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In the news

The Case for Embedded FPGAs Strengthens and Widens

By Brian Bailey, Semiconductor Engineering | Feat. Tobias Welp, Engineering Manager, OneSpin

Combining the flexibility of a FPGA with the performance and cost benefits of an SoC is pushing this technology well into the mainstream.

The embedded FPGA, an IP core integrated into an ASIC or SoC, is winning converts. System architects are starting to see the benefits of eFPGAs, which offer the flexibility of programmable logic without the cost of FPGAs.

Programmable logic is especially appealing for accelerating machine learning applications that need frequent updates. An eFPGA can provide some architects the cover they need to launch products they know will need frequent updating.

Field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) traditionally were considered too expensive for most applications and often relegated to prototypes or providing a time-to-market advantage for emerging standards. But the economics are changing. Integrating a reprogrammable fabric into an SoC is increasingly seen as a viable and valuable option.

[...]

Machine learning is adding some new requirements into products. “FPGA fabric may be added to SoCs to enable variations in the engines and processors with domain-specific instruction sets,” points out OneSpin’s Welp. “In some cases, it may be possible to map algorithms for machine learning and other key applications into hardware and later refine the design as the results improve.”

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When Verification Leads (Experts at the Table, Part 1)

By Brian Bailey, Semiconductor Engineering | Feat. Tom Anderson, Technical Marketing Consultant, and Jim Hogan, Board Director, OneSpin

Would an executable requirements document transform verification or design? Experts have differing ideas.

Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the implications of having an executable specification that drives verification with Hagai Arbel, CEO for VTool; Adnan Hamid, CEO for Breker Verification; Mark Olen, product marketing manager for Mentor, a Siemens Business; Jim Hogan, managing partner of Vista Ventures; Sharon Rosenberg, senior solutions architect for Cadence Design Systems; and Tom Anderson, technical marketing consultant for OneSpin Solutions. What follows are excerpts of that conversation.

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Hardware Trojans and the Problem of Trust in Integrated Circuits

By Sergio Marchese, Technical Marketing Manager, OneSpin | Semiconductor Engineering Blog

IC development steps are vulnerable to malicious insertions that may compromise system security.

Electronic systems are at the core of an ever-increasing number of products and services. From power plants to automobiles, from medical devices to airplanes, from smartphones to home appliances, complex electronic systems enable an unprecedented level of automation, performance, safety, and security. Integrated circuits (ICs) are the backbone of these systems. It is of paramount importance that they can be trusted to operate in full compliance to their specifications and certifications. However, IC design, production, and distribution are surprisingly vulnerable to malicious agents that could infiltrate devices with poor performance and reliability, or even with hardware Trojans, i.e., additional, hidden functionalities designed for nefarious purposes.

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The Role of EDA in AI (Experts at the Table, Part 3)

By Brian Bailey, Semiconductor Engineering | Feat. Raik Brinkmann, President & CEO, OneSpin

Which aspects of AI implementation should EDA create tools for?

Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the role that EDA has in automating artificial intelligence and machine learning with Doug Letcher, president and CEO of Metrics; Daniel Hansson, CEO of Verifyter; Harry Foster, chief scientist verification for Mentor, a Siemens Business; Larry Melling, product management director for Cadence; Manish Pandey, Synopsys fellow; and Raik Brinkmann, CEO of OneSpin Solutions. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. Part one can be found here. Part two is here.

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Brinkmann: One key piece will be to consider all aspects of how an algorithm goes into an application. That means making sure the platform is trustworthy in multiple ways. You have to trust that the function can be mapped from the software stack, through the various abstraction levels down to the hardware, and that the platform is working as you want it. This is a huge verification problem. Also, is it secure? Can someone tamper with the data on the way there? Can anyone insert malicious code into the platform or into the software.

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Optimization Challenges For Safety And Security

By Brian Bailey, Semiconductor Engineering | Feat. Sergio Marchese, Technical Marketing Manager, OneSpin

The road to optimized tradeoff automation is long. Changing attributes along the way can make it even more difficult.

[...]

"Security vulnerabilities are very difficult to detect," says Sergio Marchese, technical marketing manager for OneSpin Solutions. "Moreover, there are no established development metrics. The assessment of the security state is often left to after-the-fact procedures, where specialized labs determine the achieved security level. There is a strong need for integrating security into the hardware development lifecycle and establishing metrics that can be used to make informed decisions and tradeoffs."

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From AI Algorithm to Implementation (Experts at the Table, Part 2)

By Brian Bailey, Semiconductor Engineering | Feat. Raik Brinkmann, President & CEO, OneSpin

Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the role that EDA has in automating artificial intelligence and machine learning with Doug Letcher, president and CEO of Metrics; Daniel Hansson, CEO of Verifyter; Harry Foster, chief scientist verification for Mentor, a Siemens Business; Larry Melling, product management director for Cadence; Manish Pandey, Synopsys fellow; and Raik Brinkmann, CEO of OneSpin Solutions. What follows are excerpts of that conversation.

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IC Integrity Thesis

By Jim Hogan, Vista Ventures

 

In this thesis, I establish the notion of IC Integrity and the impact that this will have on what has traditionally been viewed as the design verification market. I love getting feedback, and I also love to share that feedback with people, so please let me know what you think. Thanks - Jim

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The Long and Detailed Road to Automotive Compliance

By Ann Steffora Mutschler, Semiconductor Engineering | Feat. Jörg Grosse, Product Manager Functional Safety, OneSpin

Bringing an engineering organization up to speed with automotive safety standards is a long and arduous process.

Compliance with automotive safety requirements is slowing down both innovation and participation by a flurry of startups as the whole ecosystem struggles to bring autonomous vehicles to reality.

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