Pushing Performance Limits


Trying to squeeze the last bit of performance out of a chip sounds like a good idea, but it increases risk and cost, extends development time, reduced yield, and it may even limit the environments in which the chip can operate. And yet, given the amount of margin added at every step of the development process, it seems obvious that plenty of improvements could be made. "Every design can be o... » read more

Turning Down The Voltage


Designers of large, advanced-node SoCs are grappling with a number of pressures in the quest to achieve the optimal performance and power of their designs. This has turned into a challenging balancing act between using less power, especially for consumer technologies, while also providing the same or greater performance and increased functionality. [getkc id="108" kc_name="Power"] and perfor... » read more

Imperfect Silicon, Near-Perfect Security


Some chipmakers, under pressure to add security to rapidly growing numbers of IoT devices, have rediscovered a "fingerprinting" technique used primarily as an anti-counterfeiting measure. [getkc id="227" kc_name="Physically unclonable functions"] (PUFs) are used to assign a unique identification number based on inconsistencies in the speed with which current causes a series of logic gates to... » read more

Fan-Out Wars Begin


Several packaging houses are developing the next wave of high-density fan-out packages for premium smartphones, but perhaps a bigger battle is brewing in the lower density fan-out arena. Amkor, ASE, STATS ChipPAC and others sell traditional low-density fan-out packages, although some new and competitive technologies are beginning to appear in the market. Low-density fan-out, or sometimes cal... » read more

Cheaper Packaging Options Ahead


Lower-cost packaging options and interconnects are either under development or just being commercialized, all of which could have a significant impact on the economics of advanced packaging. By far, the most cited reason why companies don't adopt advanced [getkc id="27" kc_name="packaging"] is cost. Currently, silicon [getkc id="204" kc_name="interposers"] add about $30 to the price of a med... » read more

Testing Analog Chips


The world of analog components is broad and diverse, and while testing analog chips may not take as long as running tests on complex SoCs, there are different requirements for analog devices. One type of chip that's seeing more application these days is analog microelectromechanical system devices. Automotive electronics call for a number of [getkc id="37" kc_name="analog"] chips, along with... » read more

Driving By Ethernet


The race to add more sophisticated and safety-critical electronics into cars is forcing carmakers to revisit the communications systems within increasingly electrified and connected vehicles. Until very recently, communication between components within a vehicle was simplistic, and communication between vehicles was non-existent. All of that is changing quickly. Rapid and secure communicatio... » read more

The Race To Better Batteries


There is a new leader in the race to develop the best battery for smartphones, medical and IoT devices and all things related to information technology—Tesla. After almost a decade of making a big splash in the auto industry, though hardly a dent in its business, Tesla has succeeded in making electric vehicles attractive enough that automakers are following Tesla into the EV lane. That mov... » read more

The Road To Autonomy


Visions of autonomous driving were everywhere at CES 2018 in Las Vegas and the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Still, while there is progress in the technology, it will be years before the average motorist can get a fully autonomous vehicle. Advanced driver-assistance systems are gaining in complexity and scope, representing steps toward automated driving. At CES 2018, ... » read more

Deep Learning Spreads


Deep learning is gaining traction across a broad swath of applications, providing more nuanced and complex behavior than machine learning offers today. Those attributes are particularly important for safety-critical devices, such as assisted or autonomous vehicles, as well as for natural language processing where a machine can recognize the intent of words based upon the context of a convers... » read more

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