DVFS is Dead, Long Live Holistic DVFS

An industry survey some three years ago indicated only about one-quarter of all chip designers were using dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS). It’s likely most of those people who said they were implementing DVFS are deeply dependent upon a mobile operating system. For instance, Android offers a range of CPU governor software modules to optimize frequency and voltage levels for application throughput. While DVFS is already enabled in most hardened CPU and GPU cores, clusters and/or subsystems, the majority of SoC designers not tied to Android opt for simpler techniques like clock and power gating. Is there an opportunity for a more holistic DVFS approach that more SoC designers would embrace? Continue reading “DVFS is Dead, Long Live Holistic DVFS”

Taking Energy Back from Next-Generation MCU Designs

Microamp-per-megahertz thinking served the microcontroller (MCU) community well for decades. As the focus shifts to connectivity and always-on use cases, bigger cores and wireless IP blocks push energy use in the wrong direction. Next-generation MCUs can ill afford to spend more energy just to manage themselves. Any mandatory software to make an MCU run usually frustrates customers considering design-ins. How does the MCU ecosystem manage energy moving forward? Continue reading “Taking Energy Back from Next-Generation MCU Designs”

Free Trial Explores EPU IP and Automation

Last summer at 53DAC in Austin, Sonics rolled out a seminar with a formative strategy for its Energy Processing Unit, or EPU. After that session, I summarized the idea in my SemiWiki blog:

“The premise of an EPU is that power savings using software, even in a dedicated microcontroller, is relatively slow, perhaps 50 to 500 times slower than what hardware-based power control can handle. Faster speeds mean narrower moments of idle time can be exploited to save energy, and distributed, autonomous, deadlock-free ICE-Grain controllers mean many more of those moments can be processed all over the system-on-chip (SoC) – leaving the CPU to do real work.” Continue reading “Free Trial Explores EPU IP and Automation”

Behold the Intrinsic Value of IP

Understanding the intrinsic value of Intellectual Property is like beauty, it is in the eye of the beholder.  The beholder of IP Value is ultimately the user/consumer of that IP – the buyers. Buyers tend to value IP based upon their ability to utilize that IP to create competitive advantage, and therefore higher value for their end product. The IP Value figure above was created to capture this concept. Continue reading “Behold the Intrinsic Value of IP”

Everything is Here!

Doing business with Sonics has never been easier than in 2017. We just launched a re-designed web site that provides everything you need to know about our EPU and NoC technologies in a quick and easy to find format. Whether you are a power architect looking to save energy or an SoC designer searching for chip integration and interconnect solutions, we’ve crafted a thoughtful customer journey specifically for you. Our content-driven site takes you from understanding the problems associated with on-chip power management and chip integration through our products and solutions to serious consideration. Continue reading “Everything is Here!”

Don’t Forget To Consider Productivity In Semiconductor IP Evaluations

Make vs. buy isn’t as simple a decision as it might appear. When companies consider purchasing Semiconductor IP (SIP), they often have a strict procedure for evaluating third-party vendors and their products. If they don’t have a set way of evaluating IP, the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) has developed a Hard IP Licensing Risk Assessment Tool to aid in assessing the value of IP (there is also a quality assessment tool). This aid is part of the GSA IP ecosystem Tool Suite and is complementary to the entire industry – regardless of member status within GSA. It is a great tool suite and many companies have similar methodologies they use when considering the purchase of SIP. Continue reading “Don’t Forget To Consider Productivity In Semiconductor IP Evaluations”

Sonics In the News: 2014 in Review

The past year was a renaissance for Sonics in the public eye. With a high volume of company announcements, product launches, customer wins, and partner initiatives, the company generated a steady stream of positive news and points of view from both business and technology perspectives.

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IP Is EDA

Earlier this month I had the distinct pleasure of attending the EDA Consortium’s (EDAC) prestigious Phil Kaufman award dinner. This year’s winner is Lucio Lanza, managing director of Lanza techVentures, LLC. Lucio is an EDA industry legend. We used to bump into each other often in the Cadence hallways after both of our companies had been acquired by Cadence around 1989. I truly appreciated Lucio’s leadership style with the Artisan board of directors when I was Vice President of Corporate Ventures there. Lucio’s strategic insights and steady pressure to keep us focused on the critical items were a major factor in Artisan’s success.

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IoT Requires Hardware and Software Developers to Collaborate, Think Like System Engineers

I arrived at the Multicore Developers Conference co-located with the Internet of Things (IoT) Developers Conference in the Hyatt Santa Clara with high hopes of hearing some new and exciting ideas. My skeptical mind was telling me that I would probably hear old information simply recycled for a new audience and market place. After all, aren’t multicore and IoT basically comprised of the same companies and technologies that were called the embedded industry just a few years ago? Has anything really changed other than the name?

Continue reading “IoT Requires Hardware and Software Developers to Collaborate, Think Like System Engineers”