Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 1


Magnetic chips HRL Laboratories—an R&D venture between Boeing and General Motors—has been awarded a contract to develop a new class of magnetic integrated components. HRL has received the award from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) under the Magnetic, Miniaturized, and Monolithically Integrated Components (M3IC) program. The goal is to develop new magnetic materials... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 18


Brain microscopes Rice University is developing a tiny and flat microscope for a special application--it will be able to decode and trigger neurons on the surface of the brain. The microscope technology, dubbed FlatScope, is part of a $65 million program announced by the U.S.-based Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The DARPA project, dubbed Neural Engineering System Design ... » read more

Safety Plus Security: Solutions And Methodologies


By Ed Sperling & Brian Bailey As more technology makes its way into safety-critical markets—and as more of those devices are connected to the Internet—security issues are beginning to merge with safety issues. The number of attempted cyberattacks is up on every front, which has big implications for devices used in safety-related applications. There are more viruses, ransomware, an... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: June 6


Molecular black holes A group of researchers have used an ultra-bright pulse of X-ray light to hit a tiny atom in a molecule, causing the structure to explode and create a “molecular black hole.” The molecular black hole is different than a black hole in space, however. A black hole is a region in space, which has a gravitational field so strong that no matter or light can escape it. ... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


Tools Cadence launched its Sigrity 2017 technology portfolio for PCB power and signal integrity signoff, adding a power topology viewer and editor, library management for power integrity models, and a PCI Express 4.0 compliance kit for checking signal integrity. Memory Spin Transfer Technologies delivered samples of fully functional ST-MRAM (spin transfer magneto-resistive random acces... » read more

Morphing Moore’s Law


In 1965, Gordon Moore defined a timetable for doubling the number of transistors on a piece of silicon every two years. The law, as he originally defined it, is now hopelessly outdated. Any attempts to apply it to the most advanced chips today are a stretch at best, and complete fiction at worst. No one is on a two-year cadence between process nodes anymore—not even Intel. In fact, no one ... » read more

Advanced Packaging Requires Better Yield


Whether Moore's Laws truly ends, or whether the semiconductor industry reaches into the Angstrom world after 3nm—the semiconductor industry dislikes fractions—advanced packaging increasingly will dominate semiconductor designs. Apple already is on board with its iPhone 7, using TSMC's fan-out approach. And all of the major foundries and OSATs are lining up with a long list of capabilitie... » read more

Making 2.5D, Fan-Outs Cheaper


Now that it has been shown to work, the race is on to make advanced [getkc id="27" kc_name="packaging"] more affordable. While device scaling could continue for another decade or more, the number of companies that can afford to develop SoCs at the leading edge will continue to decline. The question now being addressed is what can supplant it, supplement it, or redefine it. At the center o... » read more

The Week In Review: IoT


Security The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in August held the finals of its Cyber Grand Challenge, a competition that came down to seven teams in Las Vegas, with the three winning teams sharing cash prizes totaling $3.75 million. The capture-the-flag style contest let cybersecurity software counter various attacks on its own, without the aid of engineers and programmers. Th... » read more

Joint R&D Has Its Ups And Downs


As corporate spending on research and development dwindles, enterprises are reaching out to colleges and universities to supplement their R&D. And they often are finding eager partners in those endeavors, as professors and their graduate students look for help, financial and technical, in addressing long-term research projects. “Pure research is just a luxury no one can afford anymore,... » read more

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