Once the benefits of using an embedded FPGA fabric are understood, the next question is about how timing closure is handled between the ASIC and the eFPGA blocks. First let’s look briefly at the advantages. By moving the eFPGA on to the SOC die, tons of I/O logic and the need for any package and board interconnect will vanish. Package… Read More
You might wonder why, in FPGA design, you would go beyond simply using the design tools provided by the FPGA vendor (e.g. Xilinx, Intel/Altera and Microsemi). After all, they know their hardware platform better than anyone else, and they’re pretty good at design software too. But there’s one thing none of these providers want to… Read More
The appeal of embedding an FPGA IP in an ASIC design is undeniable. For much of your design, you want all the advantages of ASIC: up to GHz performance, down to mW power (with active power management), all with very high levels of integration with a broad range of internal and 3[SUP]rd[/SUP]-party IP (analog/RF, sensor fusion, image/voice… Read More
Timing closure is the perennial issue in digital IC design. While the specific problem that has needed to be solved to achieve timing closure over the decades has continuously changed, it has always been a looming problem. And the timing closure problem has gotten more severe with 16/14nm FinFET SoCs due to greater distances between… Read More
The challenge of tracking design progress is a shared problem for individual designers, team leaders, and project managers. At each level the ability to step back from just reviewing error log files and seeing the arc of the whole design as it moves forward is valuable. The difficulty of seeing the whole picture is exacerbated when… Read More
Timing closure is a “tortoise” for some system-on-chip (SoC) designers just the way many digital guys call RF design a “black art”. Chip designers often tell horror stories of doing up to 20 back-end physical synthesis place & route (SP&R) iterations with each iteration taking a week or more. “Timing closure”, a largely… Read More
Yesterday was the first day of CDNLive. There were three keynotes. The first was by Lip-Bu Tan, Cadence’s CEO (and the Chairman of Walden International that he will be the first to remind you). The most interesting tidbit was that Cadence now has over 1000 people working on IP and that it represents 11% of their revenue. Then… Read More
I had a meeting with Harn Hua Ng, the CEO of Plunify, a couple of weeks ago. They are an EDA company that I’d never heard of. Partially that is because they only play in the FPGA space, a country I visit less frequently than SoC land. Plus, they are based in Singapore, a country I have only been to a couple of times in my life.
Plunify… Read More
We’ve all heard this claim: “Our FPGA synthesis tool produces better quality of results (QoR).” If you’re just hoping for a tool to do that automagically, you’re probably doing it wrong. Getting better QoR depends on understanding what an FPGA synthesis tool is capable of, and how to leverage what it tells you.… Read More
I recently published a post on LinkedIn titled “Sometimes, you gotta throw it all out” in reference to the innovation process and getting beyond good to better. A prime example has crossed my desk: the new ProtoCompiler software for Synopsys HAPS FPGA-based prototyping systems.
Last week, I spoke with Troy Scott, product marketing… Read More