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Roadblocks For ML in EDA


Is EDA a suitable space for utilizing machine learning (ML)? The answer depends on a number of factors, including where exactly it is being applied, how much support there is from the industry, and whether there are demonstrable advantages. Exactly where ML will play a role has yet to be decided. Replacing existing heuristics with machine learning, for example, would require an industry-wide... » read more

The Verification Mindset


The practice of semiconductor verification has changed substantially over the years, and will continue to do so. The skillset needed for functional verification 20 years ago is hardly recognizable as a verification skillset today, and the same should be expected moving forward as design and verification becomes more abstract, the boundary of what is implemented in hardware versus firmware and s... » read more

Computing Where Data Resides


Computational storage is starting to gain traction as system architects come to grips with the rising performance, energy and latency impacts of moving large amounts of data between processors and hierarchical memory and storage. According to IDC, the global datasphere will grow from 45 zettabytes in 2019 to 175 by 2025. But that data is essentially useless unless it is analyzed or some amou... » read more

Demand for IC Resilience Drives Methodology Changes


Applications that demand safety, security, and resilience are driving new ways of thinking about design, verification, and the long-term reliability of chips on a mass scale. The need is growing for chips that can process more data faster, over longer periods of time, and often within a shrinking power budget. That, in turn, is forcing changes at multiple levels, at the architecture, design,... » read more

Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing


Automotive/Mobility General Motors is working on a next version of Ultium battery chemistry and announced a joint development agreement with Singapore-based SolidEnergy Systems, a lithium metal battery startup founded by a graduate of MIT. The companies plan to open a Woburn, Massachusetts prototype production line by 2023. GM’s is attempting to lower the cost of its proprietary battery tech... » read more

When Is Verification Done?


Even with the billions of dollars spent on R&D for EDA tools, and tens of billions more on verification labor, only 30% to 50% of ASIC designs are first time right, according to Wilson Research Group and Siemens EDA. Even then, these designs still have bugs. They’re just not catastrophic enough to cause a re-spin. This means more efficient verification is needed. Until then, verificati... » read more

Roaring ’20s For The Chip Industry


2020 was a good year for the semiconductor industry and the EDA industry that fuels it, but 2021 has the opportunity to be even better. New end application markets continue to open, and what were once seen as technical hurdles are leading to a multitude of innovative solutions, all of which need suitable tooling. No company can afford to invest everywhere, and so for EDA companies, their rel... » read more

Bug Escapes And The Definition Of Done


National Semiconductor's design center (NSTA) in Herzliya was the place where I fell in love with chip verification. I joined the team in 1999, still during my BSc, and met a group of innovators with a passion to create great ASICs and improve the way we did it at all costs. It was fast-moving learning for me, both on the verification engineering and verification management sides of things. ... » read more

Big Changes In Verification


Verification is undergoing fundamental change as chips become increasingly complex, heterogeneous, and integrated into larger systems. Tools, methodologies, and the mindset of verification engineers themselves are all shifting to adapt to these new designs, although with so many moving pieces this isn't always so easy to comprehend. Ferreting out bugs in a design now requires a multi-faceted... » read more

Verification’s Inflection Point


Functional verification is nearing an inflection point, brought on by rising complexity and the many tentacles that are intermixing it with other disciplines. New abstractions or different ways to approach the problems are needed. Being a verification engineer is no longer enough, except for those whose concerns is block-level verification. Most of the time and effort spent in verification i... » read more

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