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 Category: SOCcentral Feature Articles & Columns: Feature Articles: Wednesday, April 16, 2014
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Error Checking and Functional Coverage with SystemVerilog Assertions 

February 2, 2007 -- Hundreds, if not thousands, of articles have been written to discuss the “verification crisis” for system-on-chip (SOC) designs. The crisis is real: many studies have shown that two or three very expensive silicon iterations ... read more

Configurable Processors: The Next Evolutionary Step for Microprocessors 

January 8, 2007 -- The course of electronic systems design changed irreversibly on November 15, 1971 when Intel introduced the first commercial microprocessor, the 4004. Before that date, system design consisted of linking many hardwired blocks, ... read more

Reconfigurable Systems Craft a New Breed Of “Soft Appliances” that Deliver Topnotch Performance 

January 8, 2007 -- As chip designs migrate down the process roadmap from 130 to 90 to 65nm and beyond, the cost of implementing a system-on-chip (SOC) solution doubles to triples at each smaller process node. For example, at 130-nm a typical hig ... read more

New Techniques for Testing Communications Devices 

November 13, 2006 -- Testing advanced communication devices can pose significant challenges. The move to higher circuit densities, with various on-chip functionalities, introduces a broad set of challenges for manufacturing test. Further complic ... read more

A Layered Approach to NoC 

October 23, 2006 -- The challenge of on-chip communication traffic is presently compounded in two ways: First, use of multiple processors and cores with single or multiple memories in system-on-chips (SOCs) are driving the need for a lower cost, ... read more

Making the Transition from Board Level Design to System-on-Chip 

October 17, 2006 -- The trend to combine multiple functions on one piece of silicon to reduce cost, power consumption, and manufacturing and test time is gathering momentum, driven by requirements for smaller, less expensive high performance pro ... read more

Why DRAM is Capturing Greater Designer Mind Share Today 

September 25, 2006 -- “Wait a minute; don’t forget to add the memory.” How often did we hear that phrase in the design labs of the 1980s and early 1990s? Back then, the DRAM industry was such that Henry Ford himself would have been proud to be ... read more

A Flexible Solution for Implementing Structured ASIC Designs 

August 28, 2006 -- Compared with FPGAs, structured ASICs provide more performance, lower per-unit cost and lower power consumption. This device class operates much like an application-specific ASIC or FPGA, using pre-diffused blocks coupled with ... read more

Evolution of Fuses in ICs: From Static Redundancy to Dynamic Speed Fixes 

August 10, 2006 -- Semiconductor memory companies originally used the concept of laser fuses along with redundant rows and columns to boost yield. While most memory chips continue to use fuses, the concept has spread to several aspects of chip d ... read more

Building a Total Quality Experience into Silicon IP 

August 10, 2006 -- Developing integrated circuits at 130, 90 and 65 nanometers is a risky and expensive business but rewarding when the design is successfully implemented. Now more than ever, developers of complicated system- on-chip (SOC) desig ... read more

DFM at DAC 

July 14, 2006 -- Design for manufacturing (DFM) has received increasing levels of attention at DAC since 1999, and very noticeably so since 2003. Since the term DFM was coined about a decade (or more) ago, its definition has been modified accor ... read more

SystemVerilog and SystemC: Two Standards Used Together to Design SOCs 

July 14, 2006 -- The IEEE has recently ratified SystemVerilog and SystemC to be official IEEE standards known as IEEE Std. 1800-2005 and IEEE Std. 1666-2005 respectively. This step is the last in a standardization path that has included incubat ... read more

The Love/Hate Relationship with DDR SDRAM Controllers 

July 3, 2006 -- Almost everyone knows that the bulk of DRAMs produced end up in desktop and laptop computers just like the one used to write this article. In fact, approximately 90% of all DRAMs produced are used in computers leaving the remain ... read more

Avoiding Some Common Mistakes When Integrating USB IP Into Your SOC 

July 3, 2006 -- Despite USB’s almost ten-year existence and positive end-user experience, adding this type of functionality to your product can be a rather complex design task. Many experienced design teams have underestimated the complexity of ... read more

Quality and Risk as a Selection Criteria for IP Using VSIA QIP 2.0  

July 3, 2006 -- When the IP industry emerged in the mid nineties, chip designers had high hopes that reusing highly complex IP would let them close the gap which had opened between the gate capacity of modern process nodes, and the design comple ... read more

Multicore This, Multiprocessor That: It’s all MPSoC 

July 3, 2006 -- There’s lots of chatter about the move to multi-cores on a chip, or multi-processor SoC. At times there appears to be more heat than light on this topic. One designer’s multicore may be what another designer calls multiprocess ... read more

Evaluate IP Timing Constraints Before Use in SOC Designs 

July 1, 2006 -- When combining intellectual property (IP) blocks from various sources, you must have a complete, high-quality set of timing constraints for efficient SoC timing closure and signoff. Otherwise, IP integration problems can cause lo ... read more

Using Dynamic and Static Power Rail Analysis to Maximize Results with Minimum Effort 

June 26, 2006 -- Knowing where and how to apply power rail analysis can save a great deal of time in power planning and verification. Several key concepts can help, beginning with an understanding of appropriate uses for dynamic and static rail ... read more

What We Learned About Structured ASICs from RapidChip 

June 9, 2006 -- In recent months, a number of companies have moved away from the structured ASIC business. LSI Logic, Synplicity and Lightspeed have all announced that they will focus on more profitable and faster growing pieces of their busine ... read more

The Structured ASIC Debate 

June 16, 2006 -- The debate over the structured ASIC market continues and the fall-out is severe for some suppliers that have invested heavily over the last three years. The big question now is whether the products will continue to survive. ... read more




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