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Design And Reuse - Industry Expert Blogs
  • Artificial Intelligence calls for Smart Interconnect (SemiWiki - Tom Simon, SemiWiki)
    Artificial Intelligence based systems are driving a metamorphosis in computing, and consequently precipitating a large shift in SOC design. AI training is often done in the cloud and has requirements for handling huge amounts of data with forward and backward data connections. Inference usually occurs at the edge and must be power efficient and fast. Each of these imposes new requirements on computing systems. Training puts a premium on throughput and inference relies on low latency, especially for real time applications like ADAS. To accommodate these new requirements, there are sweeping changes occurring in computational architectures. In much the same way that mini- and then micro- computers changed the landscape of computing, the changes necessitated to support AI will permanently alter how things are done.
    View the full article HERE

  • Tensilica 5th Generation DSP: Mix of Vision and AI (SemiWiki - Eric Esteve)
    Cadence has launched the new Tensilica Vision Q6 DSP IP, delivering 1.5x more performance than the former Vision P6 DSP IP and 1.25X better power efficiency. According with Cadence, the mobile industry is moving from traditional feature-based embedded vision to AI-based algorithm, even if all use cases still have mix of vision and AI operations. The result is need for both vision and AI processing in the camera pipeline, translating into the implementation of both Vision Q6 DSP and C5 DSP to solve the complete camera processing pipeline. Implemented in the Huawei Mate 10, Cadence Vision DSP enables advanced imaging applications like HDR video, image stabilization or hybrid zoom with 2 scene facing cameras. Compared to CPU or GPU, Vision P6 and now Q6 helps meeting high resolution video capture, thanks to their high-performance capability and battery life requirements, thanks to much better energy efficiency. The Vision P6 IP core also serves as the processing unit for AI processing in the MediaTek P60, that MediaTek call the Mobile APU.
    View the full article HERE

  • Inrush Currents Tamed - Part 1 (Sonics, The Official Blog - Greg Ehmann, Sonics)
    One often overlooked network on a chip is the power supply network. While not as glamorous as the communication network, it still provides an essential function and therefore, requires careful design and analysis. The EDA companies have invested in the development of tools to perform design and analysis of many of the aspects of the power supply network to make sure we get it right. These aspects include the following. Power rail analysis – the size and connections between metal layers are analyzed to determine if the current carrying capability is sufficient for the given load. Too large of an IR drop in the supply network can affect the interface levels or reduce the performance of the circuit. Decoupling capacitance analysis – the size and location of on chip decoupling capacitance are analyzed to minimize local supply noise, but too much capacitance increases leakage. EM analysis – the size and connections between metal layers are analyzed to determine if there are any reliability issues related to metal failure. EMI analysis – the size and placement of power rails with respect to fast switching signals such as a clock can prevent electromagnetic interference.
    View the full article HERE

  • Catalyst: Accelerating the Arm Ecosystem for HPC (arm Blogs - Darren Cepulis, Arm)
    On Monday April 16, 2018, HPE, in conjunction with Arm and SUSE, announced the “Catalyst UK” program. The program calls for establishing supercomputer deployments at three leading UK universities (Bristol, Leicester, and Edinburgh) to accelerate the growth of the burgeoning Arm HPC ecosystem and to further provide UK researchers with the production platforms to help them succeed in their advanced scientific research and in collaborating with various industry and government partners. Catalyst UK is a complex joint program between HPE, Arm, and other partners in the HPC segment with several key aspects: Deployment: Deploying of sizeable HPC clusters at three strategic UK sites, supported for multi-year period and providing access to academia and industry. Adoption: Foster early adoption of Arm for HPC in UK; earliest Apollo 70 production shipments followed by end-user collaboration. Collaboration: Leveraging the success of the 2017 “Project Comanche” model of customer-centric collaboration, “Catalyst UK” is based on production HPE Apollo 70 platforms with a greater focus on applications and research. Applications: Porting and optimization of targeted end-user scientific applications. Arm will support, influence, and track application development via software and professional services teams. Scale: Establish foundation for at scale testing and production runs, as well as collaboration on future technologies for Exascale enablement. This closes a key ecosystem gap in terms of the lack of large-scale production Arm-based HPC clusters.
    View the full article HERE

  • Sensor Interface Expands Beyond Mobile (EETimes Blog - Hezi Saar, MIPI Alliance)
    A board member from the MIPI Alliance shares the group's efforts to expand adoption of its I3C sensor interface. The MIPI Alliance recently opened access to the MIPI I3C interface specification to encourage its adoption beyond the traditional mobile applications where it is already used by leading SoC and sensor vendors. The Alliance also invites other electronics standards groups to consider adopting the specification. The interface, released more than a year ago, has transformed sensor integration for smartphones and other mobile applications that require low-power, low-cost and highly efficient system design. It features technological advances while maintaining backwards compatibility to I2C.
    View the full article HERE

  • A New Era Needs a New Architecture: The Tensilica Vision Q6 DSP (Breakfast Bytes - Paul McLellan)
    There is a trend for increasing sophistication in vision and in artificial intelligence (AI). There are many drivers of this, but two of the most important are the advanced capabilities of high-end smartphones and the demands of ADAS and autonomous driving. For smartphones, face detection requires a mixture of vision and AI processing, and the requirements are increasing all the time. In particular, it needs to work under non-ideal conditions, when the face is turned to one side, wearing a hat, with the face partially obscured by a scarf, and so on. The cameras in smartphones are getting increasingly sophisticated, using multiple sensors to do things like high-dynamic range (HDR) imaging, hybrid zoom, image stabilization, and more.
    View the full article HERE

  • Moving Machine Learning off the Cloud Calls for eFPGAs (Achronix Blog - Alok Sanghavi, Achronix)
    Artificial intelligence is reshaping the world we live in and opening opportunities in commercial and industrial systems applications that range from autonomous driving and medical diagnostics to home appliances, industrial automation, adaptive websites and financial analytics. Next up is the communications infrastructure that links systems together, moving toward automated self-repair and optimization. For example, the U.S. Navy plans to expand its Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) ocean combat network with AI, connecting ships, submarines and on-shore naval stations. These new architectures will perform functions such as load balancing and allocating resources for wireless channels and network ports based on predictions learned from experience. Applications they support demand high performance and, in many cases, low latency to respond to real-time changes in conditions and demands. They also require power consumption to be as low as possible, rendering unusable solutions that underpin machine-learning in cloud servers where power and cooling are plentiful. A further requirement is for these embedded systems to be always on and ready to respond even in the absence of a network connection to the cloud. This combination of factors calls for a change in the way hardware is designed.
    View the full article HERE

  • Semiconductor Specialization Versus Valuation (Breakfast Bytes - Paul McLellan)
    At SEMICON China, Wally Rhines gave one of the keynotes on the opening day. It was an update on his presentation Merger Mania that I covered a couple of years ago when Wally gave the keynote at that year's GSA Silicon Summit. Wally Rhines has been CEO of Mentor since 1993 (well, Mentor is a subsidiary of Siemens these days, but Wally still runs it). Prior to that his career was at Texas Instruments, where he ended up running their entire semiconductor business. Wally is clearly proud that TI looks to be the most profitable semiconductor company last year, with earnings over 40% of revenue. This presentation was partly an investigation into why.
    View the full article HERE

  • Can machine learning solve the challenges of complex 5G baseband? (Embedded.com Blog - Zeev Kaplan, Ceva)
    The Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona this year was abuzz with exciting launches and announcements. While a handful of products were trying to rekindle the past, like the retro remake of the Nokia 8110 4G from the original Matrix film, the majority was looking to the future. Two technologies especially stood out as the embodiment of the future of the mobile world: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and 5G communication. But what is the connection between these two fields? Read on to find out.
    View the full article HERE

  • Synopsys USB IP - Best in the Universe (To USB or Not to USB: A USB IP Blog - Eric Huang, Synopsys)
    This afternoon I thought “There isn’t enough caramel in the world.” Specifically, my favorite candy bar the “100 GRAND” has the right balance of caramel, chocolate, and crispy rice in a bite size piece. Sadly the candy bowls on 3 floors did not have any 100 GRAND bars. As a poor substitute, I ate 2 Milky Way bars and 1 Twix. They had both had caramel, both totally unsatisfactory. Now I have to work harder during my daily swim to burn off the extra calories for choosing substandard caramel using candies. I have to double my swim from 1 hour to 2 hours. Double the work.
    View the full article HERE

  • Saving Power in Displays for Mobile and Consumer Electronics Applications (VIP Experts Blog - Synopsys)
    Higher performance at lower power is the most critical requirement of SoC designs, specifically those targeted towards mobile and consumer electronics applications. VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association), the technical standards organization for computer display standards, came up with a new power saving feature called PSR (Panel Self Refresh) in eDP 1.3. It is also available as an optional feature in DisplayPort. PSR helps to extend battery life in mobile phones, notebooks, and tablets, and is quickly being adopted in high-end designs. DisplayPort (DP) is a display interface used to connect a video source to display devices such as monitors and projectors. It provides the fastest refresh rate, high resolution with deep color modes, and increased bandwidth with support for all 3D video and audio formats. To know more about DisplayPort, read our previous blogs – connecting DisplayPort to multiple devices and industry’s first DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC 1.2 VIP and test suite.
    View the full article HERE

  • New AMBA 5 ACE/AXI Specification and Its Support in Cadence ACE/AXI VIP (Cadence IP Blog - Dimitry Pavlovsky, Cadence)
    As discussed in the previous installments of the blog, the recent update of the AMBA® 5 ACE/AXI specification introduced several performance improvement features which align the AMBA5 ACE/AXI protocol with AMBA 5 CHI (Coherent Hub Interface) specification. Among them is the new class of atomic transactions, discussed in-depth previously. Another new transaction class includes the new cache stash transactions which install a cache line in the cache of another component in the system, moving it closer to the point of use, thus improving the overall system performance.
    View the full article HERE

  • NVM Express 1.3: Addressing the Storage Needs of the Data Revolution from Enterprise to Client (Cadence on the Beat Blogs - Lana Chan, Cadence)
    The amount of data we are generating and consuming has exploded in recent years. Social media, applications, multimedia streaming, 24-hour connectivity has us talking about Zettabytes of data in the data center that folks want to not only store, but analyze and access rapidly. SSDs were great to address mechanical inefficiencies of HDD. However, the constraints of the SCSI protocol still meant that you can only address needs one at a time since there is only one queue in which to submit read/write requests. Then came NVM Express in 2011, the industry standard for enterprise and client non-volatile memory based storage solutions over PCIe. It eliminated that constraint with the introduction of 64K queues that can handle 64K commands in each queue to lower latency dramatically. The latest NVMe Express 1.3 continues to introduce new features to address the ferocious appetite for better latency and higher bandwidth in the data revolution from the enterprise to the client space. Some of the ones causing a healthy buzz on the enterprise level are as follows:
    View the full article HERE

  • Looking For The Elephant In The Valley (NetSpeed Blog - Kavya Ram Mohan, NetSpeed Systems)
    Female role models doing exceptional things in tech have always existed. Hopefully future generations will believe that STEM is gender neutral. As a new arrival in the Silicon Valley and a woman, my head is full of statistics and charts. Not the kind that data scientists use to power their decision-making, but the kind that has made its way into the public discourse more and more in the last few years—diversity numbers in the tech industry. Armed with this data, I set out to talk to my company’s female CEO, Sundari Mitra, as well as female engineers whom I see every day at work. I wanted to understand how their experiences tied in with all the research emerging on the subject. While several interesting conversations resulted, one thread that stuck with me was the impact of various types of cultural messaging and the crucial need for role models. With my very small sample size of five women, three had family members who were engineers or working in STEM. Each cited this an important factor when it was time to make a choice about what to study at college. They saw the challenging work their fathers, brothers, and in one case mother, did, and decided this what they wanted to do as well. At the time, be it the 80s, 90s, or even 2000s, in the U.S. or India, this choice led them into male-dominated university classrooms, and thereafter, an even more XY chromosome filled zone: the tech industry. All of them have survived and thrived, though not without some battle scars.
    View the full article HERE

  • MIPI M-PHY 4.1 - Preventing Data Loss in High Speed Mobility Devices (VIP Experts Blog - Synopsys)
    In today’s world of smartphones and tablets, high speed data at low power consumption is becoming increasingly important. MIPI M-PHY supports multiple applications with high data bandwidth and low power consumption which makes it a popular specification for mobile devices. Applications like JEDEC UFS 3.0 and MIPI UniPro 1.8 now support MIPI M-PHY 4.1 which provides high speed data at a rate of nearly 11Gbps (HS_G4). To learn more about latest UFS and UniPro specifications read our previous blog “High Speed Memory in Smart Phones: MIPI UniPro v1.8 for JEDEC UFS v3.0”. Data at such a high speed can lead to inter-symbol-interference (ISI). M-PHY provides a safety measure to prevent the loss of data at HS_G4. In this blog, we are going to talk about the ‘ADAPT’ feature and its advantages which were introduced in M-PHY 4.0.
    View the full article HERE

  • EDA: Not Like Semiconductor Equipment (Breakfast Bytes - Paul McLellan)
    It was SEMICON China last week, and I've written a couple of posts about it this week. Talking about semiconductor manufacturing equipment a lot recently reminded me of a friend who used to work in the semiconductor equipment industry (and I did some consulting for him years ago). When I was having lunch with him, we got to discussing why EDA and semiconductor equipment sales processes are so different. At first glance, there are a lot of parallels between semiconductor equipment and EDA. Most notably: many of the same customers, the same technology treadmill, and a small number of large suppliers. There is also not a huge amount of differentiation in the product offerings, at least in terms that are easily assessed by the customer. To a first approximation, all plasma etchers etch, and all Verilog simulators simulate Verilog. A better assessment requires deciding more precisely what you want to do, and then running detailed tests. But there are also big differences, the two big ones being lead time and cost.
    View the full article HERE

  • The Universe's first mobile phone with USB Type-C and DisplayPort (To USB or Not to USB: A USB IP Blog - Eric Huang, Synopsys)
    |youtubevideo:LtA-hiDfseg| Always on the lookout for USB products, our Technical Marketing Manager found the Huawei Mate 10 supporting both USB Type-C and DisplayPort. As far as we can tell, this is the very first phone ever to support both USB and DisplayPort through a single connector (Type-C) with the DisplayPort using Alternate mode.
    View the full article HERE

  • HDMI 2.1: How it Became the Most Popular Display Interface (VIP Experts Blog - Synopsys)
    HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is a proprietary audio/video interface for transferring uncompressed video data and compressed or uncompressed digital audio data from an HDMI-compliant source device, such as a display controller, to a compatible computer monitor, video projector, digital television, or digital audio device. HDMI is a digital replacement for analog video standards, represented using one of several luminance/color-difference color spaces. We introduced HDMI 2.1 in our previous blog – HDMI 2.1: Channeling the GenX Audio Video Experience. In this blog we will discuss about evolution and key features of HDMI from v1.4 to v2.1.
    View the full article HERE

  • A Different View of the U.S. Broadcom Decision (EETimes Blog - Ning Zhang and Wei Zhang, CKR Law)
    President Trump's order prohibiting Broadcom from taking over Qualcomm is all about China, especially Huawei. The order’s argument was based on a March 5 letter from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS). It said Broadcom’s attempted takeover of Qualcomm could pose a risk to U.S. national security. Huawei, was everywhere to be seen in the letter. For example, CFIUS worried that “Chinese companies, including Huawei, have increased their engagement in 5G standardization working groups as part of their efforts to build out a 5G technology.” It added that “given well-known U.S. national security concerns about Huawei and other Chinese telecommunications companies, a shift to Chinese dominance in 5G would have substantial negative national security consequences for the U.S.” Qualcomm had come up with many pretty wild arguments against the deal, but it never landed on the one proffered by CFIUS--a lack of R&D for 5G could give Huawei an edge to dominate the 5G world, threatening U.S. national security.
    View the full article HERE

  • High Speed Memory in Smart Phones: MIPI UniPro v1.8 for JEDEC UFS v3.0 (VIP Experts Blog - Synopsys)
    Flash storage is one of the most important component of a smart phone, and with every new version comes higher memory capacity and performance. The most rapidly adopted flash memory technology in recent years is Universal Flash Storage (UFS), with UFS v2.1 providing a maximum data rate of ~11Gbps. JEDEC has come up with the faster next-generation UFS v3.0 which uses MIPI UniPro v1.8 (Unified Protocol) and MIPI M-PHY v4.1 as interconnect layer.
    View the full article HERE