SoCs should invest in a strong cache position

SoCs should invest in a strong cache position
by Don Dingee on 12-30-2014 at 4:00 pm

Like most technology firms, Apple has been home to many successes, and some spectacular defeats. One failure was Project Aquarius. At the dawn of the RISC era, before ARM architecture was “discovered” in Cupertino, engineers were hunkered over a Cray X-MP/48. The objective was to design Apple’s own quad core RISC processor to … Read More


Analyzing Cortex-A53 octa-core on Linux

Analyzing Cortex-A53 octa-core on Linux
by Don Dingee on 11-17-2014 at 3:00 pm

Octa-core sells smartphones and tablets. 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 implementations are available from Huawei, MediaTek, Qualcomm, Samsung, and now Marvell, with Rockchip and others on the way. Suddenly, almost everyone planning to run Linux is being asked for octa-core designs.

If it were easy, anyone could do it. Increasing … Read More


Virtual Prototype Collaboration

Virtual Prototype Collaboration
by Daniel Payne on 05-20-2014 at 9:01 am

The concept and use of virtual prototypes continues to grow each year in electronics design, mostly because it really does shorten product development cycles by allowing software engineers to start early debug and fix errors prior to production. Other useful benefits to virtual prototyping include software optimization, … Read More


Social Media at Carbon Design Systems

Social Media at Carbon Design Systems
by Daniel Payne on 03-18-2014 at 11:12 am

Started in 2002 Carbon Design Systems has ESL (Electronic System Level) modeling and validation tools for complex SoC design. With their software you can:

  • Perform system level model generation of existing and 3rd party IP directly from RTL for use in any virtual platform
  • Do performance analysis & optimization of SoC architectures
Read More

Virtual Prototypes Made Easier for SoC Design

Virtual Prototypes Made Easier for SoC Design
by Daniel Payne on 12-06-2013 at 6:24 pm

Using a virtual prototype for your SoC design is accepted, conventional wisdom today because it can save development time by eliminating design iterations and avoid costly bugs that will cause an expensive product recall. In order to simulate your virtual prototype you need models, so a major question has always been, “Where… Read More


Cutting Debug Time of an SoC

Cutting Debug Time of an SoC
by Daniel Payne on 09-19-2013 at 2:26 pm

The amount of time spent debugging an SoC dwarfs the actual design time, with many engineering teams saying that debug and verification takes about 7X the effort as the actual design work. So any automation to reduce the amount of time spent in debug and verification would directly impact the product schedule in a big way.

An example… Read More


Using Virtual Platforms to Make IP Decisions

Using Virtual Platforms to Make IP Decisions
by Paul McLellan on 04-27-2013 at 10:48 am

Most SoC designs these days consist largely, but not entirely, of purchased IP blocks. But there are lots of tradeoffs involved in selecting IP blocks, and since those tradeoffs change with process node, even decisions that seem “obvious” based on the last generation of the design, may not be so clear cut. Even if you… Read More


Software Driven Power Analysis

Software Driven Power Analysis
by Paul McLellan on 02-03-2013 at 8:15 pm

Power is a fundamentally hard problem. When you have finished the design, you have accurate power numbers but can’t do anything about them. At the RTL level you have some power information but it is often too late to make major architectural changes (add an offload audio-processor, for example). Early in the design, making… Read More


Samsung Invests in Carbon

Samsung Invests in Carbon
by Paul McLellan on 09-12-2012 at 10:00 am

I’ve talked before about how venture capitalists will no longer invest in EDA companies since the prospect for a huge return just isn’t there any more. By big return I mean an acquisition at hundreds of millions of dollars, like SPC, CCR, Ambit, Cadmos, Simplex. But we all know that chips cannot be designed without software… Read More


Semiconductor Virtual Platform Models

Semiconductor Virtual Platform Models
by Paul McLellan on 04-19-2011 at 3:38 pm

Virtual platforms have been an area that has some powerful value propositions for both architectural analysis and for software development. But the fundamental weakness has been the modeling problem. People want fast and accurate models but this turns out to be a choice.

The first issue is that there is an unavoidable tradeoff… Read More