Talking with actual IC designers is always fascinating to me, because these engineers are the unsung heroes that enable our modern day world of consumer and industrial electronics. Too often we only hear from the CEO or other C-level executives in the press about their own companies, products, services and vision. I recently had… Read More
Popular companies designing smart phones, CPUs, GPUs and Memory components all employ teams of custom IC designers to create the highest performance chips that are as small as possible, and at the lowest costs. How do they go about doing custom IC design migration and optimization when moving from one process node to another one?… Read More
I’ve done SRAM and DRAM design before as a circuit designer from 1978-1986, but in 2016 there are so many more challenges to using 28nm and 14nm on FDSOI technology. One way to keep abreast of SRAM design is to read conference papers, so I just finished a paper from authors at STMicroelectronics and MunEDA presented at the IEEE… Read More
I was born in 1957, the same year that the Soviets launched the first satellite into Earth orbit, officially starting the Space Race between two global super powers. Today there are many countries engaged in space research and I just read about how engineers at IEAv (Institute for Advanced Studies) in Brazil did their IC design optimization… Read More
Analog IP is more difficult to design and optimize for a given process node compared to digital IP, so any automation for analog designers is always welcome. The engineers at SMIC in China have customers that design analog IP and often they need to know how to optimize it for a specific process, so I watched a presentation by Josh Yang,… Read More
As I mentioned in “EDA Dead Pool” acquisitions in our industry will continue at a rapid pace. The latest victim is 10 year old French company Infiniscale who was recently purchased by Silvaco. This was more of a “let’s put your product through our massive sales and support channel” kind of deal so it will be 1 + 1 = 3 accretive for sure.… Read More
Designing Analog IP is often referred to as a “black art”, something that only highly experienced craftsmen can produce using transistor-level techniques that aren’t shared outside of their closely held group of trusted co-workers. I’d like to suggest that Analog IP can be designed and optimized … Read More
My first job out of college was transistor-level circuit design of DRAMs at Intel, so I’ve continued to be fascinated with both the craft and science of designing, optimizing, verifying and debugging custom ICs. Last October I traveled to Munich, Germany to attend a two day user group meeting for engineers using tools from… Read More
My IC design career started out with DRAM at Intel, and included SRAM embedded in GPUs, so I recall some common questions that face memory IP designers even today, like:
- Does reading a bit flip the stored data?
- Can I write both 0 and 1 into every cell?
- Will read access times be met?
- While lowering the supply voltage does the cell data retain?
There are three critical goals that designers of custom digital designs and memories look to achieve with high sigma verification:
(1) obtaining accurate results,
(2) achieving results with good run-time (efficiency), and
(3) gaining proper insight into how their circuit is behaving along with an understanding of failure … Read More