Volume 3

June 1, 2006

Addressing the design closure crisis

Why are more chips late to market and cost three times more to design at 90-nanometer (nm) than at 130nm? Today’s ASSPs and ASICs are huge, approaching one billion transistors, with clock speeds exceeding 1-GHz. Engineers struggle to manage the complexity of devices that achieve these levels of performance and size. A natural reaction to […]

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June 1, 2006

Deploying the right tools for mixed signal verification

Engineers on the leading edge of nanometer design are dealing with physical effects that change the way mixed-signal ICs are verified – in timing, power, reliability and yield. With the IC verification effort accounting for 60-80% of the development cycle, choosing and deploying the right mixed-signal verification solution can significantly improve productivity and the return […]

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June 1, 2006

Accelerating the move from prototype to production with a robust design flow

When migrating from FPGA prototype to ASIC, engineers need to interface with multiple silicon and software vendors. Designing with FPGAs often requires the use of several software platforms, including front-end synthesis tools, FPGA software development tools, and verification and timing analysis tools. Migrating to an ASIC platform involves using a parallel design flow with different […]

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June 1, 2006

A SystemVerilog AMBA ABP monitor

Productivity levels for hardware design, specification, simulation and validation have been raised by the formal approval of IEEE 1800 SystemVerilog as an industry standard. Evolved from the Verilog hardware description language, SystemVerilog is now the language of choice for developing verification and design intellectual property (IP). As a result, EDA companies are progressing rapidly in […]

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March 1, 2006

Which ADC architecture is right for your application – Part Two

Selecting the proper ADC can appear a formidable task. A direct approach is to go to the selection guides and parametric search engines. Enter the sampling rate, resolution, power supply voltage, and other properties. Click ‘find’. But can one approach the task with greater understanding — particularly of the main architectures — and get better […]

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March 1, 2006

The future of high-performance computing: direct low-latency peripheral-to-CPU connections

For peripheral card and system manufacturers, delivering low-latency high-performance computing solutions at affordable prices has been an insurmountable barrier. Although processor speeds and bandwidth have taken quantum leaps over the last decade, the last few inches between the adapter slot and system CPU represent a bottleneck that restricts the development of cost-effective high-performance computing solutions. […]

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March 1, 2006

Start here

More phlegmatic reactions to January’s Consumer Electronics Show were that it was “just like last year, only more so.” And, indeed, the big headlines went once more, to the companies that could claim bragging rights for 100-inch plus plasma screens; to Microsoft and Intel in their aggressive determination to force themselves beyond the PC and […]

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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

Making the DATE

DATE 06 (March 6-10) is the ninth edition of the Design Automation and Test in Europe conference and the organizers have again received a record number of submissions, this year 834. This reflects the fact that today DATE is not merely a European conference but has become a well-known global event, receiving paper proposals and […]

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March 1, 2006

Integrated, comprehensive assertion-based coverage

Introduction The emergence of the SystemVerilog and PSL assertion languages promises to improve the effectiveness of existing verification flows. First, assertions give better local observability of the functionality they represent. Second, the assertions augment the textual specification to provide a more formal, executable representation of the functionality. Third, since the assertion languages have common semantics […]

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