Still Searching For Rare Earths

There is both good and bad news for buyers of rare earths. The good news: It’s a buyers’ market. Prices for rare earths remain depressed amid a glut in the marketplace. The bad news: The supplier base is shaky. China still accounts for 85% of the world’s total production of rare earths, but most Chinese suppliers are operating at a loss. And two of the main non-Chinese suppliers, M... » read more

A Method To Quickly Assess The Analog Front-End Performance In Communication SoCs

This white paper outlines a simplified method to determine if the electrical characteristics of any given AFE are adequate for the targeted application such as broadband signal transceivers in the context of wireless or wireline connectivity, cellular communications and digital TV and radio broadcast. Additionally, it illustrates a tool to explore tradeoffs between relative performance and oper... » read more

Does IoT Change Design?

Over the past few months, and especially at DAC, I have been struck by the amount of interest in IoT and its impact on semiconductor design. In this post I will look at how IoT impacts the life of system designers — and explore if it really changes anything. Important source of semiconductor growth IoT is clearly important to investors, semiconductor makers, IP and EDA because it expands ... » read more

The “Last Simple Node” And the Internet of Things

Power, performance and size are key targets that will enable the expected explosion of the Internet of Things (IoT). Today, most observers see the path to that running directly through 16/14nm finFET and below for the node’s ability to manage power and size and boost integration. Geoff Lees isn’t your average observer. The vice president and general manager of Freescale’s microcon... » read more

When Worlds Collide: Saving Power In Communications Applications

By Ann Steffora Mutschler The interplay of hardware and software is a given in every device that contains a semiconductor chip, but is typically felt more acutely in communications applications given the extremely close dependencies for everything power-related. Managing power in these situations just gets more challenging as consumers demand more and better applications on their tablets, smar... » read more

Why Batteries Don’t Last Long Enough

By Pallab Chatterjee While there have been great strides in process scaling for power reduction on a per-gate level for mobile devices, a large part of the power is still consumed by the power amplifier, filter and analog mux arrangement from the systems. Most of the logic systems have benefited from scaling to the sub-40nm technology range, which reduces standby and operating power by seve... » read more

Infrastructure Needed For The “Internet Of Things”

By Pallab Chatterjee There has been a lot of buzz about the “Internet of Things” (IoT), the world being “constantly connected,” “wireless everywhere” and “ubiquitous connectivity.” These are great ideas and they’re driving the development of mobile and sensor-based devices. However, for the data to show up someplace, whether it is the cloud or a private repository, data netwo... » read more

Return Of The Femtocell

By Cheryl Ajluni Nothing has been left unscathed in the current global economic downturn, and that includes femtocell deployments. It was just last year that femtocells were being proclaimed a 2009 “killer app,” along with LTE and WiMAX. But what was once viewed as the next great thing has instead faced a tough road with more than a few large-scale deployments by major mobile operators be... » read more