Test Chips Play Larger Role At Advanced Nodes


Test chips are becoming more widespread and more complex at advanced process nodes as design teams utilize early silicon to diagnose problems prior to production. But this approach also is spurring questions about whether this approach is viable at 7nm and 5nm, due to the rising cost of prototyping advanced technology, such as mask tooling and wafer costs. Semiconductor designers have long b... » read more

Wrestling With High-Speed SerDes


SerDes has emerged as the primary solution in chips where there is a need for fast data movement and limited I/O, but this technology is becoming significantly more challenging to work with as speeds continue to rise to offset the massive increase in data. A Serializer/Deserializer is used to convert parallel data into serial data, allowing designers to speed up data communication without h... » read more

Why IP Quality Is So Difficult To Determine


Differentiating good IP from mediocre or bad IP is getting more difficult, in part because it depends up on how and where it is used and in part because even the best IP may work better in one system than another—even in chips developed by the same vendor. This has been one of the challenges with IP over the years. In many cases, IP is poorly characterized, regardless of whether that IP wa... » read more

Frenzy At 10/7nm


The number of chipmakers rushing to 10/7nm is rising, despite a slowdown in Moore's Law scaling and the increased difficulty and cost of developing chips at the most advanced nodes. How long this trend continues remains to be seen. It's likely that 7/5nm will require new manufacturing equipment, tools, materials and transistor structures. Beyond that, there is no industry-accepted roadmap, m... » read more

IP Biz Changes As Markets Fragment


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss IP protection, tracking and reuse with Srinath Anantharaman, CEO of [getentity id="22203" e_name="ClioSoft"]; Jeff Galloway, CTO of Silicon Creations; Marc Greenberg, group director of product marketing for [getentity id="22032" e_name="Cadence"]'s IP Group; and John Koeter, vice president of marketing for [getentity id="22035" e_name="Synopsys"]' S... » read more

IP Business Changing As Markets Shift


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss IP protection, tracking and reuse with Srinath Anantharaman, CEO of [getentity id="22203" e_name="ClioSoft"]; and Jeff Galloway, CTO of Silicon Creations; Marc Greenberg, group director of product marketing for [getentity id="22032" e_name="Cadence"]'s IP Group; and John Koeter, vice president of marketing for [getentity id="22035" e_name="Synopsys"... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


M&A Synapse Design acquired Asilicon, a design services firm based in Ranchi Jharkhand, India. Through the acquisition, Synapse Design adds a second design center in India and gains an additional 80 engineers. "The focus of the Ranchi office will be to provide lower-cost offshore design center services for our customer's designs targeting 7- and 10-nm process technology," said Satish Bag... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


Business Andes Technology went public this week on the Taiwan Stock Exchange with an initial stock listing of 40,611,915 shares at a price of NT$65.10 (USD $2.12) per share. The shares began trading March 14, 2017, under the TWSE ticker symbol “6533.TWO.” Andes plans to use the proceeds to expand the company's R&D effort, to fuel international expansion into the U.S. and Europe and t... » read more

Power Impacting Cost Of Chips


The increase in complexity of the power delivery network (PDN) is starting to outpace increases in functional complexity, adding to the already escalating costs of modern chips. With no signs of slowdown, designers have to ensure that overdesign and margining do not eat up all of the profit margin. The semiconductor industry is used to problems becoming harder at smaller geometries, but unti... » read more

The Ultimate Shift Left


Floorplanning is becoming much more difficult due to a combination of factors—increased complexity of the power delivery network, lengthening of clock trees, rising levels of communication, and greater connectedness of [getkc id="81" kc_name="SoC"]s coupled with highly constrained routing resources. The goal of floorplanning is to determine optimal placement of blocks on a die. But connect... » read more

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