The Future Of MEMS Sensor Design And Manufacturing


I recently gave an invited talk at the IEEE Inertial Sensors 2016 symposium that discussed the future of commodity MEMS inertial sensor design and manufacturing. Inertial sensors comprise one of the fastest growing and most successful segments of the MEMS market. There are three industry trends that I believe will have major implications for motion sensor design and manufacturing and, more g... » read more

Hacker Bonanza Ahead


Always on, always connected—and therein lies the danger. With the world going to a 24/7 online presence, the hacker’s universe of opportunity is never closed. And once the IoT gets everyone and everything connected, hackers will have an even more bountiful playground. Just recently, HP did another one of its hacker studies. The Fortify application security unit did an analysis of what wi... » read more

What’s Holding Back The IoT


There is a new generation of heterogeneous devices and component modules being developed for the IoT. This, in turn, could create an exploding market within certain sectors of the hardware industry. Exact size predictions for this market vary greatly, but all of the firms making these predictions agree on one thing—it's going to be very big. A new report by Yole Developpement pegs the mar... » read more

Short-Range, Low-Power Sensors


Over the last 10 years the world has done a remarkably good job of connecting the global wireless world. This is partly because of visionaries, partly because of marketers, and partly just because we can, but mostly because of convenience. We now never need be to be off the wide-area interconnected highway. The last decade has radically changed the way we live. The smartphone and its cousin, th... » read more

Defending Against Reverse Engineering


Most of us are familiar with the term “reverse engineering.” We generally know that it is used to extract data or designs from chips, but exactly how is pretty much a mystery. Today, chip security has very broad implications. The landscape of tomorrow will be cluttered with devices that are microprocessor-controlled, including some that are autonomous. Numbers vary, but the current esti... » read more

White Hat Hacking


At first glance, the words “reverse engineering” (RE) might conjure up a couple of nefarious individuals with table full of tools, meters, and the like, in some basement trying to figure out how to disassemble some sort of electronic device. The image is wrong, however. More likely, today’s RE work will be found in a clandestine, well-funded uber-laboratory in an up-and-coming third-wo... » read more

Waiting For 3D Metrology


By Mark LaPedus Over the years, suppliers of metrology equipment have managed to meet the requirements for conventional planar chips. But tool vendors now find themselves behind in the emerging 3D chip era, prompting the urgent need for a new class of 3D metrology gear. 3D is a catch-all phrase that includes a range of new architectures, such as finFET transistors, 3D NAND and stacked-die ... » read more

Dealing With Variability


By Barry Pangrle Process, voltage and temperature, a.k.a. PVT, are well known to designers who are working to complete “signoff” for their designs. In order for a design to be production-ready, it’s necessary to ensure that the design is going to yield parts at a sufficiently high percentage for profitability and that it will still operate within the expected variation of the process and... » read more