Spark Microsystems: LP On-Chip Radios


Spark Microsystems is taking aim at on-chip radios that continue to be the primary source of battery drain, even in power-conserving designs like Bluetooth Low Energy. "If you wear AirPods, something like 80% of the power is going to power the radio, not the sound. That's not the most efficient approach." according to Frederic Nabki, co-founder of Spark Microsystems, and a former professor o... » read more

Xceler Systems: Graph Architecture


An inventor who made foundational contributions to three key ways we move data through complex systems is developing a new type of neuromorphic chip to accelerate AI applications. Rather than try to build a computer that looks like a brain, Gautam Kavipurapu and Xceler Systems are building smaller bits that act like synapses. When the design is advanced enough and there are enough of them, t... » read more

Ayar Labs: Faster I/O


Startup AyarLabs is using a combination of high-bandwidth fiberoptics, low-cost CMOS fabrication and careful target selection to strike efficiently at the datacenter's worst bottleneck. "Moore's Law only covers the processor, not how we move data in and out of it during processing or how to get the processor and memory working at the same speed," according to Alexandra Wright-Gladstein, co-f... » read more

Babblabs: Deep Learning Speech Processing


Pronounced “babble labs,” a startup that is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur [getperson id="11244" comment="Chris Rowen"] is setting out to transform speech processing and will leverage deep learning to do so. Rowen, CEO of Babblabs, has spoken for some time about move of processing to more general purpose hardware, with applications layered on top, so it’s not so surprising his n... » read more

PowerDown: Power Efficiency


Power Down Semiconductor wants to make the batteries in smartphones and IoT devices last 10 times longer by not wasting power they’ve already used. Every time an intelligent device has a thought, it pulls power from a battery and sends it through its maze of wires and millions of gates to create a O or a 1 at key points in the control and logic circuits. “Think about how much energy... » read more

Aeponyx: Optical Chips For Telecom


As the amount of data grows, so does interest in silicon photonics. There is no better way to move data than with light. It's faster, requires less energy, and generates less heat. The main trouble spots come in two places—packaging the light source with another chip, and the switching technology from optical to electrical and back to optical. While companies like Intel have been working o... » read more

Performance-IP: Less Memory Latency


The combination of more functionality on chips plus more contention for memories is forcing companies to look at different ways to improve performance. Just adding more processing power doesn't guarantee improved performance, and throwing more memory at a problem—either SRAM or multiple levels of cache—is expensive and not always faster. There are too many processors and too many request... » read more

Fractilia: Pattern Roughness Metrology


A new startup has emerged and unveiled a technology that addresses one of the bigger but less understood problems in advanced lithography--pattern roughness. The startup, called Fractilia, is a software-based metrology tool that analyzes the CD-SEM images of pattern roughness on a wafer. Fractilia, a self-funded startup, is led by Chris Mack and Ed Charrier. Mack, known as the gentleman sc... » read more

Sigasi: Cleaner VHDL And SystemVerilog


Hardware engineers always have looked at software tools and methodologies with a certain degree of envy. While the hardware side has embraced the discipline necessary to get products right prior to release, in large part because it's too expensive to fix an error in hardware, the tools and languages are generally clunkier and the methodologies are much more rigid. Like software, they have to in... » read more

SiFive: Low-Cost Custom Silicon


One of the lessons learned years ago in the open-source Linux world is that free software isn't always good enough. Consequently, being able to add commercial value around freeware can turn into a lucrative business. Red Hat Software, for example, has turned this approach into a thriving multi-billion-dollar business. But nothing comparable has ever succeeded in the SoC world. Enter SiFi... » read more

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