Finding Transistor-level Defects Inside of Standard Cells

Finding Transistor-level Defects Inside of Standard Cells
by Daniel Payne on 01-31-2017 at 12:00 pm

In the earliest days of IC design the engineering work was always done at the transistor-level, and then over time the abstraction level moved upward to gate-level, cell-level, RTL level, IP reuse, and high-level modeling abstractions. The higher levels of abstraction have allowed systems to be integrated into an SoC that can… Read More


Starvision Pro: Lattice Semiconductor’s Experience

Starvision Pro: Lattice Semiconductor’s Experience
by Paul McLellan on 04-09-2015 at 7:00 am

Image RemovedDuring SNUG I took the opportunity to chat to Choon-Hoe Yeoh of Lattice Semiconductor about how they use Concept Engineering’s Starvision Pro product. He is the senior director of EDA tools and methodologies there.

Lattice Semiconductor is a manufacturer of low-power, small-footprint, low-cost programmable… Read More


StarVision to Debug and Analyze Designs at All Levels

StarVision to Debug and Analyze Designs at All Levels
by Pawan Fangaria on 10-09-2014 at 4:00 pm

In today’s SoC world where multiple analog and digital blocks along with IPs at different levels of abstractions are placed together on a single chip, debugging at all levels becomes quite difficult and clumsy. While one is working at the top level and needs to investigate a particular connection at an intermediate hierarchical… Read More


Transistor-level Sizing Optimization

Transistor-level Sizing Optimization
by Daniel Payne on 08-29-2014 at 4:00 pm

RTL designers know that their code gets transformed into gates and cells by using a logic synthesis tool, however these gates and cells are further comprised of transistors and sometimes you really need to optimize the transistor sizing to reach power, performance and area goals. I’ve done transistor-level IC design before,… Read More


What Comes After FinFET?

What Comes After FinFET?
by Paul McLellan on 08-10-2014 at 11:01 pm

So what comes after FinFETs? At 14/16nm (or 22nm if you are Intel) we had FinFET transistors, where the channel was no longer planar but stuck out of the wafer vertically, and the gate wrapped around it on 3 sides. The key thing that made FinFET transistors attractive was that the channel was thin so that the gate controlled it well. … Read More


Mark your Date for Semiconductor Design Vision

Mark your Date for Semiconductor Design Vision
by Pawan Fangaria on 03-13-2014 at 4:30 am

A very popular acronym is ‘WYSIWYG’ – What You See Is What You Get! This is very true and is important to visualize things to make it better in various aspects such as aesthetics, compactness, organization, structure, understandable for correction and so on; the most important, in case of semiconductor design, is being able to identify… Read More


Parasitic Debugging in Complex Design – How Easy?

Parasitic Debugging in Complex Design – How Easy?
by Pawan Fangaria on 01-23-2014 at 9:00 am

When we talk about parasitic, we talk about post layout design further expanded in terms of electrical components such as resistances and capacitances. In the semiconductor design environment where multiple parts of a design from different sources are assembled together into highly complex, high density SoC, imagine how complex… Read More


Epitaxy: Not Just For PMOS Anymore

Epitaxy: Not Just For PMOS Anymore
by Paul McLellan on 07-25-2013 at 2:25 pm

Image RemovedAt Semicon I met with Applied Materials to learn about epitaxy. This is when a monocrystalline film is grown on the substrate which takes on a lattice structure that matches the substrate. It forms a high purity starting point for building a transistor and is also the basis of the strain engineering in a modern process.… Read More


A Brief History of Semiconductors

A Brief History of Semiconductors
by Paul McLellan on 10-25-2012 at 3:00 pm

Image RemovedIn the last few decades, electronics has become more and more central to our lives. When I was a child the only electronics in the house was the radio and the television, both of which contained tubes. Two big things happened that upended that world: the invention of the transistor and the invention of the integrated … Read More