ESL

December 1, 2006

Power under control

In late 2001, Nick Baker and other members of the Ultimate TV team at Microsoft learned that the company was ending development work on the product. For a still youthful engineer whose curriculum vitae already took in some ill-fated early-days video card work at Apple and the short-lived 3DO games console, Baker could have been […]

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December 1, 2006

Reducing power demands with specialized coprocessors

Consumer electronics is a difficult business.Market windows open and close quickly. Cost is critical. Requirements change unpredictably. Risk is high. Functionality and performance increase with every product generation, while both manufacturing-limitations and feature-driven demand require low power implementations. Of all these, power constraints have the largest impact on current product architectures. As CMOS reaches its […]

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December 1, 2006

Using self-timed interconnect to accelerate SoC timing closure

Timing closure is one of the major problems faced by SoC designers. The inclusion of several, often diverse, IP cores that need to communicate with each other on a chip makes it difficult for a designer to meet the complex timing requirements between these cores. Furthermore, as process nodes shrink, process variability becomes a more […]

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September 1, 2006

Native SystemC Assertion mechanism with transaction and temporal assertion support

SystemC [1] is rapidly becoming the language of choice for ESL-centric design methodologies. It is set to become the framework for higher-level flows above today’s RTL, and has three key components: modeling, synthesis and verification. High-level modeling particularly demonstrates the language’s versatility and advantages. Strong progress is also being made in higher-level synthesis. However, our […]

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June 1, 2006

Techniques for low power at the system level

Designers thinking about low power and energy have a variety of strategies at their disposal. The most common are: Process/libraries (e.g. low-power processes/libraries; high and low threshold voltage cells; and voltage scaling); Power and voltage domains; Clock gating; Low-power optimized clock synthesis; Low-power synthesis (e.g. automatic insertion of operand isolation circuitry); Implementation optimizations (e.g. operand […]

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June 1, 2006

Powering the third digital electronics revolution

As the third wave of the digital revolution finally gains momentum, the chip industry is breaking loose from its homogeneous telecom/PC-centric confines – where everyone’s product and box essentially looked and worked the same – into the arms of the fragmented consumer-centric heterogeneous multimedia, with significantly more brand names and lots of different price points. […]

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March 1, 2006

Object-oriented design for DSP hardware

For years, ASIC and FPGA designers have shared the goal of having totally reusable intellectual property (IP) blocks. This goal has been partially fulfilled, with the introduction of high-level hardware description languages such as VHDL and Verilog, and powerful Register Transfer Level (RTL) synthesis tools in the late 1980s and early 1990s. However, with a […]

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March 1, 2006

Getting practical with ESL design methodologies

The advent of extreme fine line processes at 130nm or less presents many challenges. On the back end, optimizing a design to manage physical effects such as power, heat, and timing is more daunting than ever. At the front end, implementing a system-on-chip’s (SoC) behavior and features is becoming equally difficult. The early exploration of […]

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December 1, 2005

Behavioral IP reuse methodology

No one disputes the promise inherent in the concept of design reuse. But the true value of what has been delivered so far is often debated. This paper proposes a reuse methodology that is both practical and real and which uses behavioral synthesis as its driving technology. It discusses the most basic elements of behavioral […]

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June 1, 2005

Destination network-on-chip

The network-on-chip (NoC) design paradigm is seen as a way of enabling the integration of an exceedingly high number of computational and storage blocks in a single chip. But its adoption and practical implementation face important and unsolved issues related to design methodologies, test strategies, and dedicated CAD tools. The System-on-a-Chip Research Lab at the […]

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