The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tools and test VLSI Research released its annual "Customer Satisfaction Survey" and listed "THE BEST Suppliers" of 2018. VLSI Research received feedback from more than 94% of the chip market and 76% of subsystems customers for this year’s survey. Who are the winners? Applied Materials reported its second quarter results, along with its business outlook. Compared to the second quarter ... » read more

The Power Of De-Integration


The idea that more functionality can be added into a single chip, or even into a single system, is falling out of vogue. For an increasing number of applications, it's no longer considered the best option for boosting performance or lowering power, and it costs too much. Hooman Moshar, vice president of engineering at Broadcom, said in a keynote speech at Mentor's User2User conference this w... » read more

What’s Missing In EUV?


Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is expected to move into production at 7nm and/or 5nm, but as previously reported, there are some gaps in the arena. At one time, the power source was the big problem, but that appears to be solved in the near term. Now, a phenomenon called stochastic effects, or random variations, are the biggest challenge for EUV lithography. But at most events, th... » read more

New Deep Learning Processors, Embedded FPGA Technologies, SoC Design Solutions


Some of the most valuable events at DAC are the IP Track sessions, which give small and midsize companies a chance to share innovations that might not get much attention elsewhere. The use of IP in SoCs has exploded in recent years. In a panel at DAC 2017, an industry expert noted that the IP market clearly was growing even faster than EDA itself, due to the fact that more and more chip mak... » read more

OSAT Consolidation Continues


Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) and Siliconware Precision Industries Ltd. (SPIL) are beginning the process of uniting the two companies, which are among the largest outsourced semiconductor assembly and testing contractors in the world. For now, the companies will continue to operate separately, while their shares are traded under the ASX symbol on the New York Stock Exchange. ASE I... » read more

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

Manufacturing Bits: May 8


Electrolyte transistors Delft University of Technology, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and NTT have developed a nanotransistor technology that will make it easier to measure the concentration of different electrolytes in the body. Electrolytes involve nutrients and chemicals in the body. They perform important functions and a disruption of the electrolyte balance is... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 8


Cobalt-free cathodes Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, built lithium-ion battery cathodes without cobalt that can store 50% more energy than traditional cobalt-containing cathodes. Currently, lithium-ion battery cathodes use layered structures, which cobalt is necessary to maintain. When lithium ions move from the cathode to anode during charging, a lot of space is left... » read more

The Case For Chiplets


Discussion about chiplets is growing as the cost of developing chips at 10/7nm and beyond passes well beyond the capabilities of many chipmakers. Estimates for developing 5nm chips (the equivalent 3nm for TSMC and Samsung) are well into the hundreds of millions of dollars just for the NRE costs alone. Masks costs will be in the double-digit millions of dollars even with EUV. And that's assum... » read more

Software-Defined Test And Measurement


Software-defined radios, instrumentation and test are ramping up alongside a flood of new technologies related to assisted and autonomous vehicles, 5G, and military/aerospace electronics, breathing new life and significant change into the test and measurement market. Software-defined test adds flexibility in markets where the products and protocols are evolving or still being defined, and wh... » read more

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