Historic FinFET/2.5D Firsts


Recently, I had an opportunity to watch the Academy Award nominated movie “Hidden Figures.” If you’re a geek at heart, you need to see this movie. It chronicles the strong contributions of three black women to the NASA space program during the 1960s. The civil rights backstory of the movie is powerful, but there is another aspect of the movie that stayed with me as well: all of the “fir... » read more

Advanced ASICs Are A Team Sport


The recent Super Bowl proved that a team with conviction and focus can do anything. This notion comes in handy when you think about the nearly impossible job of designing and manufacturing an advanced ASIC – in finFET technologies, with an interposer, multiple die, and never-before-proven throughput rates. For these kind of advanced technologies, it does take a village. What works is open, tr... » read more

Rush Hour On The Technology Roadmap


Starting this week, the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) will commence at the Marriott in downtown San Francisco. This prestigious conference showcases the latest semiconductor innovations from around the world. Looking at the advance program, one can’t help but notice a shift in the work presented. The conference theme this year is: “Intelligent Chips for a Smart World... » read more

All I Want For Christmas…


As I write this, we’re heading into the 2016 holiday season. December 21 is also the shortest day of the year, so I better get right to the point. 2016 has been a year of many surprises. The spectacular consolidation in the semiconductor industry has permanently altered the landscape.  It has created new, world-class capability and left a few gaps as well. 2.5D designs are finally moving ... » read more

IoT – And A Tear In The Fabric Of The Connected World


Billions of connected things. Massive silicon consumption. Exponentially rising data volumes. Global compute farm build-out to make sense out of all of it. Lots of dollar signs. Everyone is talking about IoT with an optimistic view toward the future. There is a dark side to all this. Many, including yours truly have written about it. If you’re familiar with the Terminator series, you can call... » read more

Designers: Take Control Of Your Chip


This is a familiar story for us – maybe it is for you, too. From time to time, a customer contacts us and says they have a design in mind, but they just can’t fit in the package, or meet the power budget, or meet timing. Fifty percent or more of the area for many of the chips we see is composed of memory. So we start there. After a Pareto analysis of the memory sub-system, we typically find... » read more

Automation: When Should We Stop?


Automating tasks has become quite popular. Driver assist is a good example. So is any machine learning application. You may have noticed that you can now get deliveries in less than 24 hours on Amazon. There is huge automation behind that service. So the question becomes, when is enough, enough? When does automation hit the law of diminishing return? When does this all become “creeping featur... » read more

Power To The People (Right On…)


If you’re the right age (or older), you will immediately think of John Lennon when you read the title of this piece.  The song was released in 1971, so I will cut many of you some slack on that. The title was inspired by several pieces of research that I was fortunate enough to be exposed to this past week. I am currently in Vancouver, British Columbia at the NEWCAS conference. NEWCAS... » read more

On The Verge


Anyone who has been following the IoT/IoE or whatever-you-want-to-call-it movement knows we’re on the eve of far-reaching, life-altering change. There will be billions of connected devices, all streaming information to gigascale cloud datacenters using big data analytics and deep machine learning. Somewhere along the way, we’ll discover important, useful information from all this tha... » read more

Robotics Update From The Playing Field


For those competitive folks out there – which is probably everyone – here is an update on the eSilicon-sponsored robot I spoke of last month. I’m happy to report that our team finished fourth in a field of 24. As of now, they have a good chance of making it to the state-level competition. On top of an already outstanding weekend, our team won the Industrial Safety Award last weekend as we... » read more

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