Volume 6

December 1, 2009
3D stacking with TSVs

Making SiP happen in 3D

System-in-package (SiP) used to be thought of as a ‘poor man’s system-on-chip’ (SoC). Not any more. The complexity involved in implementing various levels of functionality on a single SoC is reaching such levels that it is becoming increasingly difficult to justify the design and manufacturing costs. Similarly, the need to deliver products within equally tight […]

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December 1, 2009

Interoperable PDKs accelerate analog EDA innovation

Process design kit (PDK) standards are one area that could greatly help reduce the disproportionate time and effort required to realize the analog portion of a design. PDKs have existed for two decades and provide access to foundry-verified data files for such AMS design elements as parameterized layout cells (PCells). However, most have been constructed […]

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December 1, 2009

Rapid prototyping for MCUs

The increasing capability and performance of microcontrollers suggests that they can now reach markets for which they were never previously envisioned, particularly as 32-bit devices move into the mainstream. However, prototyping and even researching new application spaces is difficult with existing tools. These are highly optimized for existing uses, but as such very unwieldy when […]

December 1, 2009

Wright on target

We are given plenty of reasons why we ‘should’ all buy electric cars. They will safeguard the environment. They will enhance national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil. They will create a Detroit 2.0 that can pay back the taxpayer. What we do not hear is a more free-market economic argument. “And the […]

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December 1, 2009

The realities of e-design

One of the livelier public debates at DAC looked at how engineers and vendors are using such media as blogs, social networking and instant messaging for business. There are plenty of good ideas, with companies using new technologies constructively and informatively—but I still have a problem with how this new frontier is presented. There is […]

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December 1, 2009

The A word

According to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) latest World Economic Outlook, the possibility of a ‘double-dip’ recession cannot yet be discounted even if current data show the world economy beginning to recover. The IMF’s main concern is that private demand (including consumer spending) is not showing enough strength to restore consistent global GDP growth by […]

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December 1, 2009

Silicon test moves up the food chain

Technological advances are often driven by the need to simplify and control a task. Silicon test is a good example. Its requirements are continuously increasing in complexity and this process drives the development and adoption of automated test strategies. A thorough approach to manufacturing test is essential to the delivery of high-quality devices. A whole-chip […]

December 1, 2009

Raising the bar to manage R&D and ROI

Semiconductor companies are hustling to grow revenues, stay on the razor’s edge of technology and remain one step ahead of their customers’ needs. All this is going on while the industry is undergoing wrenching change. The end of 2009 finds the chip business at a crossroads. It has been more than 60 years since the […]

December 1, 2009

Part 4- Power management in OCP-IP 3.0

According to Moore’s Law, system-on-chips (SoCs) should continually become more complex and integrate more components, enabled by each reduction in silicon technologies. However, power consumption does not follow the linear path implied here due to increasing leakage in deep sub-micron technologies. Hence, new power management techniques are needed to reduce power dissipation as much as […]

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December 1, 2009

Overcoming the limitations of data introspection for SystemC

The verification, test and debug of SystemC models can be undertaken at an early stage in the design process. To support these techniques, the SystemC Verification Library uses a concept called data introspection. It lets a library routine extract information from SystemC compound types, or a user-specified composite that is derived from a SystemC type. […]

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