Near-Threshold Computing

The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) has brought a lot of attention to the need for extremely low-power design, and this in turn has increased the pressure for voltage reduction. In the past, each new process node shrunk the feature size and lowered the nominal operating voltage. This resulted in a drop in power consumption. However, the situation changed at about 90nm in two ways. ... » read more

Rightsizing Challenges Grow

Rightsizing chip architectures is getting much more complicated. There are more options to choose from, more potential bottlenecks, and many more choices about what process to use at what process node and for which markets and price points. Rightsizing is a way of targeting chips to specific application needs, supplying sufficient performance while minimizing power and cost. It has been a to... » read more

FinFET Learning

FinFETs are not simple to work with. They’re difficult to manufacture, tricky to design, and they run the risk of greatly increased dynamic power density—particularly at 14/16nm, where extra margin is hard to justify—which affects everything from electromigration to signal integrity. Moreover, while finFETs have been on the drawing board for more than a decade, it’s taken four years ... » read more