When Will It Be Done?


Design teams have done remarkably well in getting chips out the door on time, despite growing complexity at each new node and an increase in the number of features and IP blocks that need to be integrated into designs. There has been plenty of grumbling, along with dire warnings about the future of Moore's Law and the impact of industry consolidation. The reality, though, is that the volume ... » 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

Bidding War On H-1B Visas?


Good help is hard to find. It's about to get harder—and more expensive. The U.S. tech industry's solution until now has been to leverage expertise from around the world, drawing top graduates and entry-level professionals under the H-1B visa program. Last year, there were 85,000 H-1B visas issued, of which 20,000 are required to hold a U.S. master's degree or higher. There are some exce... » read more

So Much For Pure Science


Math is supposed to be the pure science, but numbers appear to be far less pure than mathematicians let on. There are examples of this everywhere. Consider the latest process nodes. One foundry's 10nm is another foundry's 7nm. And 7nm isn't necessarily 7nm. It might be 7.5nm or 6.5nm. It's not so much that the measurements aren't accurate. It's how they're applied that causes the problem. ... » read more

Where Is The New Competition?


Consolidation is a regular topic of discussion at semiconductor industry conferences and trade shows. Anyone who has been to these gatherings over the past couple decades can see there are fewer companies presenting and exhibiting, fewer startups taking the place of those that were bought, and a dramatic increase in one-day, one-vendor-sponsored events where top experts are gathered to talk abo... » read more

Security Becomes A Multi-System Issue


The fallout from the Mirai malware attack last week was surprising, given that it was published on the Internet several months ago as open-source. Despite numerous warnings, it still managed to cause denial of service attacks at Amazon, Netflix, and a slew of other companies that are supposed to be able to fend off these kinds of attacks. The good news is that it more people talking about th... » read more

Fear Of Machines


In the tech industry, the main concern over the past five decades has been about what machines could not do. Now the big worry is what they can do. From the outset of the computer age, the biggest challenges were uptime, ease of use, reliability, and as devices became more connected, the quality and reliability of that connection. As the next phase of machines begins, those problems have bee... » read more

Surprises At Hot Chips 2016


Who would have thought an Intel architect would be on stage talking about cutting pennies out of MCU prices? Or that Nvidia would be trumpeting an automotive SoC whose chief performance advantages come from the integration of ARM CPUs that can support up to eight virtual machines? Or that Samsung would be developing a quad-core mobile processor from scratch based on its own unique architecture?... » read more

More Consolidation Ahead


Consolidation fueled by low interest rates is nearing the end, at least for this round. The U.S. Federal Reserve is looking at another rate increase based upon healthy reports on the economy, possibly as early as September. If all goes well, there will be multiple interest rate hikes over the next few years, allowing investors to build more balanced portfolios that are not entirely reliant on t... » read more

Looking Beyond Technology


The semiconductor industry is beginning to make real progress in deep learning and artificial intelligence, opening up bigger opportunities across more markets than have ever existed in the history of technology. But before this revolution goes much further, the industry also needs to step back and establish a set of guidelines about how this technology will be used. This is an entirely dif... » read more

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