Full Chip ESD Sign-off – Necessary

Full Chip ESD Sign-off – Necessary
by Pawan Fangaria on 11-13-2013 at 7:00 pm

As Moore’s law keeps going, semiconductor design density on a chip keeps increasing. The real concern today is that the shrinkage in technology node has rendered the small wire geometry and gate oxide thickness (although fine in all other perspectives) extremely vulnerable to ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) effects. More than… Read More


Low-Power Design Webinar – What I Learned

Low-Power Design Webinar – What I Learned
by Daniel Payne on 09-02-2013 at 7:00 pm

You can only design and optimize for low-power SoC designs if you can actually simulate the entire Chip, Package and System together. The engineers at ANSYS-Apachehave figured out how to do that and talked about their design for power methodology in a webinar today. I listened to Arvind Shanmugavel present a few dozen slides and… Read More


Low-Power Design Analysis and Optimization for Mobile and High-Performance Computing Applications

Low-Power Design Analysis and Optimization for Mobile and High-Performance Computing Applications
by Daniel Payne on 08-23-2013 at 7:36 pm

For several decades now consumers like me have enjoyed using mobile devices including:

  • Transistor radios, my first one had just 6 discreet transistors in the 1960’s
  • HP 21 Calculator, used in college with Reverse Polish Notation, circa 1976
  • Zenith Data Systems laptop, with two floppy drives, 1980’s
  • Palm Pilot V,
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An EDA Acquisition that Worked

An EDA Acquisition that Worked
by Daniel Payne on 08-14-2013 at 5:30 pm

I first heard about Andrew Yang back in 1993 when he founded a Fast SPICE company called Anagram, then acquired by Avant! in 1996. Andrew’s latest EDA company Apache Design, Inc.was started in 2001, then acquired by ANSYS in 2011. Most EDA mergers simply don’t work because of one or more reasons, like:

  • Incompatible
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Efficient Power Analysis and Reduction at RTL Level

Efficient Power Analysis and Reduction at RTL Level
by Pawan Fangaria on 07-22-2013 at 12:30 am

It’s a classic and creative example of design and EDA tool community getting together, exploiting tool capabilities and developing flows which add value to all stake holders including the end consumer. We know power has become extremely important for battery life in smart phones, high performance servers, workstations, notebooks… Read More


Today’s Program is Brought To You by the Letter A

Today’s Program is Brought To You by the Letter A
by Paul McLellan on 06-28-2013 at 9:09 pm

What do nVidia, Freescale and GlobalFoundries have in common? They are semiconductor companies? They are ARM licensees? They are doing 28nm chips? They all have the letter ‘a’ in their names?

All true, but that’s not what I was thinking of. But the letter ‘a’ is a clue since Apache (and Ansys) begin with ‘a’. All three companies have… Read More


Layout-based ESD Check Methodology with Fast, Full-chip Static and Macro-level Dynamic

Layout-based ESD Check Methodology with Fast, Full-chip Static and Macro-level Dynamic
by Daniel Payne on 05-22-2013 at 10:25 am

Nvidia designs some of the most powerful graphics chips and systems in the world, so I’m always eager to learn more about their IC design methodology. This week I’ve had the chance to talk with Ting Ku, Director of Engineering at Nvidia about his DAC talkin the Apache booth in exactly two weeks from today. RegistrationRead More


Best Practice for RTL Power Design for Mobile

Best Practice for RTL Power Design for Mobile
by Paul McLellan on 04-25-2013 at 11:54 am

Mobile devices are taking over the world. If you want lots of graphs and data then look at Mary Meeker’s presentation that I blogged about earlier this week. The graph on the right is just one datapoint, showing that mobile access to the internet is probably up to about 15% now from a standing start 5 years ago.

Of course, one obvious… Read More


Watch the Clock

Watch the Clock
by Paul McLellan on 03-05-2013 at 2:24 pm

Clock gating is one of the most basic weapons in the armoury for reducing dynamic power on a design. All modern synthesis tools can insert clock gating cells to shut down clocking to registers when the contents of the register are not changing. The archetypal case is a register which sometimes loads a new value (when an enable signal… Read More


Another Winner at DesignCon

Another Winner at DesignCon
by Daniel Payne on 02-08-2013 at 5:44 pm

After a show like DesignConwraps up we get a chance to ask ourself what it all meant, and how was this year different than last year. Reading through many posts about DesignCon I came to discover that the Awards at DesignCon are less contentious than at CES, and also that ANSYSreceived a DesignVision awardfor the 2nd year running. … Read More