Author's Latest Posts


The Big Blur


Chip companies, research houses, foundries—and more recently large systems companies—have been developing alternative technologies to continue scaling power and performance. It's still not obvious which of those will win, let alone survive, or what they will do to the economics of developing chips. For more than five decades, the biggest concern was scaling devices in order to save money... » read more

Variation’s Long, Twisty Tail


Variation is becoming a bigger challenge at each new node, but not just for obvious reasons and not always from the usual sources. Nevertheless, dealing with these issues takes additional time and resources, and it can affect the performance and reliability of those chips throughout their lifetimes. At a high level, variation historically was viewed as a mismatch between what design teams in... » read more

The Security Penalty


It's not clear if Meltdown, Spectre and Foreshadow caused actual security breaches, but they did prompt big processor vendors like Intel, Arm, AMD and IBM to fix these vulnerabilities before they were made public by Google's Project Zero. While all of this may make data center managers and consumers feel better in one respect, it has created a level of panic of a different sort. For decades,... » read more

Hybrid Memory


Gary Bronner, senior vice president of Rambus Labs, talks about the future of DRAM scaling, why one type of memory won’t solve all needs, and what the pros and cons are of different memories. https://youtu.be/R0hhDx2Fb7Q » read more

Intel’s Next Move


Gadi Singer, vice president and general manager of Intel's Artificial Intelligence Products Group, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about Intel's vision for deep learning and why the company is looking well beyond the x86 architecture and one-chip solutions. SE: What's changing on the processor side? Singer: The biggest change is the addition of deep learning and neural ne... » read more

The Quest For Perfection


Demands by automakers for zero defects over 15 years are absurd, particularly when it comes to 10/7nm AI systems that will be the brains of autonomous and assisted driving or any mobile electronic device. There are several reasons for this. To begin with, no one has ever used a 10/7nm device under extreme conditions for any length of time. Chips developed at these nodes are just starting to ... » read more

Sorting Out Packaging Options


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss advanced packaging with David Butler, executive vice president and general manager of SPTS Technologies; Ingu Yin Chang, senior vice president president at ASE Group; Hubert Karl Lakner, executive director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems; Robert Lo, division director for electronics and optoelectronics research at Industrial T... » read more

3 Big Challenges For 5G


The general assumption is that we will all be walking around with 5G phones in our pockets someday, but 5G devices may look more like a home router, a car, or maybe even a tablet than a smart phone. There are three main problems that need to be solved here. The big one is coverage, and that gets confusing because it depends on which version of 5G people are talking about. There are at least ... » read more

Finding Security Holes In Hardware


At least three major security holes in processors were identified by Google's Project Zero over the past year, with more expected to roll out in coming months. Now the question is what to do about them. Since the beginning of the PC era, two requirements for hardware were backward compatibility and improvements in performance with each new version of processors. No one wants to replace their... » read more

Processing In Memory


Adding processing directly into memory is getting a serious look, particularly for applications where the volume of data is so large that moving it back and forth between various memories and processors requires too much energy and time. The idea of inserting processors into memory has cropped up intermittently over the past decade as a possible future direction, but it was dismissed as an e... » read more

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