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Find the latest trends and technical details on semiconductor IP from the industry's leading IP vendors

  • A Method to Quickly Assess and Improve Analog Front-End Performance in Communication SoCs
  • Friday December 19, 2014 — Synopsys
  • Selecting an Analog Front-End (AFE) IP and its components (Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADCs), Digital- to-Analog Converters (DACs) and Phase-Lock-Loops (PLLs)) to meet SoC requirements for processing broadband signals in communication transceivers is complex. Loss of system-level performance or inefficient power consumption (through over specification) is non-existent when performance of each component is optimized. AFE IP components are typically specified in terms of their electrical characteristics, whereas the system designer evaluates the system performance with a different set of metrics. Therefore, system designers must interpret the AFE IP components' electrical specifications and how they determine the overall performance in units that are meaningful to the system. This white paper outlines a simplified method to determine if the electrical characteristics of any given AFE are adequate for the targeted application such as broadband signal transceivers in the context of wireless or wireline connectivity, cellular communications and digital TV and radio broadcast. Additionally, it illustrates a tool to explore tradeoffs between relative performance and operating modes of different components to find the optimal performance, power, area and cost for SoCs.

  • Developing High-Reliability Reprogrammable NVM IP for Automotive Applications
  • Tuesday November 11, 2014 — Synopsys
  • As markets such as automotive and Internet of Things (IoT) evolve to require more and smarter ICs, they drive an increased need for non-volatile memory (NVM), and specifically reprogrammable NVM. Beyond code storage, devices such as sensors, power management, and wireless connectivity use NVM for calibration, configuration, data logging, setting user profiles, and storing security information. As not all of these functions require or can afford embedded Flash, other technologies must be considered and understood. Whether the end application is a high-volume consumer product or a high-reliability automotive component, the embedded NVM needs to be of sufficient quality and reliability to not only deliver high yield in production, but also to ensure in-field performance over the life of the product. Because many users are new to integrating and using embedded NVM, design engineers may not be familiar with how to distinguish fully qualified, reliable NVM from less proven options. In developing high-quality and reliable non-volatile memory solutions, NVM IP providers must take design and testing considerations into account. To help IC designers select the highest reliability NVM IP for automotive applications, this white paper will review the key considerations involved in the entire process from design to test, including:   Key reliability specifications Designing-in reliability Demonstrating reliability through characterization, qualification, and reliability testing   By understanding this process, IC designers will be able to make informed choices for their designs, whether it is to develop the IP in-house or to select the optimal IP supplier. The resulting NVM will then have the required reliability for their end applications, ensuring their product's profitability and manufacturability. In many cases, working with a supplier who provides complete and thorough silicon test data can be used to supplement the IC manufacturer's own qualification and characterization data, which reduces costs and time-to-market. 

  • Leveraging Processor Extensibility to Build an Ultra Low-Power Embedded Subsystem
  • Thursday July 31, 2014 — Synopsys
  • There is increasing demand for electronic devices to execute more functions while consuming less power and silicon area. To achieve this, systems instantiating multiple, heterogeneous processor cores optimized for low power and high performance are gaining popularity among design teams. In these systems, one or more deeply embedded processors execute a limited set of dedicated applications. The ability to extend these embedded processor cores with tightly-coupled hardware extensions (e.g., custom instructions, auxiliary registers, optimized interfaces) can yield significant efficiencies in power consumption and performance. The extended processor core runs the same applications in fewer cycles, enabling energy reduction by lowering the clock frequency or the execution of more functions with the same energy. This white paper describes how processor extensions can optimize power and performance of a processor when targeting sensor applications, demonstrated using Synopsys' DesignWare® ARC® Processors and ARC Processor EXtensions (APEX) technology.

  • Enabling a new generation of connected devices - an introduction to FlowCloud
  • Wednesday July 23, 2014 — Imagination Technologies
  • We're at the beginning of a new technological revolution: an era where thousands of hitherto disparate and unrelated devices will become connected and able to share information via cloud-based services. Imagine a world where your tablet is automatically populated with the latest movies, simply because you placed a diary entry on your smartphone indicating you were taking a long-haul flight. Or where your home routinely switches into an energy-saving mode after the last person departs the house, and predicts when someone is likely to return based upon GPS data from their smartphone. Or a message indicating all is well with a dependent relative, triggered automatically by them following their normal morning routine of taking their medication, turning on the TV and boiling the kettle. This type of interaction will ultimately be made possible through hundreds and thousands of connected sensors, actuators and monitoring devices attached to physical objects, embedded within the fabric of buildings, or dispersed within the environment. Each of these devices generates relatively small amounts of data, which are then relayed through IP gateways to servers housed in large data centres.  Powerful algorithms and data analytics engines are then employed to make sense of all this data and draw conclusions on what is happening in the real world, allowing intelligent decisions to be made autonomously by the technology. It's a phenomenon called 'Big Data' and it's already becoming a reality.

  • Tradeoffs of LDO Architectures and the Advantages of Advanced Architecture
  • Wednesday May 28, 2014 — Vidatronic
  • Power management of battery-powered electronic devices is becoming increasingly more important for the present and future microelectronics industry. This application note details the difference between low dropout (LDO) voltage regulators that use output capacitance and those that do not and how your system designs can benefit from or be improved by not using an output capacitor. Capless LDO voltage regulators improve system efficiency, subsequently prolonging battery life of the device, while simultaneously reducing your overall costs.

  • Delivering Ultra-High Throughput Networking Security - Technical and Business Considerations for Hardware IP Design
  • Tuesday April 08, 2014 — INSIDE Secure Corporation
  • In any chip development cycle, the product management and development teams must make decisions regarding the challenges the product design brings with it, and the impact those challenges will have on the company's development schedule and financials. To best do that, the product and development managers must assess the availability of internal design resources, the desired product performance, the availability of intellectual property, and still other factors to complete the project on time and within budget. This white paper will examine these issues when assessing the development of a scalable network security processor that can handle security protocol data streams of up to 40 Gbits/s.

  • Mobile Multimedia & Communications IP Solutions
  • Monday March 03, 2014 — Imagination Technologies
  • PowerVR has established itself as the developer's de facto standard across smartphones, tablets, mobile computing and games consoles, attracting an extensive community of adopters and powering iconic and much-loved products. Our partners are now delivering the most comprehensive range of solutions, from low end to high end, that truly can enable any phone or tablet device to have PowerVR, the leading GPU technology. Imagination is driving mobile and embedded graphics performance to reach across the full range of smart mobile consumer devices, from mass market to high end in an era of ubiquitous mobile multimedia. Coupled with our Ensigma communications and Meta general purpose processing IP (intellectual property), we can offer a complete range of solutions to extensively address the needs of an ever growing electronics market.



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  • What do all of these things have in common? They were key topics addressed by Cadence...