China Unveils Memory Plans


Backed by billions of dollars in government funding, China in 2014 launched a major initiative to advance its domestic semiconductor, IC-packaging and other electronic sectors. So far, though, the results are mixed. China is making progress in IC-packaging, but the nation’s efforts to advance its domestic logic and memory sectors are still a work in progress. In fact, China has yet to achi... » read more

Performance Increasingly Tied To I/O


Speeding up input and output is becoming a cornerstone for improving performance and lowering power in SoCs and ASICs, particularly as scaling processors and adding more cores produce diminishing returns. While processors of all types continue to improve, the rate of improvement is slowing at each new node. Obtaining the expected 30% to 50% boost in performance and lower power no longer can ... » read more

The Multiplier And The Singularity


In 1993, Vernor Vinge, a computer scientist and science fiction writer, first described an event called the Singularity—the point when machine intelligence matches and then surpasses human intelligence. And since then, top scientists, engineers and futurists have been asking just how far away we are from that event. In 2006, Ray Kurzweil published a book, "The Singularity is Near," in whic... » read more

CEO Outlook: Chip Design 2017


After two consecutive flat to slightly down years, the semiconductor industry is poised for growth in 2017. Cowan this month predicted 4.7% growth in semiconductor sales in 2017, while World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) put that figure at 3.3%. And last month, International Business Strategies (IBS) pegged the number at 4.6%, according to statistics compiled by the Global Semiconduc... » read more

Uncertainty Grows For 5nm, 3nm


As several chipmakers ramp up their 10nm finFET processes, with 7nm just around the corner, R&D has begun for 5nm and beyond. In fact, some are already moving full speed ahead in the arena. [getentity id="22586" comment="TSMC"] recently announced plans to build a new fab in Taiwan at a cost of $15.7 billion. The proposed fab is targeted to manufacture TSMC’s 5nm and 3nm processes, whic... » read more

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

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