Are Chips Getting More Reliable?


Reliability is emerging as a key metric in the semiconductor industry, alongside of power, performance and cost, but it also is becoming harder to measure and increasingly difficult to achieve. Most large semiconductor companies look at reliability in connection with consumer devices that last several years before they are replaced, but a big push into automotive, medical and industrial elec... » read more

System Bits: Sept.1


The quantum description of nature In quantum mechanics, the underlying physical rules that govern the fundamental behavior of matter and light at the atomic scale state that nothing can quite be completely at rest, but now for the first time, a team of researchers from Caltech, McGill University, and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light has found a way to observe—and control—t... » read more

Datacenter Power Is Different


With much focus on super low power devices for handhelds and IoT applications, I’m also interested in what’s happening at the seeming other end of the spectrum, in the datacenter. Atrenta CTO Bernard Murphy rightly pointed out that when it comes to power reduction techniques, datacenter power is a different story. He reminded that at a unit-level, a lot has already been done or is underw... » read more

Rethinking Big Iron


By Ann Steffora Mutschler One size does not fit all when it comes to the server market, and that may be the best option for low-power processor makers to gain a toehold in a world that until now has been almost laser-focused on performance. Even higher-performance versions of low-power processing architectures are starting to show up inside of datacenters. Many are application-specific ... » read more

It’s All About Power


In my last entry regarding IBM’s claim for new x86 technology for the datacenter, I mentioned I was trying to get an answer from IBM regarding details on the “silicon innovation” it used. That quest is ongoing, and I hope to find some actual technology, and not just marketing mumbo-jumbo at the heart of it. Keep checking back, I will give my report here. Just a few weeks after Big Blue... » read more

New x86 Technology For The Datacenter?


I wasn’t too surprised when IBM announced new servers early this month that they claim “break constraints of 30-year technology design,” since Big Blue is constantly releasing new products that they say are groundbreaking in one way or another. Reading deeper into the news, IBM is using new semiconductor technology at the heart of its new eX5 servers that it said took its engineering t... » read more