The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers The finFET market is heating up. GlobalFoundries, Intel, Samsung and TSMC are ramping 16nm/14nm finFETs. And 10nm and 7nm finFETs are in the works. The market will shortly have a new competitor—Taiwan’s United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC). Some years ago, UMC licensed finFET technology from IBM. UMC has been a bit quiet about the 14nm finFET technology, but it has made si... » read more

Will Open-Source Work For Chips?


Open source is getting a second look by the semiconductor industry, driven by the high cost of design at complex nodes along with fragmentation in end markets, which increasingly means that one size or approach no longer fits all. The open source movement, as we know it today, started in the 1980s with the launch of the GNU project, which was about the time the electronic design automation (... » read more

Decoding The Brain


At the Design Automation Conference this year, Lou Scheffer, principal scientist for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, gave a visionary talk entitled Learning from Life: Biologically Inspired Electronic Design. Scheffer is an IC design guy who came through Stanford and Caltech and worked for HP and [getentity id="22032" e_name="Cadence"] before switching to the medical field eight years a... » read more

Neuromorphic Chip Biz Heats Up


It’s no secret that today’s computers are struggling to keep up with the enormous demands of data processing and bandwidth, and the whole electronics industry is searching for new ways to enable that. The traditional approach is to continue to push the limits of today’s systems and chips. Another way is to go down the non-traditional route, including an old idea that is generating stea... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


In 2015, Korea outspent all other countries ($9 billion) on front-end semiconductor fab equipment, according to SEMI. But Korea is expected to drop to second place in 2016, as Taiwan takes over with the largest CapEx spending at $8.3 billion, according to SEMI. In 2015, Americas ranked third in overall regional CapEx spending with about $5.6 billion and is forecast to increase only slightly to ... » read more

Laws Don’t Apply Anymore


One of the nifty things about technology is that it's always new and always being refreshed. That creates problems, though. The speed with which technology is overhauled or changed out is so much faster than the social and legal infrastructure built to support and protect the people buying it, that the two worlds are now years, if not decades, out of sync. The first whiff of this came in 198... » read more

Ideal Memory IP For IoT Applications


The endless possibilities for IoT applications are driving a new wave of imaginative thinking, and for good reason. Recent surveys estimate the number of IoT devices by 2020 will be in the 50 billion units range. The numbers are far too high to ignore and, hence, we have entered a new era of imaginative and creative thinking! To put this in perspective, IoT applications are growing many time... » read more

New Metrics For The Cloud


Data centers are beginning to adjust their definition of what makes one server better than another. Rather than comparing benchmarked performance of general-purpose servers, they are adding a new level of granularity based upon what kind of chips work best for certain operations or applications. Those decisions increasingly include everything from the level of redundancy in compute operations, ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 28


Molecular chips Researchers from various organizations have devised a transistor consisting of a single molecule and a few atoms. The work could one day lead to the integration of molecular-based devices with existing semiconductor technologies. This work was conducted by Paul-Drude-Institut für Festkörperelektronik (PDI), Freie Universität Berlin (FUB), NTT and the U.S. Naval Research L... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


An alliance led by IBM Research has produced the semiconductor industry’s first 7nm test chips with functioning transistors. The breakthrough, accomplished in partnership with GlobalFoundries and Samsung at SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, could result in the ability to place more than 20 billion tiny switches, or transistors, on a chip. There i... » read more

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