What Does An IoT Chip Look Like?


By Ed Sperling and Jeff Dorsch Internet of Things chip design sounds like a simple topic on the face of it. Look deeper, though, and it becomes clear there is no single IoT, and certainly no type of chip that will work across the ever-expanding number of applications and markets that collectively make up the IoT. Included under this umbrella term are sensors, various types of processors, ... » read more

Shrink Or Package?


Advanced packaging is rapidly becoming a mainstream option for chipmakers as the cost of integrating heterogeneous components on a single die continues to rise. Despite several years of buzz around this shift, the reality is that it has taken more than a half-century to materialize. Advanced [getkc id="27" kc_name="packaging"] began with IBM flip chips in the 1960s, and it got another boost ... » read more

Architecture First, Node Second


What a difference a node makes. A couple of rather important changes have occurred in the move from 16/14 to 10/7nm (aside from more confusing naming conventions). First, companies that require more transistors—processor companies such as [getentity id="22846" e_name="Intel"], AMD, [getentity id="22306" comment="IBM"] and [getentity id="22676" e_name="Qualcomm"]—have come to grips with t... » read more

IoT Security Challenges, Opportunities


The specter of cybersecurity is haunting the Internet of Things—or more specifically, the lack of it. Big companies in information technology and telecommunications have embraced the [getkc id="76" kc_name="IoT"] as a significant business opportunity, and the field is inspiring hundreds of startups in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. Venture capitalists hungrily eye the IoT, betting on which ... » read more

Advanced Packaging Goes Mainstream


The roadmap for shrinking digital logic will continue for at least the next 10 years. For others devices, particularly analog, it will slow down or end. And therein lies one of the most fundamental changes in semiconductor design and manufacturing in the past half century. This is no longer just talk. Apple is using a fan-out architecture in its iPhone 7. Memory makers are stacking NAND and ... » read more

Moore’s Law: A Status Report


Moore's Law has been synonymous with "smaller, faster, cheaper" for the past 52 years, but increasingly it is viewed as just one of a number of options—some competing, some complementary—as the chip industry begins zeroing in on specific market needs. This does not make [getkc id="74" comment="Moore's Law"] any less relevant. The number of companies racing from 16/14nm to 7nm is higher t... » read more

AI Storm Brewing


AI is coming. Now what? The answer isn't clear, because after decades of research and development, AI is finally starting to become a force to reckon with. The proof is in the M&A activity underway right now. Big companies are willing to pay huge sums to get out in front of this shift. Here is a list of just some of the AI acquisitions announced or completed over the past few years: ... » read more

Custom Hardware Thriving


In the early days of the IoT, predictions about the commoditization of hardware and the end of customized hardware were everywhere. Several years later, those predictions are being proven wrong. Off-the-shelf components have not replaced customized hardware, and software has not dictated all designs. In fact, in many cases the exact opposite has happened. And where software does play an elev... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Manufacturing Veeco Instruments has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Ultratech. With the deal, Veeco will enter into the lithography market for chip-packaging as well as the laser spike anneal business. Veeco is a supplier of MOCVD tools. The implied total transaction value is approximately $815 million and the implied enterprise value is approximately $550 million. FlexTech, a SE... » read more

What’s Missing In Advanced Packaging


Even though Moore's Law is running out of steam, there is still a need to increase functional density. Increasingly, this is being done with heterogeneous integration at the package or module level. This is proving harder than it looks. At this point there are no standardized methodologies, and tools often are retrofitted versions of existing tools that don't take into account the challenges... » read more

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