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

Hybrid Emulation


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the growing usage of hybrid verification approaches with Frank Schirrmeister, senior group director of product management & marketing for [getentity id="22032" e_name="Cadence"]; Russ Klein, program director for pre-silicon debug products at [getentity id="22017" e_name="Mentor, a Siemens Business"]; [getperson id="11027" comment="Phil Moorby"],... » 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

What Is Portable Stimulus?


When [getentity id="22028" e_name="Accellera"] first formed the [getentity id="22863" comment="Portable Stimulus Working Group”] and gave it that name, I was highly concerned. I expressed my frustration that the name, while fitting with what most people thought [getkc id="10" kc_name="verification"] is about, does not reflect the true nature of the standard being worked on. In short, it is no... » read more

Embedded FPGAs Going Mainstream?


Systems on chip have been made with many processing variants ranging from general-purpose CPUs to DSPs, GPUs, and custom processors that are highly optimized for certain tasks. When none of these options provide the necessary performance or consumes too much power, custom hardware takes over. But there is one type of processing element that has rarely been used in a major SoC— the [gettech id... » read more

Bridging Hardware And Software


Methodology and reuse are two fairly standard concepts when it comes to semiconductor design, but they're viewed completely differently by hardware and software teams. It's a given that hardware and software have different goals and opinions about how best to do design. And while all agree that a single methodology can pay dividends in future chips, there is disagreement over who should shap... » read more

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