Arteris Articles

How to solve the "Too Much Semiconductor IP" problem? More IP!

When discussing system-on-chip (SoC) design with my semiconductor design and software development peers, the conversation eventually gets around to the problem of, “There’s just too much IP!” The feelings I hear border on exasperation at the problem of integrating IP on today’s large SoCs. Engineers who were once paid to write lines of Verilog or C code from scratch are now spending much of their time tying together commercial hardware IP and the associated software. Their jobs have changed, and they’ve had to acquire new skills and new tools to be successful.

Topics: System-on-Chip semiconductor IP interconnect fabric intellectual property

3 things I learned visiting 13 different semiconductor analysts

I was fortunate to be able to meet with 13 different semiconductor industry analysts from eight different companies over the last two weeks. Our conversations ranged from the current state of the semiconductor industry to future software architecture trends. I want to take this opportunity to thank them once again for the exchange of ideas and the opportunity to learn from them. Here’s a summary of some things I learned, and also some things that surprised me.

Topics: semiconductor industry interconnect IP semiconductor IP interconnect fabric lithography cost

IP Transaction Protocols: Plug and Play AMBA, OCP and others

As engineers, we view transaction protocols as simply a language to be able to communicate information from one block of system-on-chip (SoC) IP to another block. However, if you look at transaction protocols from an economics framework you see there’s much more to it. With the past interconnect fabrics dominated by crossbars and hierarchal busses, the choice of the IP transaction protocol created a humongous switching cost.

Topics: NoC AMBA AHB AXI OCP protocol transaction protocols IP protocols interconnect fabric

Hogan NoC analysis - Sonics SGN, Arteris FlexNoC, ARM NIC 400: Setting the record straight

Recently, Sonics board member Jim Hogan uploaded some content onto deepchip.com (http://www.deepchip.com/items/0511-06.html) that purports to provide unbiased guidance regarding metrics for evaluating network-on-chip technology and interconnect fabrics. I applaud Jim for his analysis of the metrics one should use to evaluate SoC interconnects.

Topics: NoC Sonics SGN Arteris FlexNoC interconnect fabric ARM NIC-400