中文 English

Making IP Tradeoffs For Power


By Ann Steffora Mutschler Power may be expensive, but just turning off sections of a chip, lowering the voltage or using low-power manufacturing processes have their own costs. Whether using power, or managing it, there is a price. As Brani Buric, executive vice president at Virage Logic says, “Power is not free.” But fortunately, other things in a design can be traded off in order to a... » read more

IP’s Ecosystem Race


By Ann Steffora Mutschler As the semiconductor industry moves from older manufacturing nodes to newer ones what users want from IP providers is changing. So is the way IP providers are answering those needs. Mirroring the broader semiconductor industry’s recognition that it’s simply too expensive, too difficult and too time consuming to do everything alone—the very basis of the IP sec... » read more

The Problem With Proximity


By Ed Sperling At 90nm companies had to begin thinking seriously about how the signals inside a chip would begin interfering with each other. At 40nm and beyond, they have to consider how signals are interfering with each other across an entire device that may include multiple SoCs. This marks an interesting shift in what companies have been calling holistic design for the better part of a ... » read more

Integrated IP Goes Vertical


By Ed Sperling The consolidation of intellectual property from small developers to large players with integrated IP blocks is accelerating. Large IP companies are now developing integrated suites that are pre-tested for specific vertical markets, and new companies are sprouting up to make it easier to put even broader collections of IP together in meaningful ways. It’s difficult to te... » read more

LTE Heightens Power-Consumption Concerns


By Ellen Konieczny The air interface dubbed Long Term Evolution (LTE) hails the coming of fourth-generation (4G) cellular communications, which will benefit from both increased capacity and speed. Among the lofty goals of 4G technology is the promise of users being able to widely access streaming media, such as mobile television and video, in real time. Before such capabilities can be made ava... » read more

New Forces For Consolidation


For the past five-plus decades, the overriding effect of Moore’s Law was to put more circuits on a single piece of silicon. While that’s still the case, the addition of multiple cores since 90nm also has meant more functions can be added to that chip, which creates a whole new business equation for makers of complex devices like smart phones. Instead of creating individual chips, a single... » read more

Mind The Gap


By Ed Sperling Throughout system-level design there are gaps. High-level modeling doesn’t connect directly to RTL code. Synthesis and high-level synthesis remain worlds apart. There are even gaps in the expertise, from the people who handcraft RTL to those who take it for granted. Some of these gaps will get closed over time. Others will never be closed. In same cases it doesn’t matter.... » read more

Make vs. Buy


By Ann Steffora Mutschler The age-old question of whether to make or buy is time immemorial, and is particularly true for the cyclical semiconductor industry. At the end of the day, the answer comes down to how the decision maker feels about having or losing control. Fifteen years ago, whether to make or buy something—be it the design, libraries, memory, implementation, verification, te... » read more

Smart-Grid Designs Solve Low-Power Riddles


By Ellen Konieczny Imagine that you go to your kitchen to get a drink and pass your home’s energy-usage monitor. Due to a recent heat wave, you see that your energy usage is already at what it usually is for the entire month. Yet you’ve still got one week left in your billing cycle. To keep the bill low, you turn your A/C thermostat up a degree and make a mental note to not keep lights o... » read more

Remaking The Design Landscape


By Ed Sperling Every now and then a new trend comes along in the semiconductor design world, often because an old tool doesn’t work well anymore or because a new one is achieving critical mass. Lithography moved to immersion when the wavelength couldn’t be refracted far enough anymore. Designers at the advanced end of Moore’s Law began using tools like high-level synthesis and Transa... » read more

← Older posts Newer posts →