The Long And Detailed Road To Automotive Compliance


Compliance with automotive safety requirements is slowing down both innovation and participation by a flurry of startups as the whole ecosystem struggles to bring autonomous vehicles to reality. This is particularly onerous for chipmakers, which face a high bar for IC integrity and reliability. They must meet specifications and be free of design errors. Improper behavior in corner-case s... » read more

Big Shift In Multi-Core Design


Hardware and software engineers have a long history of working independently of each other, but that insular behavior is changing in emerging areas such as AI, machine learning and automotive as the emphasis shifts to the system level. As these new markets consume more semiconductor content, they are having a big impact on the overall design process. The starting point in many of these desig... » read more

Heterogeneous Design Creating Havoc With Firmware Versions


Adding different kinds of processing elements into chips is creating system-level incompatibilities because of sometimes necessary, but usually uncoordinated, firmware updates from multiple vendors. In the past, firmware typically was synchronized with other firmware and the chip was verified and debugged. But this becomes much more difficult when multiple heterogeneous processing elements a... » read more

Getting A Complete Picture Of Automotive Software


The automotive industry is currently undergoing a major disruption, usually referred as the shift to automated, connected, electric, and shared vehicles (ACES[1]). Naturally, these changes also have a significant impact on the requirements of the hard- and software architectures of these new vehicles: Service-oriented software architectures used by multiple applications running on generali... » read more

Utilizing More Data To Improve Chip Design


Just about every step of the IC tool flow generates some amount of data. But certain steps generate a mind-boggling amount of data, not all of which is of equal value. The challenge is figuring out what's important for which parts of the design flow. That determines what to extract and loop back to engineers, and when that needs to be done in order to improve the reliability of increasingly com... » read more

Multicore Software Design For An LTE Base Station


This paper presents a typical base station design scenario, where decisions about HW/SW partitioning, the number of processing elements, and operational system parameters, among other things, need to be made early on by system architects. SLX determines the impact of these various design decisions and parameter selections, while exploring different target architecture configurations and checks ... » read more

New Design Approaches At 7/5nm


The race to build chips with a multitude of different processing elements and memories is making it more difficult to design, verify and test these devices, particularly when AI and leading-edge manufacturing processes are involved. There are two fundamental problems. First, there are much tighter tolerances for all of the components in those designs due to proximity effects. Second, as a re... » read more

Inaccurate Assumptions Mean Software Issues


It doesn’t seem that long ago when features and functionality were being added to next generation processors and SoCs ahead of demand. Actually, I recall when new processors were released, embedded software developers were forced to think of innovative ways to exploit the new features in order to differentiate the product to not be left behind. Today, in many respects it seems as if the... » read more

Optimizing Deep-Learning Inference For Embedded Devices


Deep artificial neural networks (ANNs) have emerged as universal feature extractors in various tasks as they approach (and in many cases surpass) human-level performance. They have become fundamental building blocks of almost every modern artificially intelligent (AI) application, from online shop recommendations to self-driving cars. This whitepaper highlights how different challenges relat... » read more

Searching For A System Abstraction


Without abstraction, advances in semiconductor design would have stalled decades ago and circuits would remain about the same size as analog blocks. No new abstractions have emerged since the 1990s that have found widespread adoption. The slack was taken up by IP and reuse, but IP blocks are becoming larger and more complex. Verification by isolation is no longer a viable strategy at the system... » read more

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