Is 7nm The Last Major Node?


A growing number of design and manufacturing issues are prompting questions about what scaling will really look like beyond 10/7nm, how many companies will be involved, and which markets they will address. At the very least, node migrations will go horizontally before proceeding numerically. There are expected to be more significant improvements at 7nm than at any previous node, so rather th... » read more

Dealing With System-Level Power


Analyzing and managing power at the system level is becoming more difficult and more important—and slow to catch on. There are several reasons for this. First, design automation tools have lagged behind an understanding of what needs to be done. Second, modeling languages and standards are still in flux, and what exists today is considered inadequate. And third, while system-level power ha... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


M&A Verific acquired Invionics' entire INVIO technology portfolio, adding a high-level scripting interface with 100 high-level APIs to its Parser Platform of approximately 2,000 low-level SystemVerilog and VHDL APIs. An R&D group from the company will also join Verific. Portable Stimulus An Early Adopter release of the Portable Stimulus specification has been made publicly availabl... » read more

Transient Power Problems Rising


Transient power is becoming much more problematic at 10/7nm, adding yet another level of complexity for design teams already wrestling with power issues caused by leakage, a variety of power management techniques to control dynamic power, and leakage current. At each new node there is less headroom for engineering teams to address these problems, and more likelihood that what they do in one ... » read more

Power Challenges At 10nm And Below


Current density is becoming much more problematic at 10nm and beyond, increasing the amount of power management that needs to be incorporated into each chip and boosting both design costs and time to market. Current per unit of area has been rising since 90nm, forcing design teams to leverage a number of power-related strategies such as [getkc id="143" kc_name="dynamic voltage and frequency... » read more

The Problem With Clocks


The synchronous digital design paradigm has enabled us to design circuits that are well controlled, but that is only true if the clocks themselves are well controlled. While overdesign techniques ensured that to be the case in early ASIC development, designs today cannot afford such luxuries. As we strive for lower power and higher operating frequencies, the clock has become a critical desig... » read more

Managing Voltage Drop At 10/7nm


Power integrity is becoming a bigger problem at 10/7nm because existing tools such as static analysis no longer are sufficient. Power integrity is a function of static and dynamic voltage drop in the power delivery network. And until recently, static analysis did an effective job in measuring the overall robustness of PDN connectivity. As such, it is a proxy for PDN strength. The problem is ... » 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

10nm And 7nm Routability – How Is Your CAD Flow Doing?


At DesignCon in January, I was a panelist at a panel session entitled “Power Integrity For 10nm/7nm SoCs - Overcoming Physical Design Challenges And TAT.” I was on the panel together with Arvind Vel, Sr. Director Applications Engineering, ANSYS, Inc. and Ruggero Castagnetti, Distinguished Engineer, Broadcom Limited. This topic is of course extremely broad, but it was interesting getting fee... » 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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