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More Efficient Vectors

In the wake of the UCIS announcement at DAC (which we’ll cover separately later), I sat down with some of Mentor’s functional verification folks to get an update. Coverage was one of the items on their agenda as part of addressing metric-driven verification.

They talk in terms of changing the engineering mindset when it comes to evaluating verification tools. Right now engineers tend to think in terms of “cycles/second”: how fast can you blaze through these vectors? Mentor is trying to change that thought process to “coverage/cycle”: … Read More → "More Efficient Vectors"

Photonics on Different Silicon

The use of photons as signal carriers has historically gone towards long-distance transport, either over the air (feels like waves more than photons) or within fiber. But the distances of interest have dropped dramatically, to the point where there are discussions of using silicon photonics even for on-chip signaling.

In a conversation at Semicon West with imec’s Ludo Deferm, we discussed their current work. At this point, and for at least 10 years out, he doesn’t see CMOS and photonics co-existing on the same wafer. The bottleneck right now isn’t on-chip; it& … Read More → "Photonics on Different Silicon"

EUV Movement Towards HVM

When last we talked with Cymer, they had just announced their PrePulse technology that gets more of the energy out of the droplets they blast with a laser. They had achieved 50-W output.

That’s only half-way to what’s needed for production, and, at the time, it was an “open-loop” result. That is, not something that could be repeated over and over in a production setting.

In my discussion with them at Semicon West, they now have 50 … Read More → "EUV Movement Towards HVM"

More Custom Cores

At DAC, there was a special event for first-time DAC exhibitors to come talk to media folks. Kind of a way for them to get better visibility. One company in particular caught my eye – a small firm called Esencia. They’ve announced their EScala Design Platform.

It’s actually reminiscent of Target Compiler, which we covered about a year ago in a piece on multicore automation. The idea is that they analyze a C or C++ algorithmic program (that is, not … Read More → "More Custom Cores"

Precipitating Out of the Cloud

Today we took a look at Vector Fabric’s new Pareon tool for parallelizing embedded code, and one of the things that makes it different from their prior tools is that they are no longer offering it in the cloud.

Vector Fabrics was one of the earlier tool vendors to make use of the cloud. Unlike some companies, they used the cloud as their only delivery mechanism. The entire tool GUI was a FLEX application executing in a browser.

But with … Read More → "Precipitating Out of the Cloud"

450 In Belgium

Changing wafer size is a big deal. You can kiss all your old equipment good-bye and usher in a whole new suite. So what happens when you’re planning to use that wafer size for a new technology node? You really don’t want to have to have two sets of production equipment, one for each side of the wafer-size shift. But it would also be rough to develop a new wafer size at the same time as developing a new technology node. That’s risk upon risk.

I talked with Ludo Deferm at … Read More → "450 In Belgium"

A Non-MEMS Magnetometer

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about MEMS in these pages, but not all sensors are MEMS. At Semicon West, I got to talk to Becky Oh of PNI Sensors. They make geomagnetic sensors with noise characteristics around 30 times better than Hall-effect sensors, as she tells it. But they’re not MEMS sensors.

They use a material whose permeability changes with the magnetic field. They wrap this material in a coil and then put the resulting variable inductor in an RLC tank and use the oscillation frequency as an indicator of the magnetic … Read More → "A Non-MEMS Magnetometer"

Between Driver and Fusion

I recently got a chance to talk with Hillcrest Labs, another big mover in the motion market. In fact, their pedigree sounds remarkably like that of Movea, whom we’ve looked at in the past: starting with interactive TV and transitioning to broader motion.

They’ve gone on to develop a gesture library (released, but, to date, un-officially-announced) that includes more than 50 gestures, including the typical control gestures, numerals, letters, cardinal directions, and rotations.

We discussed the … Read More → "Between Driver and Fusion"

Constraining Big Designs

It’s been a while since we took a look at timing constraints (and, in particular, their exceptions). In fact, the exceptions are where things often go wrong. Yes, a constraint may be placed, for example, on the wrong phase of the clock. Presumably, there are plenty of ways to get actual constraints wrong. But exceptions, well, they’re not quite as intuitive.

–          You might think a particular path should be an … Read More → "Constraining Big Designs"

Hierarchical Bug Tracking

Right about the time I was trying to sort through the recent DM tussle, I also happened to be talking to Dassault about their new Hierarchical Defect Management capability in order to understand what the “hierarchical” bit was all about.

This is a new feature targeted for large enterprises that have multiple teams on multiple projects around the world. If such a company is efficient, then they’ll be sharing and re-using a lot of their internal code. The flip … Read More → "Hierarchical Bug Tracking"

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