Volume 5

September 1, 2008

Product development efficiency through ECAD-MCAD collaboration

In May 2008, the ProSTEP iViP Association released an agreed data schema and communication protocol to enhance collaboration between electrical and mechanical CAD tools (ProSTEP iViP Recommendation ECAD/MCAD, PSI 5). The article sets out the need for the new standards and how they deliver greater design effi ciencies than existing technologies, such as the IDF […]

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June 1, 2008

Multi-corner multi-mode signal integrity optimization

Signal integrity (SI) is an ever-growing problem as more interconnect effects and fast clocks increase the chances of crosstalk noise and glitches as well as unexpected signal delays. There has been a significant increase in SI-related timing violations due to the increasing influence of lateral wire capacitance in designs at 65 and 45nm. A fast-increasing […]

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June 1, 2008

Migration of the Cell Broadband Engine to 45nm SOI

The paper describes some of the main challenges in the latest process shrink for the Cell Broadband Engine, developed jointly by IBM, Sony and Toshiba. The authors show how the move from a 65nm to a 45nm SOI process was achieved by concentrating on four primary goals: automating the migration; setting a 30% power reduction […]

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June 1, 2008

Making the move to ESL hardware design

Electronic system level (ESL) is typically defined as design above the register transfer level (RTL). When applied to hardware design, ESL is the process of describing hardware functionality at higher levels of abstraction to increase designer productivity and enable greater degrees of exploration. With ESL, hardware designers no longer spend most of their time designing […]

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June 1, 2008

Intel takes a new path from A to D

Justin Rattner will this year mark 35 years with Intel. His career with the technology giant has seen him collect numerous accolades, particularly for work in areas such as high performance computing (HPC). He was Intel’s first principal engineer and was its fourth member of staff to be named a fellow (he is today a […]

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June 1, 2008

Implementing an intelligent solar tracking control system on an FPGA

Given present-day demands for environmentally friendly, renewable energy sources, solar energy is becoming increasingly attractive. However, while solar energy is free, non-polluting and, in practical terms, inexhaustible, there remain significant inefficiencies in capturing it. For example, solar panels are traditionally fixed and in this configuration cannot capture the maximum amount of sunlight during changing weather […]

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June 1, 2008

Accentuate the practical

When engineers discuss the status and value of the Design Automation Conference (DAC), one topic tends to recur. Fairly or unfairly, the claim is that there has long been an inherent tension between DAC the technical conference and DAC the exhibition. In short, the technical conference has been seen as biased toward tool developers; the […]

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June 1, 2008

VHDL moves toward 4.0

Version 4.0 of the VHSIC Hardware Design Language was approved by Accellera and passed to the IEEE to begin its formal standards balloting process earlier this year. The article previews some of the key additions and extensions that form part of VHDL in the following areas: Property Specification Language Intellectual Property Protection Hierarchical names Extensions […]

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June 1, 2008

Using Open Virtual Platforms to build, simulate and debug multiprocessor SoCs

The Open Virtual Platforms (OVP) initiative aims to help resolve the difficulties that arise today when modeling multicore systems-on-chip (SoC) so that designers can perform early and timely test of the embedded software that will run on the end devices. As architects continue to add more cores to meet hardware design goals, the complexity of […]

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June 1, 2008

Systems design automation for real

The Design Automation and Test in Europe (DATE) conference is a comparatively young event—it reached only its 11th edition this March. Nevertheless, it has now firmly established itself on the EDA calendar and this year significantly extended its scope to become the world’s most important electronic systems design automation conference. At the same time, it […]

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