Confusion Persists In Verification Terms


I find it amazing that an area of technology that attempts to show, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a design will work before it is constructed can be so bad at getting some basic things right. I am talking about verification terminology. I have been in this industry for over 40 years and it is not improving. In fact, it is getting worse. The number of calls I have with people where they hav... » read more

Remotely Performing IC Validation


One of the key stages in designing any chip is the testing you do when you get the first silicon back. This is where you finally see the results of all your careful work and determine whether the chip is performing as designed, and as simulation told you it would. This is known as IC validation. The focus of validation is on functional test – checking that the chip in silicon meets the origin... » read more

Timing Closure At 7/5nm


Mansour Amirfathi, director of application engineering at Synopsys, examines how to determine if assumptions about design are correct, how many cycles are needed for a particular operation and why this is so complicated, and what happens if signals get out of phase. » read more

What’s In Your IP?


Jeff Markham, software architect at ClioSoft, talks with Semiconductor Engineering about IP traceability in markets such as automotive and aerospace, what’s actually in IP, what should not be in that IP from a security standpoint, and how all of this data can used to avert system reliability issues in the future. » read more

Earlier Is Better In Latch-Up Detection


Physical verification is an essential step in integrated circuit (IC) design verification. Foundries provide design rule manuals that specify the precise physical requirements needed to ensure the design can be correctly manufactured, and the verification team runs the layout through checks based on those rules to ensure compliance. However, ensuring that a design can be manufactured does not g... » read more

Rapid Evolution For Verification Plans


Verification plans are rapidly evolving from mechanisms to track verification progress into multi-faceted coordination vehicles for several teams with disparate goals, using complex resource management spread across multiple abstractions and tools. New system demands from industries such as automotive are forcing tighter integration of those plans with requirements management and product lif... » read more

5G OTA Test Not Ready For Production


5G is poised to dominate the wireless world, but over-the-air (OTA) testing of 5G beamforming antennas is still not ready for volume production. Beamforming is a critical element in the millimeter wave version of 5G, because of the limitations of ultra-high-frequency signals. Unlike 4G and its predecessors, millimeter wave technology will not penetrate objects, so signals need to be directed... » read more

Case Study—RF ASIC Validation Of A Satellite Transceiver


ASIC validation in the RF world comes with its own set of hurdles and challenges, with high-quality lab equipment, experience and know-how essential. A recently completed RF sub-system validation at S3 Semiconductors is presented in the form of a case study of the execution. The validation PCB design focussed on impedance matching and shielding RF signals from noise sources. We built up an effi... » read more

The Problem With Post-Silicon Debug


Semiconductor engineers traditionally have focused on trying to create 'perfect' GDSII at tape-out, but factors such as hardware-software interactions, increasingly heterogeneous designs, and the introduction of AI are forcing companies to rethink that approach. In the past, chipmakers typically banked on longer product cycles and multiple iterations of silicon to identify problems. This no ... » read more

AV Testing Advances Without Standards


The failure of the AV START Act in the United States Senate did more than just delay U.S. federal regulations for self-driving car technology that has yet to progress beyond the pilot-test stage. It delayed discussions that could have narrowed the almost infinite number of choices automated vehicles (AVs) must be prepared to make by creating guidelines defining what constitutes "safe" operat... » read more

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