Transistor Options Beyond 3nm


Despite a slowdown in chip scaling amid soaring costs, the industry continues to search for a new transistor type 5 to 10 years out—particularly for the 2nm and 1nm nodes. Specifically, the industry is pinpointing and narrowing down the transistor options for the next major nodes after 3nm. Those two nodes, called 2.5nm and 1.5nm, are slated to appear in 2027 and 2030, respectively, accord... » read more

Bridging Machine Learning’s Divide


There is a growing divide between those researching [getkc id="305" comment="machine learning"] (ML) in the cloud and those trying to perform inferencing using limited resources and power budgets. Researchers are using the most cost-effective hardware available to them, which happens to be GPUs filled with floating point arithmetic units. But this is an untenable solution for embedded infere... » read more

Giant Auto Industry Disruption Ahead


The move to self-driving vehicles over the next decade or so will result in a massive restructuring of entire segments of the global economy that have evolved to create and support automobiles and the people who drive them. The shift will create many new jobs-particularly for semiconductors and electronic systems-and conservatively it will eliminate hundreds of thousands of existing ones. It... » read more

Nodes Vs. Nodelets


Foundries are flooding the market with new nodes and different process options at existing nodes, spreading confusion and creating a variety of challenges for chipmakers. There are full-node processes, such as 10nm and 7nm, with 5nm and 3nm in R&D. But there also is an increasing number of half-nodes or "node-lets" being introduced, including 12nm, 11nm, 8nm, 6nm and 4nm. Node-lets ar... » read more

Machine Learning’s Growing Divide


[getkc id="305" kc_name="Machine learning"] is one of the hottest areas of development, but most of the attention so far has focused on the cloud, algorithms and GPUs. For the semiconductor industry, the real opportunity is in optimizing and packaging solutions into usable forms, such as within the automotive industry or for battery-operated consumer or [getkc id="76" kc_name="IoT"] products. ... » read more

Blockchain: Hype, Reality, Opportunities


Blockchain buzz has reached deafening levels, and its proponents say we haven’t heard anything yet. The blockchain-enabled transformations they describe make the Internet revolution look almost trivial. Critics argue that too many people drank the blockchain Kool-Aid. Outside the cryptocurrency arena, they say that blockchain amounts to little more than some really slick slideware. The ... » read more

A New Memory Contender?


Momentum is building for a new class of ferroelectric memories that could alter the next-generation memory landscape. Generally, ferroelectrics are associated with a memory type called ferroelectric RAMs (FRAMs). Rolled out by several vendors in the late 1990s, FRAMs are low-power, nonvolatile devices, but they are also limited to niche applications and unable to scale beyond 130nm. While... » read more

The Trouble With Models


Models are becoming more difficult to develop, integrate and utilize effectively at 10/7nm and beyond as design complexity, process variation and physical effects add to the number of variables that need to be taken into account. Modeling is a way of abstracting the complexity in various parts of the semiconductor design, and there can be dozens of models required for complex SoCs. Some are ... » read more

EDA Challenges Machine Learning


Over the past few years, [getkc id="305" kc_name="machine learning"] (ML) has evolved from an interesting new approach that allows computers to beat champions at chess and Go, into one that is touted as a panacea for almost everything. While there is clearly a lot of hype surrounding this, it appears that machine learning can produce a better outcome for many tasks in the EDA flow than even the... » read more

Shortages Hit Packaging Biz


Rising demand for chips is hitting the IC packaging supply chain, causing shortages of select manufacturing capacity, various package types, leadframes and even some equipment. Spot shortages for some IC packages began showing up earlier this year, but the problem has been growing and spreading since then. Supply imbalances reached a boiling point in the third and fourth quarters of this yea... » read more

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