Webinar: Designing Complex SoCs and Dealing with Multiple File Formats

Webinar: Designing Complex SoCs and Dealing with Multiple File Formats
by Daniel Payne on 08-12-2019 at 10:00 am

In SoC design it’s all about managing complexity through modeling, and the models that make up IC designs come in a wide range of file formats like:

  • Transistor-level , SPICE
  • Interconnect parasitics, SPEF
  • Gate and RTL, Verilog, VHDL

Even with standard file formats, designers still have to traverse the hierarchy to find out… Read More


Foundational Excellence in a Laid-Back Style

Foundational Excellence in a Laid-Back Style
by Bernard Murphy on 04-24-2019 at 7:00 am

I recently had a call with Rob Dekker, Founder and CTO of Verific. If you’re in EDA or semiconductor CAD, chances are high that you know who they are. They’re king of the hill in parser software for SystemVerilog and VHDL. When you hear a line like that, you assume a heavy dose of marketing spin, but here it really is fact. I don’t know of… Read More


Design Automation and the Engineering Workstation

Design Automation and the Engineering Workstation
by Daniel Nenni on 09-28-2018 at 7:00 am

This is the seventeenth in the series of “20 Questions with Wally Rhines”

Several common aspects have existed for what is now the modern Electronic Design Automation (EDA) industry. When I joined TI in 1972, the company was very proud of its design automation capability as a competitive differentiator. Much of the… Read More


Crossfire Baseline Checks for Clean IP at TSMC OIP

Crossfire Baseline Checks for Clean IP at TSMC OIP
by Daniel Nenni on 09-26-2018 at 12:00 pm

IP must be properly qualified before attempting to use them in any IC design flow. One cannot wait to catch issues further down the chip design cycle. Waiting for issues to appear during design verification poses extremely high risks, including schedule slippage. For example, connection errors in transistor bulk terminals where… Read More


CEO Interview: Cristian Amitroaie of AMIQ EDA

CEO Interview: Cristian Amitroaie of AMIQ EDA
by Bernard Murphy on 07-05-2018 at 7:00 am

AMIQ EDA has caught my attention over the last few months. My first impression was that this was just another small IDE company trying to compete with established and bundled IDEs from the big 3, a seemingly insurmountable barrier. This view was challenged by an impressive list of testimonials, not just from the little guys but also… Read More


A Picture is worth a 1,000 words

A Picture is worth a 1,000 words
by Daniel Payne on 12-28-2017 at 7:00 am

Semiconductor IP re-use is a huge part of the productivity gains in SoC designs, so instead of starting from a clean slate most chip engineers are re-using cells, blocks, modules and even sub-systems from previous designs in order to meet their schedule and stay competitive in the market place. But what happens when you intend to… Read More


Getting More Productive Coding with SystemVerilog

Getting More Productive Coding with SystemVerilog
by Daniel Payne on 08-31-2017 at 12:00 pm

HDL languages are a matter of engineering personal preference and often corporate policy dictates which language you should be using on your next SoC design. In the early days we used our favorite text-based editor like Vi or Emacs, my choice was Vi. The problem with these text-based editors of course is that they really don’t… Read More


Why Open and Supported Interfaces Matter

Why Open and Supported Interfaces Matter
by Mitch Heins on 08-29-2017 at 12:00 pm

Back in the early 1980’s during the nascent years of electronic design automation (EDA), I worked at Texas Instruments supporting what would become their merchant ASIC business. Back then, life was a bit different. The challenge we faced was to make our ASIC library available on as many EDA flows as we could to give as many users as… Read More


Improving on EMACS for VHDL Creation

Improving on EMACS for VHDL Creation
by Bernard Murphy on 11-16-2016 at 7:00 am

OK – I admit I titled this piece as clickbait. There is a core of designers for whom belief in the supremacy of EMACS for RTL creation comes close to religion. Some will read only the title and jump immediately to penning searing comments questioning my intelligence, experience, parenthood and ability to tie my own shoes. Some, I hope,… Read More


RTL Design Restructuring Explained

RTL Design Restructuring Explained
by Daniel Payne on 09-22-2016 at 4:00 pm

Modern SoC designs can use billions of transistors where transistors are grouped into gates, then gates grouped into cells, then cells grouped into blocks, blocks grouped into modules, and so on, creating a complex hierarchy. What a front-end designer conceives of logically for a hierarchy will differ from how an optimized physical… Read More