Electronic Systems Design Seminar

Drew Wingard, Ph.D.
Chief Technical Officer
Sonics, Inc.
Mountain View, CA, USA

Tuesday, November 25th, 2003, 11am - 12:30pm
Hogan's Room, Cory hall
Advances in sub-micron semiconductor processing technologies have increased the complexity of designing SOCs beyond the ability of existing tightly coupled architectures and existing EDA tools. Functional core reuse is a means to reduce design complexity and speed development of successful silicon and such design teams rely heavily upon third-party or internally developed IP core libraries. But as the ability to add more on-chip IP cores increases, the complexity of interconnecting these cores increases as a function of the overall connectivity, i.e. geometrically. The overhead in design, integration, and verification of inter-core communications – and the long wires that implement them – quickly becomes untenable. The solution requires a matching of interconnect implementations (interconnect cores) to computational blocks (functional cores). Socket-based design is a communications-centric design methodology that can greatly reduce the time and effort expended on design and verification of complex SOCs. We will discuss the challenges of tightly coupled design, explain why decoupled interconnect design is essential, define socket-based design; explore the OCP (Open Core Protocol) socket specification and give examples of both processor-centric and I/O-centric system-level design using OCP-based sockets and decoupled interconnect cores.
Prior to founding Sonics, Wingard led the development of advanced circuit and CAD methodology for MicroUnity Systems Engineering, Inc. Previously he had co-founded Pomegranate Technology, where he designed an advanced SIMD multimedia processor. Dr. Wingard received a B.S. from the University of Texas, Austin and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University, all in electrical engineering. While at Stanford, Dr. Wingard's research explored the optimization of design processes between architectural, logical, circuit, and physical design with an emphasis on tools and automation.
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