Power Optimization Strategies Widen


An increasing amount of electronic content in new and existing markets is creating different and sometimes competing demands for power optimization. For the past decade, EDA has been driven by the mobile phone industry, where the emphasis is on better power analysis and optimization tools to reduce power consumption and extend battery life. While energy efficiency continues to improve, other... » read more

The Great Chip Shakeup


Facebook, Alibaba, Google, Apple and Samsung are all designing their own chips. So are Cisco and Huawei. So what exactly does this mean for big chipmakers and the semiconductor ecosystem? While your first impulse might be to draw a straight line between Qualcomm's decision to cut 1,500 jobs and reports about giant systems companies developing chips in-house, it's not clear there is any corre... » read more

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

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