Power/Performance Bits: June 20


Batteries from scrap metal Scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Jilin University found a method to transform rusty stainless steel mesh into electrodes with outstanding electrochemical properties that make them ideal for potassium-ion batteries. The rust is converted directly into a compact layer with a grid structure that can store potassium ions. A coating of reduced graphite... » read more

Tech Talk: 7nm Power


Annapoorna Krishnaswamy, lead applications engineer at ANSYS, talks with Semiconductor Engineering about power-related changes at 7nm and what engineering teams need to watch out for as they move down to the latest process technology. https://youtu.be/Ym46ssJPeHM » read more

Modeling On-Chip Variation At 10/7nm


Simulation, a workhorse tool for semiconductor design, is running out of steam at 10/7nm. It is falling behind on chips with huge gate counts and an enormous number of possible interactions between all the different functions that are being crammed onto a die. At simulation's root is some form of SPICE, which has served as its underpinnings ever since SPICE was first published 44 years ago. ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: June 13


Theoretical all-carbon circuits Engineers at the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Central Florida, and Northwestern University designed a novel computing system made solely from carbon. "The concept brings together an assortment of existing nanoscale technologies and combines them in a new way," said Dr. Joseph S. Friedman, ass... » read more

Age Of Acceleration


A shift from the fastest processors to accelerating specific functions is underway, supplanting an era of dark silicon in which one or more processor cores remain in a ready state whenever a single core's performance bogs down. In effect, the dark silicon/multi-core approach is being scrapped for many functions in favor of an accelerator-based microarchitecture that is far more granular. The... » read more

ESD Guns, Transients And Testing…Oh My!


With the pervasiveness of power management techniques like clock gating and power gating, transient power is on the rise, accompanied by the requirement to closely examine a system for such phenomenon as electrostatic discharge. I was interested to recently learn more about ESD testing, some of which is done with software tools, but much is still done in the lab with prototypes of the end d... » read more

From SerDes Chiplets To Die-To-Die Interfaces


The demand for ever faster high-speed interfaces has never been quite so pronounced. In our increasingly connected world, petabytes of data are continuously generated by a wide range of devices, systems and IoT endpoints such as vehicles, wearables, smartphones and even appliances. The resulting digital tsunami has prompted industry heavyweights like Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon to co... » read more

Transient Power Problems Rising


Transient power is becoming much more problematic at 10/7nm, adding yet another level of complexity for design teams already wrestling with power issues caused by leakage, a variety of power management techniques to control dynamic power, and leakage current. At each new node there is less headroom for engineering teams to address these problems, and more likelihood that what they do in one ... » read more

What Does “Low Power Optimization” Mean To You?


As I was researching some new low power capabilities, I asked this question of nearly every designer I met: “How important is low power optimization?” It turns out that it’s a pretty useless question because of course it’s important to just about everyone. After all, reducing power improves reliability and reduces design costs. And for chips destined for certain applications, such as mo... » read more

The Evolution Of Deep Learning For ADAS Applications


Embedded vision solutions will be a key enabler for making automobiles fully autonomous. Giving an automobile a set of eyes – in the form of multiple cameras and image sensors – is a first step, but it also will be critical for the automobile to interpret content from those images and react accordingly. To accomplish this, embedded vision processors must be hardware optimized for performanc... » read more

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