Reworking Established Nodes


New technology markets and a flattening in smartphone growth has sparked a resurgence in older technology processes. For many of these up-and-coming applications, there is no compelling reason to migrate to the latest process node, and equipment companies and fabs are rushing to fill the void. As with all electronic devices, the focus is on cost-cutting. But because these markets are likely ... » read more

Moore’s Law: Toward SW-Defined Hardware


Pushing to the next process node will continue to be a primary driver for some chips—CPUs, FPGAs and some ASICS—but for many applications that approach is becoming less relevant as a metric for progress. Behind this change is a transition from using customized software with generic hardware, to a mix of specialized, heterogeneous hardware that can achieve better performance with less ene... » read more

System Bits: March 21


Sensors vulnerable to sonic cyber attacks According to University of Michigan researchers, sound waves could be used to hack into critical sensors in a wide range of technologies including smartphones, automobiles, medical devices and IoT devices. New research calls into question the longstanding computer science tenet that software can automatically trust hardware sensors, which feed auton... » read more

System Bits: Feb. 7


Large scale quantum computer blueprint An international team comprised of researchers from the University of Sussex, Google, Aarhus University, RIKEN, and Siegen University recently unveiled what they say is the first practical blueprint for how to build a quantum computer. The team asserted that once built, the computer would have the potential to answer many questions in science; create n... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Jan. 3


3D printed military drones The U.S. Army Research Laboratory has begun testing 3D printed drones for use in on-demand military missions. The technology, called the On-Demand Small Unmanned Aircraft System (ODSUAS), enables a soldier to input the mission requirements in software. Then, a 3D printer devises the optimal configuration for an unmanned aerial vehicle. And it’s printed and deliv... » read more

System Bits: Nov. 1


There is a lurking malice in cloud hosting services A team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Indiana University Bloomington, and the University of California Santa Barbara has found — as part of a study of 20 major cloud hosting services — that as many as 10 percent of the repositories hosted by them had been compromised, with several hundred of the ‘buckets’ act... » read more

System Bits: Aug. 23


Monitor side-channel signals for IoT device security Thanks to a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) grant, Georgia Tech researchers are working to develop a new technique for wirelessly monitoring IoT devices for malicious software – without affecting the operation of the ubiquitous, and low-power equipment. The team said the technique will rely on receiving and analyzing s... » read more

Speeding Up The Design Process


A rush to plant a stake in new markets, coupled with uncertainty about how to generate a reasonable return on investment in those markets, is ratcheting up pressure on chipmakers. They now must come up with more customized solutions in less time, frequently in smaller volumes, and with the ability to modify them in shorter time spans if market opportunities shift in unexpected ways. This aff... » read more

System Bits: July 12


Simplifying sensor network interactions Given that the IoT consists of millions of sensing devices in buildings, vehicles and elsewhere that deliver reams of data online, and involves so many different kinds of data, sources and communication modes that its myriad information streams can be onerous to acquire and process, scientists at Georgia Tech Research Institute have developed a flexible,... » read more

Interconnect Challenges Rising


Chipmakers are ramping up their 14nm finFET processes, with 10nm and 7nm slated to ship possibly later this year or next. At 10nm and beyond, IC vendors are determined to scale the two main parts of the [getkc id="185" kc_name="finFET"] structure—the transistor and interconnects. Generally, transistor scaling will remain challenging at advanced nodes. And on top of that, the interconnects ... » read more

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