Architecture, Materials And Software


AI, machine learning and autonomous vehicles will require massive improvements in performance, at the same power consumption level (or better), over today's chips. But it's obvious that the usual approach of shrinking features to improve power/performance isn't going to be sufficient. Scaling will certainly help, particularly on the logic side. More transistors are needed to process a huge i... » read more

How AI Impacts Memory Systems


Throughout the 1980’s and early 1990’s computer systems were bottlenecked by relatively slow CPU performance, thereby limiting what applications could do. Driven by Moore’s Law, transistor counts increased significantly over the years, improving system performance and enabling exciting new computing possibilities. Although computing capabilities have advanced significantly in recen... » read more

Toward High-End Fan-Outs


Foundries and OSATs are working on more advanced fan-outs, including some with vertically stacked die inside the package, filling a middle ground between lower-cost fan-outs and systems in package on one side and 2.5D and 3D-ICs on the other. These new [getkc id="202" kc_name="fan-outs"] have denser interconnects than previous iterations, and in some cases they include multiple routing layer... » read more

Deconstructing Deep Learning


I discuss AI and deep learning a lot these days. The discussion usually comes back to “what is a deep learning chip?” These devices are basically hardware implementations of neural networks. While neural nets have been around for a while, what’s new is the performance advanced semiconductor technology brings to the party. Applications that function in real time are now possible. But wh... » read more

Deep Learning Spreads


Deep learning is gaining traction across a broad swath of applications, providing more nuanced and complex behavior than machine learning offers today. Those attributes are particularly important for safety-critical devices, such as assisted or autonomous vehicles, as well as for natural language processing where a machine can recognize the intent of words based upon the context of a convers... » read more

eSilicon Builds ASIC Business On Leading-Edge Chip Design


This paper explores how advanced application specific integrated circuits (ASIC) chip design and manufacturing for leading-edge applications such as networking and artificial intelligence can be successfully outsourced. The company we profile is eSilicon, which has capabilities in 2.5D packaging, high-bandwidth memories (HBM), and silicon IP for fast memories and SerDes designs. The company ha... » read more

Data Buffering’s Role Grows


Data buffering is gaining ground as a way to speed up the processing of increasingly large quantities of data. In simple terms, a data buffer is an area of physical [getkc id="22" kc_name="memory"] storage that temporarily stores data while it is being moved from one place to another. This becomes increasingly necessary in data centers, autonomous vehicles, and for [getkc id="305" kc_name=... » read more

Blog Review: Jan. 10


Rambus' Aharon Etengoff explains the Meltdown and Spectre CPU vulnerabilities and why they could negatively affect the semiconductor industry for decades. Cadence's Paul McLellan has an explainer on Meltdown and how it's an unintended consequence of a processor behaving as intended. Mentor's Ruben Ghulghazaryan and Jeff Wilson investigate using machine learning to predict post-deposition ... » read more

Advanced ASICs: It Takes An Ecosystem


I remember the days of the IDM (integrated device manufacturer). For me, it was RCA, where I worked for 15 years as the company changed from RCA to GE and then ultimately to Harris Semiconductor. It’s a bit of a cliché, but life was simpler then, from a customer point of view at least. RCA did it all. We designed all the IP, did the physical design, owned fabs, assembly and test facilities a... » read more

New Drivers For I/O


Interface standards are on a tear, and new markets are pushing the standards in several directions at the same time. The result could be a lot more innovation and some updates in areas that looked to be well established. Traditionally, this has been a sleepy and predictable part of the industry with standards bodies producing updates to their interfaces at a reasonable rate. Getting data int... » read more

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