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

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

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