Smartphone Innovation Ignites IoT Creativity


The unrelenting drive to add more sensor-based features at a lower cost in smartphones has opened up opportunities for companies large and small to create innovative IoT edge products. With close to 15 billion MEMS-based sensors shipped in 2015 (expanding to 30 billion by 2020) at an average selling price of $1 (Yole Développement “Status of the MEMS Industry report for 2015”), many design... » read more

TSMC OIP, Vertical Integration And The Power of Ecosystems


After several attempts I’ve made it – my presentation at the TSMC OIP Ecosystem Forum was accepted this year. You may ask, what does a front-end guy like me do at a technology implementation forum like TSMC OIP? And why is he excited about it? The short answer is that it brings back my past. I am excited about how the front-end flows and implementation flows get connected in a closer way. I... » read more

IP Business Models In Flux


EDA and IP suppliers are engaging with foundries earlier with each manufacturing process node, while those foundries are providing ever more optimized and tuned processes to their customers. As part of this, IP providers must port their IP offerings to the various foundries and processes, putting a squeeze on resources. That raises some difficult questions, such as how to prioritize their li... » read more

China’s Impact On The Semiconductor Market


China’s impact on the semiconductor market is unmistakable. The question so many industry watchers wonder: Is it the new center of the semiconductor universe? Some statistics may help determine the answer. China topped the list of five worldwide exporters in 2014, with the European Union coming in second. The U.S. finished third, followed by Germany and, in fifth place, Japan. (See Fig. 1... » read more

The Challenge Of Fitting In


Connections between players in the semiconductor industry are becoming critical for survival. Whether the focus is a connected car, home automation, health care or the energy grid, each company in each of those markets relies on others to build useful products. There are several forces at work here. One is an emphasis on connecting everything, regardless of whether it is inside a single vert... » read more

Ecosystem Vs. Ecosystem


The massive consolidation that has been underway over the past couple years is about to slow down. Interest rates are expected to increase in the very near future—the Fed has been dropping hints about this for months—ending the era of cheap capital. The cost of borrowing already is creeping up in anticipation of this, and it's happening globally because money lending is a global industry. ... » read more

Who’s Calling The Shots


Throughout the PC era and well into the mobile phone market, it was semiconductor companies that called the shots while OEMs followed their lead and designed systems around chips. That’s no longer the case. A shift has been underway over the past half decade, and continuing even now, to reverse that trend. The OEM — or systems company as it is more commonly called today — now determine... » read more

The Power Problem


For the past few years, EDA companies have been warning chipmakers that power will become the biggest issue they face at future nodes. They were right. While it may not be the only big problem—after all, the number of issues at each new tick of Moore’s Law is growing—power is certainly one of the most challenging and by far the most pervasive. In fact, the warnings about just how perni... » read more

The Next Frontiers


One of the interesting things about technology is that, at least from the outside, it’s hard to tell what’s actually changing. That’s not true on the inside, of course, where radical shifts are under way. The next big push in smart phones will be much greater intelligence. In the iPhone, Siri was just the tip of the iceberg. Future versions are likely to be much more interesting. Add ... » read more

Customer Perspective: STMicroelectronics


By Ed Sperling Philippe Magarshack, group vice president for technology R&D at STMicroelectronics, sat down with Low-Power Engineering to talk about some of the fundamental changes ahead in how SoCs are designed, built, how they perform and what steps can be taken to speed time to market. LPE: What do you see as the biggest changes ahead? Magarshack: One is the sheer size of the ecosy... » read more

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