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

  • Silicon Platform for IoT Applications
  • Tuesday May 26, 2015 — VeriSilicon
  • Gartner estimates (Alfonso Velosa, Research Director, Asia Pacific Technology Briefing, October 2014) that, by 2020, 25 billion connected devices will be on the market, forming a vast network of devices that sense or interact and communicate with each other. These connected devices (IoT) are found in various end markets like industrial, consumer, automotive and home. The required CPU/MCU performance, features, power consumption, communication protocol, and cost of IoT chips differ in each market. An off-the-shelf standard chip is not flexible enough to comprehend these fragmented markets and requirements, compromising performance, and user experience. In addition, a recently published report by GSA and McKinsey noted "...many semiconductor companies have not significantly invested in IoT specific chips because they cannot recoup their cost, relying on existing solutions. For instance, wireless system-on-chip (SOC) players may offer repurposed wireless processors and chip sets for the IOT, while MCU players often bundle lower-end processors and connectivity chip sets to compete for the same opportunity." Custom designed silicon (or ASIC) is the best alternative, but it requires long design and validation cycle time, increases risk and impacts the time-to-market. VeriSilicon solves this challenge of implementing custom silicon with optimal performance that is also low risk, low cost and fast time-to-market.

  • Embedding Vision in Next-Generation SoCs
  • Tuesday May 19, 2015 — Synopsys
  • Computer vision is the acquisition, processing, analysis and understanding of real-world visual information with computers. Until recently this was only possible on PCs and other high-end machines, but the advance of microprocessor technology is now enabling designers to integrate computer vision into SoCs. The resulting practical and widely deployable embedded vision functionality is showing up in emerging consumer applications such as home surveillance, gaming systems, automotive driver assist systems, smart glasses and augmented reality. This is giving rise to a whole new class of embedded processors, designed specifically for embedded vision and offering very high vision performance, but at the low power-consumption levels required for embedded applications. Embedded vision technology is included in an increasing number of SoC designs and will have a profound impact on many aspects of our lives.

  • Minimizing self-reflection in wide-band zero-IF transceivers
  • Tuesday May 12, 2015 — NTLab
  • Analog front-end is a functional node, interfacing data source - a modulated signal - to a desired medium and vice versa. In most cases this interfacing includes carrier frequency shift, due to fact that baseband, low frequency part of the spectrum, is already occupied by some other transfer activity. So, typical signal path for data transfer will be as follows:

  • MIPS SIMD programming - Optimizing multimedia codecs
  • Tuesday May 05, 2015 — Imagination Technologies
  • The exponential growth of internet and mobile communication is driving the ever-increasing use of multimedia applications. With the need for low channel bandwidth, limited storage capacity and low cost in today's mobile and cloud based applications, there is a requirement for high quality audio and video at low bit rates. This has given rise to highly efficient compression codecs such as VP9, HEVC and others, which involve a large amount of processing and complex coding tools. It is also critical that multimedia codecs are aggressively optimized to meet the needs of low power and cost-sensitive devices.

  • MIPI D-PHY RX+: An Optimized Test Configuration
  • Tuesday April 28, 2015 — Mixel
  • As MIPI® expands beyond the traditional mobile platform into safety sensitive applications, such as automotive, full-speed, in-system testability and diagnostics are becoming of paramount importance. D-PHY RX+ is a Mixel proprietary implementation(1) for Camera Serial Interface (CSI) and Display Serial Interface (DSI) D-PHY Receiver optimized for small area and power, while achieving full-speed production testing, in-system testing, and higher performance compared to traditional receiver configurations.

  • Converting Existing USB Designs to Support USB Type-C Connections
  • Tuesday April 21, 2015 — Synopsys
  • USB is the most successful wired interconnect standard. For almost 20 years, the classic USB connectors defined for Type-A host and Type-B device configurations made USB the 'if it fits; it will work' connection. This was a huge improvement over previous standards like RS232. The new USB Type-C connector is designed to take USB through the next 15-20 years, ensuring consumers continue to say "Sure it works; it’s USB."

  • Minimizing self-reflection in wide-band zero-IF transceivers
  • Tuesday April 14, 2015 — NTLab
  • Analog front-end is a functional node, interfacing data source - a modulated signal - to a desired medium and vice versa. In most cases this interfacing includes carrier frequency shift, due to fact that baseband, low frequency part of the spectrum, is already occupied by some other transfer activity. So, typical signal path for data transfer will be as follows:

  • The all-flash data center: a reality?
  • Tuesday April 07, 2015 — IP-Maker
  • Flash memory has been introduced in data centers few years ago through the use of SAS and SATA Solid-State Drives (SSD). This technology allows very fast read and write IOs compared to spinning disks (HDD). It was first used for applications requiring high performance storage capabilities, as a top tier level only due to the higher cost in term of dollars per gigabyte compared to hard-disk drives. By the way, the total cost of ownership (TCO) of flash-based servers as dramatically decreased, therefore allowing the use of flash-based products for lower tier storage applications. This is thanks to a lower $/GB, software optimization allowing advanced compression algorithms, power consumption reduction, and the effort on higher density form factors. That leads to a huge market opportunity for new flash-based applications. Flash-based products will be designed through a standard server architecture and commercial SSDs, or through a custom all-flash array architecture. In this paper, both design strategies will be described and how the designers will be available to leverage the flash capabilities.

  • An Economical yet Powerful IoT Subsystem
  • Tuesday March 31, 2015 — IPextreme
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) brings together many industry segments--sensors, wired, wireless, computing, and big data, to name a few--unlike anything in the past. According to industry experts, IoT is projected to grow between 21 - 23% over the next three years, and this growth will continue to create a huge demand for IPs and IP subsystems. Embedded processor based subsystems play a major role in many systems-on-chip (SoCs) and IoT is no exception. In this article, we will examine one such subsystem that is based on a Freescale ColdFire+ V1 processor.

  • Security Is a Key Driver for IoT Success
  • Tuesday March 24, 2015 — Kilopass Technology
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) seems poised to take over our lives if you measure its impact by the amount of press coverage it is receiving. It appears that the time when virtually every electronic device - from the factory floor to the hospital operating room to the residential basement - will be connected to the Internet is just around the corner. The number of Internet-connected devices is growing rapidly and is expected to reach 50 billion by 2020.

  • Faster Iteration Flows to Accelerate Hardware/Software Development
  • Tuesday March 17, 2015 — Synopsys
  • Hardware/software co-development traditionally suffers from long iteration cycles due to inherit dependencies among separate functional and implementation specifications, protocols and engineering teams. Frequent RTL drops and debugging iterations are a few of the bottlenecks that impede the fast progression of hardware/software co-design, in particular when considering scenarios of IP integration in SoC designs.

  • Analog chipset for G.hn applications
  • Tuesday March 10, 2015 — NTLab
  • G.hn is a specification for wire-line based home networking that targets gigabit-per-second data rates and operates over existing AC power lines, coax cables and phone lines. All these supported home wire types could be connected to single G.hn semiconductor device. G.hn brings to consumers easy-to-use accessing, storing and sharing a high volume of content around the home. With all these benefits G.hn is likely to become the most common interface for the majority of devices such as personal computers, TVs and set-top boxes, network-attached storage devices and others that have at least one power line connection.

  • From Medical and Wearables to Big Data: Differentiated IP for the IoT Spectrum
  • Tuesday March 03, 2015 — eSilicon
  • Today, we are seeing the world around us becoming increasingly smarter. Almost any manufactured good now includes an embedded processor (typically a microcontroller, or MCU), along with user interfaces, that can add programmability to enable "command and control" functionality. The electrification of the world and the pervasiveness of embedded processing are the keys to making objects "smart."

  • New Applications Drive Innovative High Performance, Low Power Audio/Voice Sub-systems
  • Tuesday February 24, 2015 — Cadence
  • The world of audio has changed significantly over the last decade, as smart phones and mobile tablet devices have driven technology innovation. Mobile gaming, voice trigger and recognition, and the consumer’s desire for higher quality speech and audio in noisy conditions are pushing the requirements of the audio/voice sub-system performance to two extreme ends of the spectrum. On one end of the spectrum is the growing demand for high-performance, high-resolution multi-channel audio stream processing. On the other end of the spectrum is the demand for always-on voice trigger and speech recognition intelligence at extremely low power.

  • Is a FinFET Process the Right Choice for Your Next SoC?
  • Tuesday February 17, 2015 — Synopsys
  • The continuous shrinking of planar CMOS processes to allow for greater density reduces area but also results in increased leakage power, which makes the shift to smaller planar processes less attractive. An alternative that many designers are considering are FinFETs, but moving from planar to FinFET is not a straight forward choice. There are several factors one must consider when making the decision about whether or not to move.

  • Three types of headset detection to embed in audio converters
  • Tuesday February 10, 2015 — Dolphin Integration
  • In mobile electronics, a single device suffices to cover various daily usages: calling, taking pictures, playing music, geolocating, etc... All of these common features should fit in one's hand. To adequately implement these new functionalities, audio electronics must not be limited to basic plug and play functionalities any longer. Smartphone applications should be compliant with new user practices by enabling more interactivity and giving more possibilities to control the inner functionalities.

  • Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) Switching - Enabling Convergence of Critical and Non-critical Control, Data Streams on a Single Network
  • Tuesday February 03, 2015 — Vitesse Semiconductor
  • Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) refers to a suite of IEEE standards defining highly deterministic and redundant networking operation beneficial for control and other latency sensitive traffic in Ethernet networks. TSN defines traffic streams that can be scheduled to meet stringent performance guarantees such as bounded latency, latency variation, and minimal loss of packets. Traditional best-effort Ethernet traffic, in general, may be lossy with uncertain packet latencies due to the congestion and buffering at the network nodes. But, many applications like automotive and industrial have control traffic that require TSN features in their networks at all times. So, matching the Ethernet networks with the requirements of time critical networks, TSN has defined a set of standards that provide low-latency, deterministic network connectivity for distribution of information in the network.

  • Analog chipset for G.hn applications
  • Tuesday January 27, 2015 — NTLab
  • G.hn is a specification for wire-line based home networking that targets gigabit-per-second data rates and operates over existing AC power lines, coax cables and phone lines. All these supported home wire types could be connected to single G.hn semiconductor device. G.hn brings to consumers easy-to-use accessing, storing and sharing a high volume of content around the home. With all these benefits G.hn is likely to become the most common interface for the majority of devices such as personal computers, TVs and set-top boxes, network-attached storage devices and others that have at least one power line connection.

  • LPDDR4 for a Better Power/Performance
  • Tuesday January 20, 2015 — Synopsys
  • Sales volume for mobile devices just keeps on growing. Analysts estimate that the industry will ship two billion units per year by 2018, up from one billion in 2013. What's behind this growth? While consumers are driven to own the latest "must-have" gadgets by the lure of better cameras, new features and bigger screens, the key driver may be the growing use of mobile devices in more areas of people's lives.

  • How to Improve the Profitability of Fabless Semiconductor Companies
  • Tuesday January 13, 2015 — eSilicon
  • Semiconductor industry gross margins are under pressure. The average gross margin of the industry in Q4 2013 was 53 percent, which was a quarter-over-quarter decline of over 100 basis points (bps), and a continued decline of over 300 bps from the high water mark in Q3 2010 of 56 percent.(1) Outsourcing the capital-intensive tasks of semiconductor manufacturing to the external supply chain reduces working capital requirements. However, the fixed costs and associated overhead of the operations team, who perform product engineering and supply chain management, can account for six to 18 percent of the cost of goods sold(7) (COGS), which weighs on margins. For example, companies that produce three to five 65nm chips per year may efficiently utilize their operations teams. However, the move to 40nm and below has significantly changed these economics. One 28nm tapeout requires 78 percent more design time(2) and 40 percent more non-recurring investment(3) than a 40nm tapeout. These increased costs limit fabless semiconductor companies (FSCs) to fewer tapeouts,(4) which means there are fewer part numbers for the operations team to manage. Before 28nm the operations team was a perennial need, but it became seasonal at the new lower node. Fewer parts in the supply chain means reduced utilization of the operations team, which puts more pressure on gross margins. As legacy products mature, gross margins are squeezed even more.

  • Data at the center of RF Foundry Growth
  • Tuesday January 06, 2015 — GLOBALFOUNDRIES
  • No one could have imagined the impact of the mobile handset on society when it was first introduced commercially over 20 years ago. Today we depend on our cell phones for many different tasks from making simple calls to watching high definition live video. Not only has this device changed the way we work and play, but it has also transformed the network and created a vehicle for operators to monetize their investment. There is no doubt that the consumption of data is at the center of mobile handset growth and there are three major industry trends that will continue to not only drive demand for handsets but create industries and applications which will leverage the wireless network. All of these trends contribute to the growth in RF foundry.

Blogs

  • CDN LIVE Conference
  • Moore's Cycle, Fifth Horseman, Mixed Signals, and IP Stress
  • IP Insider Blog-By John Blyler
    Posted 3.23.2013
  • What do all of these things have in common? They were key topics addressed by Cadence...