Choosing Power-Saving Techniques


Engineers have come up with a long list of ways to save power in chip and system designs, but there are few rules to determine which approaches work best for any given design. There is widespread confusion about what techniques should be used where, which IP or subsystem is best, and how everything should be packaged together. The choices include everything from the proper level of clock and... » read more

Foundries See Mixed Future


Amid a tumultuous business environment, the silicon foundry industry is projected to see steady growth in a number of process segments in 2017. As in past years, the foundry market is expected to grow faster than the overall IC industry in 2017. But at the same time, the IC industry—the foundry customer base—continues to witness a frenetic wave of merger and acquisition activity. Basical... » read more

Tech Talk: FD-SOI vs. FinFET


Jamie Schaeffer, 22FDX program director at GlobalFoundries, talks about the future of FD-SOI, what the tradeoffs are in performance, power and cost compared with finFETs, how many mask layers and patterning steps are required for each, and when 12nm FD-SOI will be introduced. Related Stories To 7nm And Beyond GlobalFoundries’ top technologists open up on next-gen FD-SOI, the economi... » 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

Optimizing Multiple IoT Layers


As the number of connected devices rises, so do questions about how to optimize them for target markets, how to ensure they play nicely together, and how to bring them to market quickly and inexpensively. [getkc id="76" kc_name="IoT"] is broad term that encompasses a lot of disparate pieces for devices, systems, and connected systems. At the highest levels are hardware and software, but with... » read more

Tech Talk: Embedded Memories


Dave Eggleston, vice president of embedded memory at GlobalFoundries, talks about the pros and cons of new types of embedded memory, including which work best for certain applications and with various advanced packaging options. [youtube vid=7D9zoA9FFIw] » read more

To 10nm And Beyond


Hong Hao, senior vice president of the foundry business at Samsung Semiconductor, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss the future direction of transistors, process technology, lithography and other topics. What follows are excerpts of those conversations. SE: Samsung recently rolled out its 10nm finFET technology. It appears that Samsung is the world’s first company to ship 1... » read more

Will There Be Enough Silicon Wafers?


The silicon wafer industry, a critical part of the IC supply chain, is undergoing a new and perhaps alarming wave of merger and acquisition activity. While consolidation in this sector is not new, the pace of M&A activity is picking up and there are fewer companies left. Silicon wafer makers produce and sell raw silicon wafers to chipmakers, which process them into chips. But despite con... » read more

Sorting Out Next-Gen Memory


In the data center and related environments, high-end systems are struggling to keep pace with the growing demands in data processing. There are several bottlenecks in these systems, but one segment that continues to receive an inordinate amount of attention, if not part of the blame, is the memory and storage hierarchy. [getkc id="92" kc_name="SRAM"], the first tier of this hierarchy, is... » read more

7nm Market Heats Up


The 7nm finFET market is heating up in the foundry business amid the ongoing push to develop chips at advanced nodes. Not long ago, TSMC announced plans to enter the 7nm finFET market. In addition, Intel and Samsung are also separately planning to enter the 7nm finFET race. Now, GlobalFoundries is formally announcing its 7nm finFET technology. Slated for 2018, GlobalFoundries’ 7nm fin... » read more

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