Semiconductor Engineering: Safety, Security and PPA Tradeoffs

by Madelyn Miller, On Jul 30, 2018

Safety, Security and PPA Tradeoffs

July 23th, 2018 – By Brian Bailey

The number of critical design metrics is expanding but the industry still grapples with their implications.

“You can duplicate everything, and we have seen this,” said Kurt Shuler, vice president of marketing for Arteris IP. “That is the not so smart way. Within an interconnect, you could have multiple paths, so that if there is an issue along a certain path we can send things over another path. Just like with the heaviness of TCP/IP over the Internet, if you have multiple paths, you need more information in the packets. Every bit of logic in that interconnect that sees the packets also has to have more logic to deal with the additional information. That ends up being a stupid way to do it because you end up burning so much power and you don’t get any benefit over the smart way.”

For interconnects, the smart way is to protect through unit duplication only those things that affect the content of a packet. “You selectively duplicate things that either create packets, change the content of a packet such as a firewall, but what you do in between those different blocks of logic in the interconnect is you protect the paths or links with ECC or parity, depending upon the integrity level you want to attain,” Shuler said.


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