System Coverage Undefined


When is a design ready to be taped out? That has been one of the toughest questions to confront every design team, and it's the one verification engineers lose sleep over. Exhaustive [getkc id="56" kc_name="coverage"] has not been possible since the 1980s. Several metrics and methodologies have been defined to help answer the question and to raise confidence that important aspects of a block... » read more

Addressing Thermal Reliability In Next-Gen FinFET Designs


The next generation of chips on the 10/7nm finFET processes will be able to cram more devices into same area while also boosting performance, but there's a price to pay for that. The 3D fin structures trap heat, so the the temperature rises on the device and there is no way to dissipate that heat. This combination of higher current density, higher performance and higher temperature has a det... » read more

Tech Talk: 7nm Thermal Effects


ANSYS' Karthik Srinivasan talks about the effect of heat on reliability at advanced process nodes, including self-heating, circuit aging, and how that will affect automotive electronics. https://youtu.be/SS6iAXp0Kn8   Related Tech Talk: 7nm Power Dealing with thermal effects, electromigration and other issues at the most advanced nodes. » read more

When Is Verification Complete?


Deciding when verification is done is becoming a much more difficult decision, prompting verification teams to increasingly rely on metrics rather than just the tests listed in the verification plan. This trend has been underway for the past couple of process nodes, but it takes time to spot trends and determine whether they are real or just aberrations. The Wilson Research Group conducts a ... » read more

A Program Manager’s Guide to Successful Integrated Circuit Verification


Accurately monitoring progress on complex integrated circuit (IC) designs has become more difficult as the designs have increased in complexity, leading to surprises from backwards-looking reporting and management processes that do not forewarn coming crises. The Cadence Metric-Driven Verification Methodology provides a more uniform and standardized method of reporting progress towards closure ... » read more

Formal’s Roadmap


Formal verification has come a long way in the past five years as it focused on narrow tasks within the verification flow. Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss that progress, and the future of formal technologies, with [getperson id="11306" comment="Raik Brinkmann"], president and CEO of [getentity id="22395" e_name="OneSpin Solutions"]; Harry Foster, chief verification scientist at [g... » read more

Power Options And Issues


In the quest to get SoC power right as early as possible in the design flow, it still holds true that the biggest impact occurs at the beginning of the project, with diminished results as a design progresses through the flow toward tapeout. [getentity id="22186" e_name="ARM's"] big.LITTLE architecture has gained a lot of traction here, prompting MediaTek to introduce its Tri-Gear big.Medium.... » read more

Redefining Progress


After lots of wrangling over the whether Moore's Law is alive, dead, or languishing at somewhere in between, that discussion now seems about as relevant as the look and feel of Apple's early Macintosh operating system—an issue that back in the 1980s spawned a very public war with Microsoft. Today that argument is about as relevant as whether Betamax was better than VHS. Whether it's Moor... » read more

The Route To Faster Physical Verification And Better Designs


By Nancy Nguyen & Jean-Marie Brunet As we’ve moved to today’s leading-edge nodes, physical layout designers have faced more and more challenges to get their design to tape-out on schedule. Timing becomes increasingly difficult to converge, power reduction for both IR and leakage becomes a big issue, and most importantly, how do we meet all of the ever-growing and more complex signoff d... » read more

Changing The Meaning Of Sign-Off


Chip development teams are faced with an ever-increasing number of power integrity and reliability challenges these days, especially as designs adopt FinFET technology. Even those with the most thorough sign-off checks often encounter unexpected surprises that quickly turn into tape-out hurdles, or worse yet, extensive re-design. The best way to avoid this scenario and ensure a smoother sign-of... » read more

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