The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Chipmakers AMD has entered into a long-term amendment to its wafer supply agreement (WSA) with GlobalFoundries for the period from Jan. 1, 2016 to Dec. 31, 2020. Today, GlobalFoundries’ Fab 8 in Malta, N.Y. is playing a big role in providing leading-edge foundry capacity for AMD's graphics and processor products. As part of the amended deal, AMD will grant to West Coast Hitech, a subsidia... » read more


The leading edge of the chip market increasingly is divided over whether to move to finFETs or whether to stay at 28nm using different materials and potentially even advanced packaging. Decisions about which approach to take frequently boil down to performance, power, form factor, cost, and the maturity of the individual technologies. All of those can vary by market, by vendor and by process... » read more

Foundries Expand Their Scope

By Ed Sperling & Mark LaPedus Major foundries are stepping up their offerings across a wide swath of technology nodes, specialty processes and advanced packaging—a recognition that end markets are fragmenting and that the path forward includes a mix of new and established processes. As the smart phone market flattens, there is no single "next big thing" to drive volume at the most ... » read more

Custom Versus Platform Design

The increase in [getkc id="81" kc_name="SoC"] complexity is being mirrored by a rise in complexity within the markets that drive demand for those chips. The upshot is that a push toward greater connectivity, lower power and better performance—and all for a minimal cost—has turned the pros and cons for custom design vs. platforms and superchips into a murky decision-making process. For t... » read more

The Week In Review: Design

IP Cadence rolled out a portfolio of stacked die memory verification IP to support Wide I/O-2, Hybrid Memory Cube, high-bandwidth memory, and DDR4-3DS. Included are direct memory access for read, write, save, preload and comparison of memory contents, assertions, error configurability, and a built-in address manager. ARM rolled out additions to its enterprise-class SoC interconnects for qua... » read more

The Week In Review: Design

Tools Mentor Graphics announced its Enterprise Verification Platform (EVP) that pulls together the company’s Questa verification technologies with Veloce OS3 global emulation resourcing technology, and the Visualizer debug technology into what it says is a globally accessible, high-performance datacenter resource. The system is aimed at global resource management and supports project teams a... » read more

The Week In Review: July 15

By Mark LaPedus There are more problems surfacing with extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. Yes, the light source remains a problem, but the resists appear to be in decent shape. “The next challenge is the mask blank,” said Stefan Wurm, director of Sematech’s lithography program. The new problem involves ion beam deposition, which apparently is causing defects and overfill on EUV masks... » read more

Who Owns What And Why

Who’s calling the shots these days—and how long they’ll continue calling the shots—is turning out to be as much conjecture as playing the futures exchange. There are so many changes underway that even engineers are crossing boundaries no one ever expected and ending up in companies outside of IC design or moving from seemingly far afield into the design world. Still, there are some c... » read more

Who’s In Control?

By Ed Sperling A power shift is under way across the SoC world that ultimately determine who wins the business, who gets the biggest share and what technologies are ultimately used to get there. Complexity has reached a point where being able to pull the necessary pieces from a disaggregated supply chain is becoming much more difficult. That helps explain why all three of the major EDA comp... » read more

The Quest For A Better IP Integration Methodology

By Ed Sperling With the amount of IP in SoC designs now hitting an estimated 70% to 90%, companies are scrambling to figure out a way to more consistently integrate that IP and to test that it will work as expected. This is easier said than done, however, for a number of reasons: There are numerous types of IP, ranging from I/O to logic and memory. Not all IP is of equal quality. ... » read more

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