What are currently the “hottest” areas of research in VLSI-CAD?

Answer by Igor Markov:

In no particular order:

  • High-level system synthesis: including hardware synthesis from C++ and other untimed higher-level languages, software-hardware codesign (I am using a dated term here, just to be clear), using existing (IP) design modules, and more
  • "More than Moore" – nontraditional circuits and ICs, along with applications; this includes 3D Integration, which is a topic by itself, but also facilitates integration of heterogenous circuits and dies (digital, analog, sensors, memory, RF, MEMS, FPGA, etc)
  • Design and chip validation (subsumes verification, test, post-Si debug); formal verification is finally taken seriously by the industry and starting to displace simulation and semi-formal – very exciting developments
  • Design for manufacturing (it tracks semiconductor technologies, and some big changes are expected in a year or two with the introduction of EUV lithography; much of recent research may become unnecessary under this scenario)
  • Multiobjective cross-layer design optimization – a never-ending story in EDA

What are currently the "hottest" areas of research in VLSI-CAD?


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