The Future Of Sports Cars


The introduction of autonomous vehicles will have a huge effect on the car market, but not for the obvious reasons—and not necessarily in the time frame that most people expect. Numerous sources say one automakers are very concerned about what kinds of vehicles people will buy once cars are autonomous. What will differentiate one car from another? And what will become of brands such as Por... » read more

The Hidden Costs Of Security


There is no argument these days among chipmakers that security needs to be implemented at every level. So why isn't it happening? The answer is more complex than companies pinching pennies, although that is certainly a factor for some chips. The reality, though, is security carries a price for every facet of semiconductor design—power, performance and area. And the impact reaches much furt... » read more

Power, Performance And Electronic Surveillance


The disclosure that smart TVs can be used as for surveillance purposes is hardly a revelation. Makers of these devices have been advertising gesture recognition features for several years. Far from being evil, TV makers were responding to market research that showed voice inputs were a good way to boost sales in a saturated digital TV market. They added cameras so buyers could wave their han... » 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

Border Tax Shakeup


A border tax is the talk of the financial world. While this has clear implications for car manufacturers, where it's rather easy to tell where parts such an engine block or a braking system were manufactured, it's far less tangible when it comes to electronics in general, and semiconductors in particular. In a complex SoC, IP can be developed in more than one country, and multinational techn... » read more

IP Liability Changes Ahead?


Patent lawyers are keeping close tabs on a biotech patent infringement case that went before the Supreme Court this week because it could have a significant impact on IP content in other markets, including semiconductors. On Tuesday, attorneys for Life Technologies Corp. and Promega Corp., presented arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court involving an enzyme for amplifying DNA analysis. For ... » read more

Politics And (Low) Power


This week the entire semiconductor market woke up with a severe political hangover. Aside from the initial shock of the election results themselves, the winning platform of "America First" could have far-reaching implications for an industry that has spent decades optimizing a global supply chain the way it has finely tuned other processes to reduce the cost per transistor. There are many un... » read more

Lower Power Plus Better Performance


The tradeoff between power and performance is becoming less about one versus the other, and more about a dual benefit, as new computing and chip architectures begin rolling out. Neural networking, which is one of the hot buttons for any system that relies on lots of distributed sensors, is essential to get a true picture of what is happening around a car moving down the highway at 65 miles ... » read more

The Real Value Of Digital Horsepower


Chipmakers and systems vendors are beginning to experiment with a slew of new ways to beef up performance and reduce power and area, now that shrinking features no longer guarantees those improvements. The number of new ideas introduced at industry conferences in the past few months is almost mind-boggling. Just on the CPU side there are new architectures that improve the amount of work that... » read more

May The Cheapest Memory Win


There are a number of new memory types on the horizon. So why are we still using DRAM, SRAM and hard disk drives developed decades ago? The answer is complicated. Memory, whether it’s on-chip static RAM cache or off-chip dynamic RAM—or flash storage or spinning magnetic media—is really a stack of data storage technologies that need to work seamlessly together and with other non-memory ... » read more

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