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Debugging Complex SoCs | Experts at the Table, Part 1

By Brian Bailey, Semiconductor Engineering | Feat. Dominik Strasser, VP Engineering, OneSpin

Why time spent in debug is increasing, underlying trends, and what surveys do not reveal.

Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the debugging of complex SoCs with Randy Fish, vice president of strategic accounts and partnerships for UltraSoC; Larry Melling, product management director for Cadence; Mark Olen, senior product marketing manager for Mentor, a Siemens Business; and Dominik Strasser, vice president of engineering for OneSpin Solutions. What follows are excerpts of that conversation.


Strasser: We do see new containers of bugs, like security and side-channel attacks. These are new concerns, and nobody has thought about these in the past. Suddenly, things are seen as being malicious. Out-of-order execution suddenly becomes a side-channel attack and someone is listening to what your processor is doing. It is eavesdropping. Is that a bug? Where is the bug? The bug is in the specification. The bug is in the way the system is constructed.

Fish: It is hard to quantify security. It is hard to optimize anything that cannot be quantified. It is like playing whack-a-mole. Every time there is a breach you learn how to stop that class of problem.


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