs, Subassemblies, And Packaging


Securing the semiconductor supply chain is becoming much more difficult as devices increasingly are disaggregated, a shift being forced on the industry due to the rising cost of scaling and the need for more customization and faster time to market. Individual component IDs are an important starting point for supply chain trust, but they are no longer sufficient. Those components will end up ... » read more

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