The Future Of MEMS Sensor Design And Manufacturing


I recently gave an invited talk at the IEEE Inertial Sensors 2016 symposium that discussed the future of commodity MEMS inertial sensor design and manufacturing. Inertial sensors comprise one of the fastest growing and most successful segments of the MEMS market. There are three industry trends that I believe will have major implications for motion sensor design and manufacturing and, more g... » read more

Apple Vs. FBI, Take Two


Well, it is now old news that the FBI has found a way to retrieve data from the iPhone of deceased terrorist Syed Farook without the cooperation of Apple. It's not surprising that the FBI succeeded here. All security can be breached. It's just a question of how much effort people are willing to expend for a given result, and what the repercussions are if you get caught. In this case, there w... » read more

After Smartphones…Less?


As the rate of growth for smartphone sales slow, questions arise regarding the impact that slower growth will have throughout the semiconductor supply chain. Over the past decade, the 1 billion-plus smartphone market has driven the need for more advanced manufacturing process technologies, new input materials and the need for more fab capacity. It has even legitimized new players into the suppl... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


KKR, an investment firm, announced that it is leading a $42 million growth equity investment in Optimal+, a provider of manufacturing intelligence software solutions for adaptive IC test applications. In case you missed it, Apple rolled out its latest iPhones and other products. The latest iPhone 6 is using chips based on finFETs, according to AnandTech, a hi-tech site. Samsung is the main... » read more

Is My iPhone Hurting The Earth?


Of course we all know that power is the number one consideration in SoC design today but despite the fact that it is so well accepted and felt acutely by design and verification teams, we are still missing the boat as far as the bigger picture. From the perspective of a wanna-be treehugger, I think we fall short in realizing the grand impact of all this focus on power savings. The very a... » read more

The Denial Phase Is Over


For the last seven years—roughly since Apple first introduced the iPhone—the focus on power has become very real. In the past few years, that focus has shifted from power—how energy is used over time—to energy efficiency. This is more than just hair-splitting. It represents a fundamental and strategic shift for how SoCs and processors are architected, implemented and manufactured. ... » read more

Big Changes Rock Global Smartphone Market


BANGKOK — One of the many draws for Western travelers here in Thailand and throughout much of Asia, including China, is the availability of cheap consumer electronics. Unfortunately many of these electronic goods — little-known off-brands mimicking better-known counterparts, or white-label devices being passed off as name-brand products to unsuspecting consumers — typically are technologi... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing & Design


Intel is getting serious about the foundry business.  “Intel CEO Brian Krzanich is making some waves. This is not because Intel is becoming more market driven, but that Intel will open its foundry to ‘any’ company able to utilize the company's leading-edge technology. It’s very refreshing to see Intel make this move and could have important implications for the industry. Based on Intel... » read more

New Foundry Gold Rush: RF SOI


By Mark LaPedus About every five years or so, a new and hot market emerges in the specialty foundry business that resembles a frenetic gold rush. The last big gold rush occurred around 2008, when more than a dozen foundries jumped into the bipolar-CMOS-DMOS (BCD) market to capitalize on the booming power-management sector. Now, the next gold rush is centering on an emerging technology—th... » read more

Does My Phone Dream?


By Cary Chin Starting with my commentary on the Tesla Model S last month (poor standby time before software update), I was thinking about how common a problem standby power is these days. Nearly all of our recently introduced smartphones have had similar problems (iPhone 5, Nexus 4, Galaxy S4, Lumia 900) running on virtually all operating systems (iOS 6.x, Android 4.2.x, Windows Phone 8). All ... » read more

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