ESL

March 1, 2008

To pause and take stock

The headline number in the Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA) latest market forecast contained a few devils in the detail, although the sector does seem poised to defy more pessimistic views of the economy’s prospects. The projection of 6.1% growth for 2008 is robust, giving just over $171bn in US factory door sales (Figure 1).Meanwhile, GDP […]

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March 1, 2008

A question of freedom

Although no EDA company counts among its membership (for good practical reasons), it is fair to describe the US Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) as one of technology’s most broadly representative trade bodies. From retailers and brand holders to the hardware and software companies that directly supply components for CE products, the CEA has a position […]

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March 1, 2008

The European view

This year’s general chair of Design Automation and Test in Europe is Donatella Sciuto, a full professor at the Politecnico d iMilano in Milan, Italy. She received her Laurea in Electronic Engineering from the Politecnico di Milano in 1984 and her PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1988 from the University of Colorado, Boulder. […]

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March 1, 2008

ESL at the inflection point

Electronic system level (ESL) design is moving to a new stage in its development, advancing from a proof-of-concept environment to one that is seeing its adoption and deployment at the forefront of design. The article terms this shift ‘ESL 2.0’. The reason for this goes beyond mere marketing hype. Inherent in the transition defined above […]

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December 1, 2007

Mastering the memory maze

Since the early 1980s,most of the semiconductor business has been enthralled by the microprocessor, the PC and commodity DRAMs. For all the talk of potential ‘better markets’ and ‘more profitable businesses to be in’, PCs and their brethren came to represent 35- 40% of the industry’s output. They constituted the prime platform for not only […]

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December 1, 2007

Using a ‘divide and conquer’ approach to system verification

Today’s increasingly complex designs typically need to undergo verification at three different levels: block, interconnect and system. There are now well-established strategies for addressing the first two, but the system level, while in many ways the ultimate test, remains the weakest link in the verification process. System verification normally begins only after a prototype board […]

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September 1, 2007

MPSoC and ‘The Vision Thing’

We have entered the era of the multi-processor system-on-chip (MPSoC) but it remains a major frustration that, for a technology that is so imminent and so necessary, there is as yet no real vision out there that goes beyond the parochial. Yes, ‘point’ issues are also being addressed, but we need to define the concept, […]

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September 1, 2007

From algorithm to first 3.5G call in record time

Increasing system complexity is forcing design teams to avoid errors during the process of system refinement and reduce ambiguities during system implementation to a minimum. On the other hand, the system design approach they choose must enable a project to advance rapidly through all stages of refinement from an algorithmic model to a real system-on-chip […]

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June 1, 2007

A pragmatic approach to evaluating NoC strategies

Network-on-chip (NoC) could prove to be an effective methodology that addresses interconnect roadblocks to the development of more complex systems-on-chip. However the term covers many approaches, some of which – simple enhancement to existing bus technologies, the costly adaptation of theoretical networking concepts – fall short either in terms of performance or NREs. The article […]

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June 1, 2007

Optimizing energy in processor-memory subsystems during SoC design

System-level architectural decisions made before any RTL code has been written have a much larger impact on overall system energy than RTL-level, gate-level, or circuit-level tweaks. The Xenergy tool from Tensilica estimates energy for a processor subsystem (processor, caches, local memories) based on the application code that will run on that subsystem. Designers can thus […]

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