Can AI Alter The Burgeoning Design Cost Trend?


Everyone in the semiconductor design arena has experienced or at least observed the impact of increasing costs for complex SoC silicon. Semico’s recently released report entitled "Silicon and Software Design Cost Analysis" reveals the cost associated with a first time design effort for a high-end, advanced performance multicore SoC using 7nm process technology can top $195M for both the silic... » read more

Design Automation For Silicon Photonics: Pushing Research Into Production


Silicon photonics is a transformative technology that will have a major impact on system architectures in future IC design applications. Already a major solution for Datacom applications and emerging applications in sensing, design techniques in silicon photonics, with the ability to leverage CMOS technology to integrate large numbers of photonic components, are now being applied to enable opti... » read more

Introduction To eFPGA Software


In February, we covered “Introduction to eFPGA Hardware.” Now in April, we’ll provide an introduction to eFPGA software. An eFPGA is a block of programmable logic from a few thousand to a few hundred thousand LUTs (look up tables) of programmable logic that is embedded in an SoC. The clock(s) for the eFPGA come from the SoC. The configuration of the eFPGA is done by the SoC... » read more

Plugging Gaps In Advanced Packaging


The growing difficulty of cramming more features into an SoC is driving the entire chip industry to consider new packaging options, whether that is a more complex, integrated SoC or some type of advanced packaging that includes multiple chips. Most of the work done in this area so far has been highly customized. But as advanced packaging heads into the mainstream, gaps are beginning to appea... » read more

How To Buy Used Fab Tools


Buying used equipment is a good way to find viable tools at reasonable prices. But the used equipment market is not a simple place to shop for good deals. As reported in this article, it’s a complex market. For example, buyers of fab tools can procure used gear from several sources—an OEM; a used equipment company; a broker; and through eBay. Some IDMs also sell used equipment. So what a... » read more

Making A Multicore System Work


If you think designing a single-core system is hard, designing multicore systems is multiple times harder. Connecting all the pieces together and making them work properly, if not together, is one of the hardest tasks design engineers and architects will ever face. System-Level Design tracked down some of the experts in this field and sat them down around a table to discuss what’s going... » read more

Houston…We Have A System-Level Problem


[youtube vid=iZ61OU12TNU] Just imagine what happens when the guidance system on the International Space Station goes on the fritz and the entire lab begins doing somersaults through outer space. Then the solar panels no longer work and the communication system fails, and suddenly you understand how serious system-level design problems can become. Ret. Capt. Daniel Bursch recounts the inciden... » read more

Special Report: Semiconductor Road Map Survey


By Ed Sperling The upcoming semiconductor industry road map, which sets up the industry’s strategy and identifies trends for the next 15 years, is filled with three very interesting shifts and gaps. The road map, which will be formally unveiled next month, consists of findings gleaned from all the top chip companies. Juan-Antonio Carballo, a partner at IBM Venture Capital Group who spea... » read more

Verifying ASICs with FPGA Arrays


[youtube vid=pPNvvbCIzO4] » read more

Quality time?


By Ed Sperling System-Level Design sat down to discuss the future of verification with Olivier Haller, design verification team leader for STMicroelectronics’ functional verification group; Hillel Miller, functional design and verification tools and methodology manager at Freescale; Kelly Larson, design verification engineering manager at MediaTek Wireless; Adnan Hamid, CEO of Breker, and ... » read more

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