Using Less Power At The Same Node


Going to the next node has been the most effective way to reduce power, but that is no longer true or desirable for a growing percentage of the semiconductor industry. So the big question now is how to reduce power while maintaining the same node size. After understanding how the power is used, both chip designers and fabs have techniques available to reduce power consumption. Fabs are makin... » read more

Crisis In Data


The push toward data-driven design, debug, manufacturing and reliability holds huge promise, but the big risk is none of this will happen in an organized fashion and everyone will be frustrated. One of the clear messages coming out of DVCon this week is that standards need to be established for data. Even within large chipmakers and systems companies, the data they extract from tools is not ... » read more

Power Issues Rising For New Applications


Managing power in chips is becoming more difficult across a wide range of applications and process nodes, forcing chipmakers and systems companies to rethink their power strategies and address problems much earlier than in the past. While power has long been a major focus in the mobile space, power-related issues now are spreading well beyond phones and laptop computers. There are several re... » read more

Efficient Low Power Verification & Debug Methodology Using Power-Aware Simulation


By Himanshu Bhatt and Shreedhar Ramachandra Isolation, retention, and power switches are some of the important functionalities of power-aware designs that use some of the common low power techniques (e.g.) power shutoff, multi-voltage and advanced techniques (e.g.) DVFS, Low VDD standby, and biasing. The strategies for isolation, retention, and level shifter are specified in the power forma... » read more

Overcoming Low Power Verification Challenges For Mixed-Signal SoC Designs


With increasing SoC complexity and advanced power-aware architectures, a robust low power verification methodology is important for signing off the design at different stages from RTL through netlist. For mixed-signal SoCs, the challenge is, there is no well-defined low power methodology, nor are the industry’s low power verification tools equipped to handle custom designs. This article propo... » read more

So Many Waivers Hiding Issues


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss problems associated with domain crossings with Alex Gnusin, design verification technologist for Aldec; Pete Hardee, director, product management for Cadence; Joe Hupcey, product manager and verification product technologist for Mentor, a Siemens Business; Sven Beyer, product manager design verification for OneSpin; and Godwin Maben, applications en... » read more

Solving Puzzling Power-Aware Coverage: Getting An Aggregated Coverage Metric


Coverage metrics tell us when a design has been thoroughly verified, or at least exercised to the point of diminishing returns. Rarely can every design artifact or design parameter of a highly complex design be covered 100 percent, but we can use coverage metrics to know the extent to which we have verified the design — enough to be confident that it will function as desired in the end produc... » read more

UPF-Aware Clock-Domain Crossing


Synopsys’ Namit Gupta talks with Semiconductor Engineering about low-power design techniques at the most advanced process nodes, including how to verify the impact of CDC on power at the register transfer level, how to avoid bugs caused by the post-RTL insertion of low-power devices such as isolation, retention and level shifters. https://youtu.be/HwRe9DHLfmg » read more

Agile Standards


Semiconductor Engineering sat down with Lu Dai, chairman for Accellera and senior director of engineering at Qualcomm, to discuss what's changing in standards development. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Accellera has had a great first half of the year. Dai: Yes, we are only half way through the year and yet we got Portable Stimulus Standard (PSS) out, the SystemC CCI ... » read more

Debug Issues Grow At New Nodes


Debugging and testing chips is becoming more time-consuming, more complicated, and significantly more difficult at advanced nodes as well as in advanced packages. The main problem is that there are so many puzzle pieces, and so many different use cases and demands on those pieces, that it's difficult to keep track of all the changes and potential interactions. Some blocks are "on" sometimes,... » read more

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