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RedHawk: On to the Future

RedHawk: On to the Future
by Paul McLellan on 05-01-2012 at 6:00 am

For many, maybe most, big designs, Apache’s RedHawk is the signoff tool for analyzing issues around power: electromigration, power supply droop, noise, transients and so on. But the latest designs have some issues: they are enormous (so you can’t just analyze them naively any more than you can run a Spice simulation… Read More


Designing for Reliability

Designing for Reliability
by Paul McLellan on 04-08-2012 at 8:06 pm

Analyzing the operation of a modern SoC, especially analyzing its power distribution network (PDN) is getting more and more complex. Today’s SoCs no longer operate on a continuous basis, instead functional blocks on the IC are only powered up to execute the operation that is required and then they go into a standby mode, … Read More


Power Issues for Chip and Board: webinar

Power Issues for Chip and Board: webinar
by Paul McLellan on 03-10-2012 at 4:24 pm

Last month Brian Bailey at EDN moderated an interesting webinar about power issues. Unusually, it combined two different domains: doing things by modeling and actually taking measurements off real chips and boards. The two participants were Arvind Shanmugavel from the Apache subsidiary of Ansys, and Randy White from Tektronix.… Read More


Power to the Drones

Power to the Drones
by Paul McLellan on 02-14-2012 at 6:01 pm

Unmanned systems are becoming indispensable to military forces and are used across all of land, sea and air. The generic name for such unmanned systems is UXS, usually UAS (air), UGS (ground) or UUS (underwater). The UAS is the most visible, both due to military strikes and the views of Japan after the Tsunami when areas were unreachable… Read More


3D Standards

3D Standards
by Paul McLellan on 02-01-2012 at 5:06 pm

At DesignCon this week there was a panel on 3D standards organized by Si2. I also talked to Aveek Sarkar of Apache (a subsidiary of Ansys) who is one of the founding member companies of the Si2 Open3D Technical Advisory Board (TAB), along with Atrenta, Cadence, Fraunhofer Institute, Global Foundries, Intel, Invarian, Mentor, Qualcomm,… Read More


Power Issues for Chip and Board

Power Issues for Chip and Board
by Paul McLellan on 01-29-2012 at 3:39 pm

Next week there are two Apache, a subsidiary of Ansys, events. At DesignCon there are a couple of workshops on chip-package-system (CPS). In addition to Apache themselves, each of the two workshops has a number of representatives of leading edge companies doing semiconductor design. I already blogged about this in more detail… Read More


Acquiring Great Power

Acquiring Great Power
by Paul McLellan on 01-20-2012 at 5:11 pm

“Before we acquire great power we must acquire wisdom to use it well”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Making good architectural decisions for controlling power consumption and ensuring power integrity requires a good analysis of the current requirements and how they vary. Low power designs, and today there really aren’t… Read More


Chip-Package-System workshops

Chip-Package-System workshops
by Paul McLellan on 01-17-2012 at 4:30 pm

Chips, packages and circuit boards (systems, hence CPS) used to be three separate domains with their own tools that barely interacted at all. If you were lucky, reassigning a pin on a package wouldn’t have to be done manually in all 3 places. But now, from a signal integrity, noise, power point of view these three domains must… Read More


Challenges in 3D-IC and 2½D Design

Challenges in 3D-IC and 2½D Design
by Paul McLellan on 12-09-2011 at 5:18 pm

3D IC design and what has come to be known as 2½D IC design, with active die on a silicon interposer, require new approaches to verification since the through silicon vias (TSVs) and the fact that several different semiconductor processes may be involved create a new set of design challenges

The power delivery network is a challenge… Read More


RTL Power Models

RTL Power Models
by Paul McLellan on 11-08-2011 at 8:00 am

One of the challenges of doing a design in the 28nm world is that everything depends on everything else. But some decisions need to be made early with imperfect information. But the better the information we have, the better those early decisions will be. One area of particular importance is selecting a package, designing a power… Read More