Author's Latest Posts


Testing For Security


Ever since the IoT became a household name, people have been strategizing about ways to utilize non-secure devices to mount an attack. The first instances of using electricity to overload a device's circuits, thereby neutralizing existing security features, came to light in some of the earliest car hacking incidents. These are basically side-channel attacks using what amounts to an electroni... » read more

Quality Issues Widen


As the amount of semiconductor content in cars, medical and industrial applications increases, so does the concern about how long these devices will function properly—and what exactly that means. Quality is frequently a fuzzy concept. In mobile phones, problems have ranged from bad antenna placement, which resulted in batteries draining too quickly, to features that take too long to load. ... » read more

Internet Security? Not Even Close


This week's outage at Amazon Web Services is yet another reminder that Internet security is still not quite there. Amazon isn't a second-tier cloud services provider. It's one of the biggest cloud companies on the planet. If Amazon can't get it right, it's hard to imagine anyone can. The company's Simple Storage Service, aka S3, was the target, and it took about five hours before this online... » read more

What Does An AI Chip Look Like?


Depending upon your point of reference, artificial intelligence will be the next big thing or it will play a major role in all of the next big things. This explains the frenzy of activity in this sector over the past 18 months. Big companies are paying billions of dollars to acquire startup companies, and even more for R&D. In addition, governments around the globe are pouring additional... » read more

AI Storm Brewing


AI is coming. Now what? The answer isn't clear, because after decades of research and development, AI is finally starting to become a force to reckon with. The proof is in the M&A activity underway right now. Big companies are willing to pay huge sums to get out in front of this shift. Here is a list of just some of the AI acquisitions announced or completed over the past few years: ... » read more

What Does AI Really Mean?


Seth Neiman, chairman of eSilicon, founder of Brocade Communications, and a board member and investor in a number of startups, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about advances in AI, what's changing, and how it ultimately could change our lives. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: How far has AI progressed? Neiman: We’ve been working with AI since the mid 1... » read more

MEMS: A Tale Of Two Tough Markets


The MEMS market is growing rapidly, profits not so much. In most market segments, this would be a signal that more automation and standardization are required. But in the microelectromechanical systems world, fixes aren't so simple. And even where something can be automated, that automation doesn't work all the time. In fact, while MEMS devices are extremely difficult to design, build and ma... » read more

Big Changes In Patterning


Aki Fujimura, CEO of [getentity id="22864" comment="D2S"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss patterning issues at 10nm and below, including mask alignment, the need for GPU acceleration, EUV's future impact on the total number of masks, and what the re-introduction of curvilinear shapes will mean for design. SE: Patterning issues are getting a lot of attention at 10nm and 7n... » read more

The Return Of Time Sharing


As early as the 1960s, it wasn't uncommon to hear that transistors would be free. Those were pretty bold statements at the time, considering most computers in those days cost $1 million, required special rooms, and budding computer scientists usually had to sign up to use mainframe computers for one-hour time slots—often in the middle of the night or on weekends. Still, those predictions ... » read more

Fix Processes, Then Silos


Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, was a big proponent of what he called a "boundaryless corporation." It was a good sound bite, but it pales in comparison to former Intel CEO Andy Grove's philosophy of working out of a cubicle, just like the rest of his staff. While it's great to have corporate buy-in for breaking down silos, which are vertically integrated, the real problem for semiconductor c... » read more

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