The Week In Review: Design


M&A ARM made two acquisitions to add the new NarrowBand-IoT (NB-IoT) low power wide area connectivity standard to its designs: Mistbase, founded in 2015 in Sweden, provides a complete NB-IoT physical layer implementation solution, while London-based NextG-Com, founded in 2008, offers a complete layer two and three software stack for NB-IoT. Tools Synopsys released the latest versio... » read more

AI Storm Brewing


AI is coming. Now what? The answer isn't clear, because after decades of research and development, AI is finally starting to become a force to reckon with. The proof is in the M&A activity underway right now. Big companies are willing to pay huge sums to get out in front of this shift. Here is a list of just some of the AI acquisitions announced or completed over the past few years: ... » read more

Custom Hardware Thriving


In the early days of the IoT, predictions about the commoditization of hardware and the end of customized hardware were everywhere. Several years later, those predictions are being proven wrong. Off-the-shelf components have not replaced customized hardware, and software has not dictated all designs. In fact, in many cases the exact opposite has happened. And where software does play an elev... » read more

Advanced ASICs Are A Team Sport


The recent Super Bowl proved that a team with conviction and focus can do anything. This notion comes in handy when you think about the nearly impossible job of designing and manufacturing an advanced ASIC – in finFET technologies, with an interposer, multiple die, and never-before-proven throughput rates. For these kind of advanced technologies, it does take a village. What works is open, tr... » read more

What Does AI Really Mean?


Seth Neiman, chairman of eSilicon, founder of Brocade Communications, and a board member and investor in a number of startups, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about advances in AI, what's changing, and how it ultimately could change our lives. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: How far has AI progressed? Neiman: We’ve been working with AI since the mid 1... » read more

Chip-Package-Board Issues Grow


As systems migrate from a single die in a single package on a board, to multiple dies with multiple packaging options and multiple PCB form factors, it is becoming critical to move system planning, assembly, and optimization much earlier in the design-through-manufacturing flow. This is easier said than done. Multiple tools and operating systems are now used at each phase of the flow, partic... » read more

Software Modeling Goes Mainstream


Software modeling is finally beginning to catch on across a wide swath of chipmakers as they look beyond device scaling to improve performance, lower power, and ratchet up security. Software modeling in the semiconductor industry historically has been associated with hardware-software co-design, which has grown in fits and starts since the late 1990s. The largest chipmakers and systems compa... » read more

Rush Hour On The Technology Roadmap


Starting this week, the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) will commence at the Marriott in downtown San Francisco. This prestigious conference showcases the latest semiconductor innovations from around the world. Looking at the advance program, one can’t help but notice a shift in the work presented. The conference theme this year is: “Intelligent Chips for a Smart World... » 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

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

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