Manufacturing Bits: June 16

Harmonic EUV The U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has devised an efficient extreme ultraviolet (EUV) source. The technology could one day be used for a new class of metrology tools, based on angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES). This technique makes use of a photoelectric effect for studying materials. To enable the source, Berkeley Labs devel... » read more

Problems Ahead For EDA

You may have discovered that the Semiconductor Engineering Knowledge Center (KC) provides various ways in which data can be viewed. One way is to see what events happened in a given year. During the 1990s, company activity in terms of new startups and acquisitions reached a peak, and in 1997 there were at least 29 startups that the KC contains and 25 companies acquired (let us know if there wer... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 30

Mechanical switches For years, the industry has been talking about the use of advanced mechanical switches in low-power applications. In theory, mechanical switches have zero off-state leakages, abrupt ON/OFF switching capabilities and small voltage swings. Mechanical switches could overcome the energy efficiency limit of CMOS. In fact, mechanical switches could replace CMOS in some applica... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Samsung Electronics announced that its memory fabrication line in Xi’an China has begun full-scale manufacturing operations. The new facility will manufacture Samsung’s advanced NAND flash memory chips, dubbed 3D V-NAND. A recent chemical leak at Intel’s fab in Arizona was contained and two workers were taken to a hospital for observation, according to reports. Apparently, Intel was i... » read more

Dropping The Voltage: Now What?

By Ed Sperling Ratcheting down the voltage in an SoC design seems like the simplest way to reduce power consumption, but it doesn’t always work out that way. In fact, reducing voltage can have some rather strange and unexpected effects at all levels of chip design, including testing and debugging. The problem is that not all parts of the chip work the same way without a minimum am... » read more

Life Without Batteries Or Wires

By Ed Sperling In portable devices, low-power design has always been about stretching out the amount of time between battery charges or replacement. But the focus of current research throws that approach to the wind. The new goal is to get rid of batteries altogether and generate power using a variety of different mechanisms ranging from differences in temperature, the motion of waves, static... » read more

The Trouble With Multicore Software

David Patterson, Professor of Computer Science at UC Berkeley, presented his views to the Naval Postgraduate School about the prospects for multicore programming success. This video was excerpted from his presentation. [youtube vid=EDHXIH8DlLY] » read more