New Wave Of Consolidation


Consolidation is picking up again across the semiconductor industry, against a backdrop of looming interest rate hikes, geopolitical uncertainty, and the erosion of longstanding demarcations between markets. In the past couple of weeks, Siemens signed a deal to buy [getentity id="22017" e_name="Mentor Graphics"] for $4 billion, and [getentity id="22865" e_name="Samsung"] purchased Harman, a ... » read more

Why EUV Is So Difficult


For years, extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography has been a promising technology that was supposed to help enable advanced chip scaling. But after years of R&D, EUV is still not in production despite major backing from the industry, vast resources and billions of dollars in funding. More recently, though, [gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"] lithography appears to be inching closer to pos... » read more

Healthcare IoT: Promise And Peril


By Gale Morrison & Ed Sperling As more connectivity and communication capability is built into everyday healthcare and medical devices, engineers are tasked with ensuring these devices are both completely secure and ultra-reliable. Reliability generally is measured in mean time between failure (MTBF), but when it comes to safety-critical markets, that equation takes on a whole new... » read more

Silicon Photonics Comes Into Focus


Silicon photonics is attracting growing attention and investment as a companion technology to copper wiring inside of data centers, raising new questions about what comes next and when. Light has always been the ultimate standard for speed. It requires less energy to move large quantities of data, generates less heat than electricity, and it can work equally well over long or short distances... » read more

Side-Channel Attacks Make Devices Vulnerable


As the world begins to take security more seriously, it becomes evident that a device is only as secure as its weakest component. No device can be made secure by protecting against a single kind of attack. Hypervisors add a layer of separation between tasks making sure that one task cannot steal secrets from another. Protection of the JTAG port is necessary to prevent access underneath the h... » read more

Aftermarket Autonomous Vehicle Race Heats Up


It’s not just car companies that are racing to build self-driving vehicles. An entire ecosystem is sprouting up around retrofitting existing vehicles with autonomous technology, despite the fact that the technology, infrastructure, regulatory and insurance issues are still not fully formed. Uber already is using self-driving taxis, accompanied by a human driver, in Pittsburgh, Pa. And many... » read more

Sorting Out Next-Gen Memory


In the data center and related environments, high-end systems are struggling to keep pace with the growing demands in data processing. There are several bottlenecks in these systems, but one segment that continues to receive an inordinate amount of attention, if not part of the blame, is the memory and storage hierarchy. [getkc id="92" kc_name="SRAM"], the first tier of this hierarchy, is... » read more

Plugging Holes In Machine Learning


The number of companies using machine learning is accelerating, but so far there are no tools to validate, verify and debug these systems. That presents a problem for the chipmakers and systems companies that increasingly rely on machine learning to optimize their technology because, at least for now, it creates the potential for errors that are extremely difficult to trace and fix. At the s... » read more

Joint R&D Has Its Ups And Downs


As corporate spending on research and development dwindles, enterprises are reaching out to colleges and universities to supplement their R&D. And they often are finding eager partners in those endeavors, as professors and their graduate students look for help, financial and technical, in addressing long-term research projects. “Pure research is just a luxury no one can afford anymore,... » read more

What Transistors Will Look Like At 5nm


Chipmakers are currently ramping up 16nm/14nm finFET processes, with 10nm and 7nm just around the corner. The industry also is working on 5nm. TSMC hopes to deliver a 5nm process by 2020. GlobalFoundries, Intel and Samsung are doing R&D for that node. But 5nm technology presents a multitude of unknowns and challenges. For one thing, the exact timing and specs of 5nm remain cloudy. The... » read more

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