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

What Will China Do Next?

China's attempts to buy up U.S. chip companies is undergoing more gyrations, this time spurred by the exchange rate set by the People's Bank of China and the U.S. Federal Reserve's expected interest rate hikes. The central bank dropped the exchange rate of the yuan versus the dollar to its lowest rate since 2011, according to Bloomberg. The current rate is now 6.55 yuan per dollar, compared ... » read more

Cheap Money Effects

The mergers and acquisition activity that has reshaped the semiconductor industry over the past couple of years resembles a frenzy of acquisition activity that has occurred multiple times in previous boom years. But this round comes with a twist. It's being driven by historically low interest rates, which means it probably won't stop until interest rates rise and the cost of borrowing capital f... » read more

It’s Transition Time

For the past couple of years we've been hearing about the coming onslaught of the IoT, difficulties in scaling device features and a shift left that will redefine verification, debug and software prototyping. It's all happening. Taken individually, these are noteworthy changes. Taken as a whole, they represent a massive repositioning of the semiconductor industry, from architectural explorat... » read more

What’s After Smartphones?

One of the unique things about the semiconductor industry is that it has fueled the digital revolution almost entirely by focusing on its core competencies of performance, power and area. There are few, if any, industries that can tie global growth and success to what amounts to an almost isolationist business model. Salespeople have to sell those chips, of course. Marketers have to create ... » read more

Time For Change

Semiconductor companies have been knocking on doors outside of the computer industry for the better part of two decades, pitching the value of digital and mixed-signal technology for improving efficiency in many market sectors. For most of that time, they received polite nods, occasional inquiries for more information and not much else. But over the past several years, those doors have open... » read more

Behind The Intel-Altera Deal

Intel completed its $16.7 billion acquisition of Altera this week, wrapping up what is arguably the semiconductor industry's most important M&A transaction of 2015. Time and numbers will tell exactly how important. There are two big challenges to making this deal work. One involves a big shift in direction away from simply shrinking features to include new architectures and packaging approac... » read more

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