Excerpt: The System Designer’s Guide to… System Analysis, Chapter 3

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The rate of growth of transistors packed into an IC is slowing every year, marking the limits of physics. The economics of semiconductor logic scaling are also disappearing, and the cost per transistor has increased drastically. Advanced node chip design has become difficult, specialized, and expensive. SoCs are reaching the reticle limit. These limitations have made the industry look for alternatives beyond Moore’s law.

The volume of data being analyzed is increasing in complexity and has created the requirement for better design methodologies. New application-based architectures push the limits of current design tools, and the requirements for PPA targets are much more aggressive than before. Advanced-node processes provide designers the opportunity to improve performance, reduce power, and meet area requirements through new device and manufacturing innovations. It’s more than just doing syn-thesis and placing and routing better, instead it’s a race to achieve computation excellence and high scalability. The cost of late market entry is another major challenge daunting the EDA industry. The traditional tools are not capable of providing a single impulse response to accurately simulate the system before manufacturing.

The transition from single monolithic to multi-chiplet architectures has introduced a plethora of issues to designers—like how to plan, manage, and optimize their top-level design and connectivity—and has led to the need for a new, system-level design management solution capable of aggregating data from the integrated circuit (IC) designer, the package designer, and the board designer, for system-level optimization and providing the top-level netlist for signoff connectivity verification. There is a need for methodologies and tools to handle the end-to-end flow from chip design to system analysis.

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