The Growing Materials Challenge


By Katherine Derbyshire & Ed Sperling Materials have emerged as a growing challenge across the semiconductor supply chain, as chips continue to scale, or as they are utilized in new devices such as sensors for AI or machine learning systems. Engineered materials are no longer optional at advanced nodes. They are now a requirement, and the amount of new material content in chips contin... » read more

Extending The IC Roadmap


An Steegen, executive vice president of semiconductor technology and systems at Imec, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss IC scaling and chip packaging. Imec is working on next-generation transistors, but it is also developing several new technologies for IC packaging, such as a proprietary silicon bridge, a cooling technology and packaging modules. What follows are excerpts of t... » read more

Hardware-In-The-Loop Simulation, Testing


Embedded electronics are showing up nearly everywhere these days, in cars, smart appliances, medical devices—even fighter jets. Making sure those real-time embedded systems will work correctly is the aim of hardware-in-the-loop simulation and testing, which puts the systems through their paces in a virtual environment. In effect, HIL simulation adds a mathematical representation of all fun... » read more

Machine Learning’s Limits


Semiconductor Engineering sat down with Rob Aitken, an Arm fellow; Raik Brinkmann, CEO of OneSpin Solutions; Patrick Soheili, vice president of business and corporate development at eSilicon; and Chris Rowen, CEO of Babblelabs. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Where are we with machine learning? What problems still have to be resolved? Aitken: We're in a state where thi... » read more

Toward IIoT Security Standards


Security is a high priority within Industrial IoT projects, but it is advancing like the rest of the industry—inconsistently, with big gaps between the leaders and everyone else. That isn't unique to one or two industrial segments. It applies to all of them, and even to slices within particularly industries. "There is some confusion about security because it's not just the IT issues," s... » read more

IBM Takes AI In Different Directions


Jeff Welser, vice president and lab director at IBM Research Almaden, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss what's changing in artificial intelligence and what challenges still remain. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: What's changing in AI and why? Welser: The most interesting thing in AI right now is that we've moved from narrow AI, where we've proven you... » read more

Ensuring Chip Reliability From The Inside


Monitoring activity and traffic is emerging as an essential ingredient in complex, heterogeneous chips used in automotive, industrial, and data center applications. This is particularly true in safety-critical applications such as automotive, where much depends on the system operating exactly right at all times. To make autonomous and assisted driving possible, a mechanism to ensure systems ... » read more

IIoT And Predictive Maintenance


It’s every production line manager’s nightmare—some machinery breaks down, stopping production on the factory floor. In a fab, if just one piece of semiconductor manufacturing equipment goes down and is out of service for hours, wafer fabrication can grind to a halt. Such shutdowns are expensive, especially if the plant is operating on a 24-hour schedule to meet demand. One selling poi... » read more

Why IIoT Security Is So Difficult


Despite the high risk of a market filled with billions of at least partially unprotected devices, it is likely to take five years or more to reach a "meaningful" level of security in the Industrial IoT. The market, which potentially includes every connected device with an integrated circuit, is fragmented into vertical industries, specialty chips, and filled with competing OEMs, carriers, in... » read more

Analog Migration Equals Redesign


Analog design has never been easy. Engineers can spend their entire careers focused just on phase-locked loops (PLLs), because to get them right the functionality of circuits need to be understood in depth, including how they respond across different process corners and different manufacturing processes. In the finFET era, those challenges have only intensified for analog circuits. Reuse, fo... » read more

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