Siemens To Buy Mentor For $4.5B


By Ed Sperling & Jeff Dorsch Siemens announced today that it has reached a deal to buy Mentor Graphics for $4.5 billion in cash. The move, if approved by regulators, would greatly expand Siemens' capabilities in multi-physics design and embedded software for everything from semiconductors to automotive wiring harnesses. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017. Sie... » read more

The Week In Review: IoT


Deals The $47 billion merger of Qualcomm and NXP Semiconductors will not only affect the automotive chip market; it should also have a significant impact in the Internet of Things business. The companies note they are together strong in microcontrollers, secure identification, mobile transactions, payment cards, transit, application processors, and connectivity systems. Meanwhile, NXP reported... » read more

The Week In Review: IoT


Security The Internet of Things was in the news this week, and not for good reasons. Unsecured IoT devices were implicated in the substantial distributed denial-of-service attack that severely affected popular websites on October 21. Well ahead of this event, ARM Holdings was planning to make IoT security its leading theme at this week’s ARM TechCon 2016 conference and exposition in Santa Cl... » read more

IoT Has Always Been With Us


By most accounts, Kevin Ashton of the Auto-ID Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology coined the term “the Internet of Things” in 1999, referring to a system of ubiquitous sensors connecting the Internet with the physical world. We were well into the 21st century before the Internet of Things, as a marketing term or a short description of a certain technology, came to be wide... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Intel announced that the company’s former CEO and chairman, Andrew Grove, passed away. He was 79. Present at Intel’s 1968 founding with Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore, Grove became Intel’s president in 1979 and CEO in 1987. He served as chairman from 1997 to 2005. “We are deeply saddened by the passing of former Intel Chairman and CEO Andy Grove,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, in a st... » read more

And the Winner is…


Semiconductor Engineering now has its first full year under its belt, and I have to say it has been an incredible year. Not only did we exceed a million page views in our first year, but we also got started on the Knowledge Center, an endeavor the likes of which has never been attempted in our industry. It is still very young and has a lot of growing up to do, but it is a wonderful start. We wo... » read more

Architecting For Efficiency


By definition, to be efficient is to perform or function in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort; having and using requisite knowledge, skill, and industry. As this relates to SoC design today, achieving the highest level of efficiency is a challenge with many dimensions. Efficiency comes in multiple ways. “One dimension would be power consumption,” said Oz Le... » read more

The Rise Of Layout-Dependent Effects


By Ann Steffora Mutschler Designing for today’s advanced semiconductor manufacturing process nodes brings area, speed, power and other benefits but also new performance challenges as a result of the pure physics of running current through tiny wires. Layout-dependent effects (LDE), which emerged at 40nm and are having a larger impact at 28 and 20nm, introduce variability to circuit ... » read more

Good Pattern Flow Ahead For 14, 10nm


By Ann Steffora Mutschler Given complexity, yield, power and other challenges with leading edge manufacturing, semiconductor foundries increasingly have been forced to require more and more restrictive design rules with each new process node. “They keep adding more design rules and more operations to a particular check to eliminate corner cases where in manufacturing they saw some variant... » read more

Good Times For Analog Designers


By Ann Steffora Mutschler For a number of technological reasons, analog/mixed-signal design and low-power design are converging, and with that comes both challenges and opportunities. As far as challenges go, process variations at 14nm, 20nm and even 28nm have increased significantly to include DFM impacts such as layout-delay effects. On the digital side, those process changes affect... » read more