Design For Noise (DfN)


By Riko Radojcic and Yanfeng Li Abstract: This white paper describes the typical characteristics of electrical noise, and summarizes the current standard practices for managing noise in semiconductor devices. The impact of the technology trends – and specifically CMOS scaling - on noise amplitude and circuit sensitivity to noise are presented, and the requirements for coping with this emergi... » read more

MEMS: Improving Cost And Yield


MEMS devices inspire awe on the design side. On the test and manufacturing side, they evoke a different kind of reaction. These are, after all, the intersection of mechanical and electrical engineering—a joining of two miniature worlds that are the basis of some of the most complex technology on the planet. But getting these devices to yield sufficiently, understanding what does or does no... » read more

Power State Switching Gets Tougher


Power state switching delay is a key factor in minimizing power, and getting it right frequently means the difference between a successful design and a dead chip. But tradeoffs are intricate, complex and often involve judgment calls, making this a place where designs can go completely awry. For years, traditional, full-swing [gettech id="31093" comment="CMOS"] process technologies were used ... » read more

Executive Insight: Charlie Cheng


[getperson id="11073" comment="Charlie Cheng"], CEO of [getentity id="22135" e_name="Kilopass Technology"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about the limitations of DRAM, how to get around them, and who's likely to do that. What follows are excerpts of that discussion. SE: What are the top market segments from a [getkc id="22" kc_name="memory"] standpoint? Cheng: The top o... » read more

All You Need Is Cache (Coherency) To Scale Next-Gen SoC Performance


Life on the SoC performance front remains a withering battle sometimes, because things can seem fairly bleak. As transistor scaling becomes more expensive below 10-nanometer feature sizes, every day it becomes harder to double performance every 18-months or so and stay competitive. Nowhere is the pain of this battle more acute than in consumer and automotive systems, where low cost is the key t... » read more

Ray Zinn Reflects On 37 Years As CEO Of Micrel


Believed to be the longest serving CEO of any company to have existed in Silicon Valley, Ray Zinn does more in retirement than many people would accomplish as full time employees. While his name may not be at the top of most influential people in the valley, the industry may not be the same today had it not been for his contributions. Semiconductor Engineering spoke with him about his past, the... » read more

Keeping The Whole Package Cool


Heat dissipation is a critical issue for designers of complex chip-stacking and system-in-package devices. The amount of heat generated by a device increases as the number of transistors goes up, but the ability to dissipate the heat depends on the package surface area. Because the goal of 3D packaging is to squeeze more transistors into less overall space, new heat dissipation issues are em... » read more

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

Flexible Sensors Begin Ramping


Sensors are at the heart of the [getkc id="76" comment="Internet of Things"]. Flexible sensors promise to extend the Internet of Everything to the battlefield, the gymnasium, the hospital, and many other places. Flexible [getkc id="187" kc_name="sensors"] represent the forefront of a sea of change in electronics, marking the transition from rigid semiconductors made with silicon and other ha... » read more

The Economics Of Moore’s Law


By Marc Heyns I’m very optimistic about the continuation of Moore’s Law. But in saying that, I’m speaking about Moore’s Law purely as an economic law. I believe we’ll be able to offer increasing amounts of functionality at lower and lower costs. And technological innovations as well as advances in design and application will be crucial in realizing this. But I don’t believe a ne... » read more

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