The Trouble With Semantics


Semantics are important. They tell us what something means. Without semantics you just have a jumble of syntax. The better defined the semantics are, the less likely something is to be mis-interpreted because they can be more rigidly analyzed. The semantics of the English language are not very well defined, which is why it is impossible to write a specification where everyone agrees upon wha... » read more

Scan Diagnosis


Jayant D’Souza, product manager at Mentor, a Siemens Business, explains the difference between scan test and scan diagnosis, what causes values in a scan test to change, how this can be used to hone in on the actual cause of a failure in a design, and how to utilize test hardware more efficiently. » read more

Synthesizing Hardware From Software


The ability to automatically generate optimized hardware from software was one of the primary tenets of system-level design automation that was never fully achieved. The question now is whether that will ever happen, and whether it is just a matter of having the right technology or motivation to make it possible. While high-level synthesis (HLS) did come out of this work and has proven to be... » read more

How To Optimize Verification


The rate of improvement in verification tools and methodologies has been nothing short of staggering, but that has created new kinds of problems for verification teams. Over the past 20 years, verification has transformed from a single language (Verilog) and tool (simulator) to utilizing many languages (testbench languages, assertion languages, coverage languages, constraint languages), many... » read more

Taming Concurrency


Concurrency adds complexity for which the industry lacks appropriate tools, and the problem has grown to the point where errors can creep into designs with no easy or consistent way to detect them. In the past, when chips were essentially a single pipeline, this wasn't a problem. In fact, the early pioneers of EDA created a suitable language to describe and contain the necessary concurrency ... » read more

Enabling Cheaper Design


While the EDA industry tends to focus on cutting edge designs, where design costs are a minor portion of the total cost of product, the electronics industry has a very long tail. The further along the tail you go, the more significant design costs become as a percent of total cost. Many of those designs are traditionally built using standard parts, such as microcontrollers, but as additional... » 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

RISC-V Gains Its Footing


The RISC-V instruction-set architecture, which started as a UC Berkeley project to improve energy efficiency, is gaining steam across the industry. The RISC-V Foundation's member roster gives an indication who is behind this effort. Members include Google, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Rambus, Samsung, NXP, Micron, IBM, GlobalFoundries, UltraSoC, Siemens, among many others. One of the key markets for... » read more

Could Liquid IP Lead To Better Chips? (Part 3)


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the benefits that could come from making IP available as abstract blocks instead of RTL implementations with Mark Johnstone, technical director for Electronic Design Automation for [getentity id="22499" e_name="NXP"] Semiconductor; [getperson id="11489" p_name="Drew Wingard"], CTO at [getentity id="22605" e_name="Sonics"]; Bryan Bowyer, director of ... » read more

Could Liquid IP Lead To Better Chips?


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the benefits that could come from making IP available as abstract blocks instead of RTL implementations with Mark Johnstone, technical director for Electronic Design Automation for [getentity id="22499" e_name="NXP"] Semiconductor; [getperson id="11489" p_name="Drew Wingard"], CTO at [getentity id="22605" e_name="Sonics"]; Bryan Bowyer, director of ... » read more

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