Transferring Skills Getting Harder


Rising complexity in developing chips at advanced nodes, and an almost perpetual barrage of new engineering challenges at each new node, are making it more difficult for everyone involved to maintain consistent skill levels across a growing number of interrelated technologies. The result is that engineers are being forced to specialize, but when they work with other engineers with different ... » read more

Performance Increasingly Tied To I/O


Speeding up input and output is becoming a cornerstone for improving performance and lowering power in SoCs and ASICs, particularly as scaling processors and adding more cores produce diminishing returns. While processors of all types continue to improve, the rate of improvement is slowing at each new node. Obtaining the expected 30% to 50% boost in performance and lower power no longer can ... » read more

What Can Go Wrong In Automotive


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss automotive engineering with Jinesh Jain, supervisor for advanced architectures in Ford’s Research and Innovation Center in Palo Alto; Raed Shatara, market development for automotive infotainment at [getentity id="22331" comment="STMicroelectronics"]; Joe Hupcey, verification product technologist at [getentity id="22017" e_name="Mentor Graphics"]; ... » read more

Smart Manufacturing Gains Momentum


Smart manufacturing is gaining traction as a way of addressing increased market fragmentation while still leveraging economies of scale. The goal is to add a level of flexibility into manufacturing processes that until recently was considered impossible. Although the approach makes sense in theory, real-world implementation is proving far from consistent. Sometimes referred to as Industr... » read more

CEO Outlook: Chip Design 2017


After two consecutive flat to slightly down years, the semiconductor industry is poised for growth in 2017. Cowan this month predicted 4.7% growth in semiconductor sales in 2017, while World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) put that figure at 3.3%. And last month, International Business Strategies (IBS) pegged the number at 4.6%, according to statistics compiled by the Global Semiconduc... » read more

All I Want For Christmas…


As I write this, we’re heading into the 2016 holiday season. December 21 is also the shortest day of the year, so I better get right to the point. 2016 has been a year of many surprises. The spectacular consolidation in the semiconductor industry has permanently altered the landscape.  It has created new, world-class capability and left a few gaps as well. 2.5D designs are finally moving ... » read more

What’s Missing In Advanced Packaging


Even though Moore's Law is running out of steam, there is still a need to increase functional density. Increasingly, this is being done with heterogeneous integration at the package or module level. This is proving harder than it looks. At this point there are no standardized methodologies, and tools often are retrofitted versions of existing tools that don't take into account the challenges... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


IP eSilicon launched 14nm FinFET and 28nm planar HBM Gen2 Hardened PHY. It supports up to 256Gbytes/sec bandwidth with 8x128b channels at 2Gbps per I/O, and the integrated I/O supports up to 2Gbps DDR operation across a 4mm interposer channel. The PHY was developed on Samsung 14LPP and TSMC 28HPC technologies. Flex Logix designed a high-performance embedded FPGA IP core for TSMC 16FF+ and... » read more

Timing Closure Issues Resurface


Timing closure has resurfaced as a major challenge at 10nm and 7nm due to more features and power modes, increased process variation and other manufacturing-related issues. While timing-related problems are roughly correlated to rising complexity in semiconductors, they tend to generate problems in waves—about once per decade. In SoCs, timing closure problems have spawned entire methodolog... » read more

New Wave Of Consolidation


Consolidation is picking up again across the semiconductor industry, against a backdrop of looming interest rate hikes, geopolitical uncertainty, and the erosion of longstanding demarcations between markets. In the past couple of weeks, Siemens signed a deal to buy [getentity id="22017" e_name="Mentor Graphics"] for $4 billion, and [getentity id="22865" e_name="Samsung"] purchased Harman, a ... » read more

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