Automating Timing Arc Prediction for AMS IP using ML

Automating Timing Arc Prediction for AMS IP using ML
by Daniel Payne on 10-16-2019 at 6:00 am

NVIDIA designs some of the most complex chips for GPU and AI applications these days, with SoCs exceeding 21 billion transistors. They certainly know how to push the limits of all EDA tools, and they have a strong motivation to automate more manual tasks in order to quicken their time to market. I missed their Designer/IP Track Poster… Read More


Workflow Automation Applied to IP Lifecycle Management

Workflow Automation Applied to IP Lifecycle Management
by Daniel Payne on 10-04-2019 at 10:00 am

I often blog about a specific EDA tool, or an IP block, but the way that SoC design teams approach their designs and then use tools and IP can either be a manual, ad-hoc process, or part of something that is well-documented, following a design methodology. Back in the 1980’s while at Intel our team first created a design methodology… Read More


Debugging SoCs at the RTL, Gate and SPICE Netlist Levels

Debugging SoCs at the RTL, Gate and SPICE Netlist Levels
by Daniel Payne on 10-02-2019 at 10:00 am

Debugging an IC is never much fun because of all the file formats used, the levels of hierarchy and just the sheer design size, so when an EDA tool comes around that allows me to get my debugging done quicker, then I take notice and give it a look. I was already familiar with debugging SPICE netlists using a tool called SPICEVision Pro,… Read More


Speeding Up Physical Failure Analysis (PFA)

Speeding Up Physical Failure Analysis (PFA)
by Daniel Payne on 09-19-2019 at 10:00 am

The cost of an IC depends on many factors like: NRE, masks, fabrication, testing, packaging. Product engineers are tasked with testing each part and understanding what exactly is limiting the yields. Every company has a methodology for Physical Failure Analysis (PFA), and the challenge is to make this process as quick as possible,… Read More


3D TCAD Simulation for Power Devices

3D TCAD Simulation for Power Devices
by Daniel Payne on 08-30-2019 at 10:00 am

My first IC design back in 1978 was a DRAM and it ran on 12V, 5V and -5V, but then my second DRAM was using only a 5V supply. Today we see SOCs running under a 1V supply voltage, but there is a totally different market for power devices that are at the other end of the voltage spectrum and they handle switching ranges from 12V – 250V. … Read More


Achieving Functional Safety through a Certified Flow

Achieving Functional Safety through a Certified Flow
by Daniel Payne on 08-26-2019 at 10:00 am

Functional safety (FuSa) is a big deal, especially when driving a car. My beloved 1998 Acura RL recently exhibited a strange behavior at 239K miles, after making a turn the steering wheel would stay tilted in the direction of the last turn instead of straightening out. The auto mechanic pinpointed the failure to the ball joints, … Read More


Speeding up Circuit Simulation using a GPU Approach

Speeding up Circuit Simulation using a GPU Approach
by Daniel Payne on 08-22-2019 at 10:00 am

The old adage that “Time is Money” certainly rings true in the semiconductor world where IC designers are being challenged with getting their new designs to market quickly, and correctly in the first spin of silicon. Circuit designers work at the transistor-level, and circuit simulation is one of the most time-consuming… Read More


Making pre-Silicon Verification Plausible for Autonomous Vehicles

Making pre-Silicon Verification Plausible for Autonomous Vehicles
by Daniel Payne on 08-20-2019 at 10:00 am

I love reading about the amazing progress of autonomous vehicles, like when Audi and their A8 model sedan was the first to reach Level 3 autonomy, closely followed by Tesla at Level 2, although Tesla gets way more media attention here in the US. A friend of mine bought his wife a car that offers adaptive cruise control with auto-braking,… Read More


Webinar: Designing Complex SoCs and Dealing with Multiple File Formats

Webinar: Designing Complex SoCs and Dealing with Multiple File Formats
by Daniel Payne on 08-12-2019 at 10:00 am

In SoC design it’s all about managing complexity through modeling, and the models that make up IC designs come in a wide range of file formats like:

  • Transistor-level , SPICE
  • Interconnect parasitics, SPEF
  • Gate and RTL, Verilog, VHDL

Even with standard file formats, designers still have to traverse the hierarchy to find out… Read More


IP Lifecycle Management and Permissions

IP Lifecycle Management and Permissions
by Daniel Payne on 07-29-2019 at 10:00 am

My first professional experience with computers and file permissions was at Intel in the late 1970s, where we used big iron IBM mainframes located far away in another state, and each user could edit their own files along with browse shared files from co-workers in the same department. I saw this same file permission concept when … Read More