Automotive IC Industry Trends


A trend that will continue in 2018 is the rise of the smart, autonomous car. As consumers and regulators demand more capability from automobiles, semiconductors have become the most critical part of these innovative solutions. But these chips, designed to bring safety and economy to the car’s operation, also bring complexity and higher requirements for reliability, requirements that have not ... » read more

Follow The Moving Money


Semiconductor economics are changing by market, by region, and by product node and packaging type, adding new complexity into decisions about which technology to use for which products and why. Money is the common denominator in all of these decisions, whether it's measured by return on invested capital, quarterly profits, or long-term investments that can include acquisitions, organic growt... » read more

Electronic Design For Reliable Autonomous Driving


In the area of advanced driver assistance systems, most car makers and their suppliers have laid out exciting road maps all the way to highly automated and fully automated driving in 5 to 10 years. But are the electronics keeping up with these ambitious plans? At least for the automotive industry as a mass market, the current design processes for microchips and systems are not yet ready. An ... » read more

A Simple Way To Improve Automotive In-System Test


The remarkable growth in automotive IC design has prompted a focus on ISO26262 functional safety compliance, which includes both high-quality manufacturing test and a minimum stuck-at test coverage of 90% for in-system test. Designers must also control IC test data volumes, test application times, and test costs. A new test point technology that improves in-system test coverage and reduces patt... » read more

Why Pinpoint Accuracy Is Important When Monitoring Conditions On Chip


A Q&A with Moortec CTO Oliver King. Why is there an increasing requirement for monitoring on chip? Since the beginning of the semiconductor industry, we have relied on a doubling of transistor count per unit area every 18 months as a way to increase performance and functionality of devices. Since 28nm, this has broken. As such, designers now need to find new ways to continue increasing... » read more

Turning Down The Power


Chip and system designers are giving greater weight to power issues these days. But will they inevitably hit a wall in accounting for ultra-low-power considerations? Performance, power, and area are the traditional attributes in chip design. Area was originally the main priority, with feature sizes constantly shrinking according to Moore's Law. Performance was in the saddle for many years. M... » read more

Self-Driving Cars And Kobayashi Maru


Kobayashi Maru. If you know what I am talking about, you are a bona fide Star Trek fan. If not, let me indulge. Kobayashi Maru is a computer simulation for a training exercise in the fictional Star Trek universe, where Starfleet Academy cadets are presented with a no-win scenario. But they do have to make a decision. The primary goal of the exercise is to rescue a disabled civilian vessel... » read more

Protecting Automotive Systems With A Root Of Trust


As our cars become more connected and autonomous, we depend on them to entertain us, connect seamlessly to our phones (which carry substantial personal information), help keep us in our proper driving lane, and more. We expect that the electronics in the automobile will work as advertised. However, connected cars can have vulnerabilities to direct, over-the-air, or side-channel attacks, which c... » read more

Predictions: Markets And Drivers


Semiconductor Engineering received a record number of predictions this year. Some of them are just wishful thinking, but many are a lot more thoughtful and project what needs to happen for various markets or products to become successful. Those far reaching predictions may not fully happen within 2018, but we give everyone the chance to note the progress made towards their predictions at the en... » read more

Packaging Challenges For 2018


The IC packaging market is projected to see steady growth this year, amid ongoing changes in the landscape. The outsourced semiconductor assembly and test ([getkc id="83" kc_name="OSAT"]) industry, which provides third-party packaging and test services, has been consolidating for some time. So while sales rising, the number of companies is falling. In late 2017, for example, [getentity id="2... » read more

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