Designing Hardware For Security


By Ed Sperling and Kevin Fogarty Cyber criminals are beginning to target weaknesses in hardware to take control of devices, rather than using the hardware as a stepping stone to access to the software. This shift underscores a significant increase in the sophistication of the attackers, as evidenced by the discovery of Spectre and Meltdown by Google Project Zero in 2017 (made public in Ja... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


M&A The ESD Alliance is merging with SEMI, becoming a SEMI Strategic Association Partner. SE Editor In Chief Ed Sperling argues that the merger has broad implications for the chip industry, particularly as smaller nodes require greater collaboration between design and manufacturing. Meanwhile, SEMI president and CEO Ajit Manocha explains why the combining will be of benefit to members of b... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


M&A Synopsys acquired Silicon and Beyond, a provider of high-speed SerDes and ADC/DAC IP. The company was founded in 2012 as SilabTech and headquartered in Bangalore. Synopsys highlighted the team of R&D engineers with high-speed SerDes expertise that would be joining with the acquisition. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. ANSYS will acquire OPTIS, a provider of software for sci... » read more

The Week in Review: IoT


Cybersecurity The United Kingdom government issued a policy report, Secure by Design, calling on Internet of Things device manufacturers to eliminate default passwords, to provide greater transparency in vulnerability disclosure, and to secure credential storage. The report urges shifting cybersecurity responsibility to IoT device vendors, rather than end-users, and protecting the privacy righ... » read more

How The Brain Saves Energy By Doing Less


One of the arguments for neuromorphic computing is the efficiency of the human brain relative to conventional computers. By looking at how the brain works, this argument contends, we can design systems that accomplish more with less power. However, as Mireille Conrad and others at the University of Geneva pointed out in work presented at December's IEEE Electron Device Meeting, the brain... » read more

Driving By Ethernet


The race to add more sophisticated and safety-critical electronics into cars is forcing carmakers to revisit the communications systems within increasingly electrified and connected vehicles. Until very recently, communication between components within a vehicle was simplistic, and communication between vehicles was non-existent. All of that is changing quickly. Rapid and secure communicatio... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Market research The SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) opened with the theme “Smart, Intuitive & Connected: Semiconductor Devices Transforming the World.” Click here for some of the highlights at ISS. Here are more highlights from ISS. Korea is on a spending spree for fab tools. In total, Samsung and SK Hynix are forecast to invest over $20 billion in fab tools worldwide in 2018, ... » read more

Reflection On 2017: Design And EDA


People love to make predictions, and most of the time they have it easy, but at Semiconductor Engineering, we ask them to look back on the predictions they make each year and to assess how close to the mark they were. We see what they missed and what surprised them. Not everyone accepts our offer to grade themselves, but most have this year. (Part one looked at the predictions associated with s... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 12


3D diodes At the recent IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco, the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) presented a paper on what they call the world’s first back-illuminated 3D-stacked, single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) in 45nm CMOS technology. A SPAD is one type of a photodetector. These... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tools and test Four former employees at Applied Materials were charged by the U.S. for allegedly trying to steal the company’s own fab tool technology designs, according to a report from Bloomberg and others. The former employees were allegedly trying to sell the technology to a Chinese startup that would compete against Applied, according to the report. The former employees--Liang C... » read more

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