Can The Hardware Supply Chain Remain Secure?


Malware in computers has been a reality since the 1990s, but lately the focus has shifted to hardware. So far, the semiconductor industry has been lucky because well-publicized threats were either limited or unproven. But sooner or later, luck runs out. Last year saw two significant incidents that shook people’s faith in the integrity of hardware security. The first was the Meltdown/Spectr... » read more

Challenges In Using HLS For FPGA Design


High-level synthesis (HLS) tools, which transform C/C++ source code to Verilog/VHDL, have been commercially available for over 15 years. HLS tools from FPGA vendors and EDA companies promise improved productivity through a higher-level of abstraction, faster verification and quicker design iterations. For example, simulating your design in C/C++ can be 10 to 100x faster than simulating in RTL (... » read more

Multi-Physics At 5/3nm


Joao Geada, chief technologist at ANSYS, talks about why timing, process, voltage, and temperature no longer can be considered independently of each other at the most advanced nodes, and why it becomes more critical as designs shrink from 7nm to 5nm and eventually to 3nm. In addition, more chips are being customized, and more of those chips are part of broader systems that may involve an AI com... » 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

The Automation Of AI


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the role that EDA has in automating artificial intelligence and machine learning with Doug Letcher, president and CEO of Metrics; Daniel Hansson, CEO of Verifyter; Harry Foster, chief scientist verification for Mentor, a Siemens Business; Larry Melling, product management director for Cadence; Manish Pandey, Synopsys fellow; and Raik Brinkmann, CEO ... » read more

Low Power Apps: Shaping The Future Of Low Power Verification


This paper describes how verification and design engineers can make use of UPF 3.0 information model-based HDL and Tcl APIs to write useful low-power apps. We present low-power apps that can be used to solve complex verification issues and provide case studies and examples to demonstrate usage. To read more, click here. » read more

Meltdown And Spectre, One Year Later


About this time last year, reports surfaced about security attacks on today’s most popular microprocessors (μPs). Researchers called them Meltdown, Spectre gaining widespread attention. Today, however, the industry and especially μP vendors have made some progress toward stemming these vulnerabilities. Here is my analysis as we enter into 2019. When it comes to these vulnerabilities, we ... » read more

Designing Networking Chips


Susheel Tadikonda, vice president of networking and storage at Synopsys, talks about what’s changed in the way networking chips are being designed to deal with a massive increase in data. One of those shifts involves software-defined networking, where the greatest complexity resides in the software. That also has a big impact on the entire design flow, from pre-silicon to post-silicon. htt... » read more

Open Source in M&A Due Diligence


Most companies involved with technology M&A understand the danger of open source risks in software. Today’s software contains significant amounts of open source—on average more than 50%, according to a 2018 Synopsys report. There are several ways to assess and manage open source risk in a transaction, with some more effective than others. Similarly, there are several approaches to open s... » read more

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