The Week In Review: Design

M&A Mentor Graphics acquired Galaxy Semiconductor, a provider of test data analysis and defect reduction software ranging from initial characterization of sample devices to automated yield management of large-scale production. The Galway, Ireland company was founded in 1998. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. IP Imagination rolled out a new heterogeneous MIPS CPU with many core/... » read more

In An Election Year: OTP For IoT

Borrowing from this year’s hottest topic –– the Presidential Election –– let’s nominate one-time programmable (OTP) embedded memory for the Internet of Things (IoT). It’s sure to be the winner for any number of reasons, but most likely it is because of its built-in security features. As a memory-on-chip technology, antifuse OTP is paving the way for IoT designers to come up with n... » read more

Reduced Memory Power For Internet of Things Applications

Memory has historically been a very stable technology, whether volatile or non-volatile. Incremental change happens constantly to improve performance, but it’s unusual for a major change to take place. The non-volatile one-time-programmable memory approach that Kilopass uses has been in place for thirteen years with no major changes. Now, however, Kilopass is readying a new memory array for t... » read more

Focus Shifts To Architectures

Chipmakers increasingly are relying on architectural and micro-architectural changes as the best hope for improving power and performance across a spectrum of markets, process nodes and price points. While discussion about the death of [getkc id="74" comment="Moore's Law"] predates the 1-micron process node, there is no question that it is getting harder for even the largest chipmakers to st... » read more

Lessons From The Cold War

With the ongoing threats to our electronic devices, it is obvious that security needs to be improved in the application and communication chips on the mobile platform. The ideal solution would be as secure as the celebrated red phone on the U.S. president’s desk in the Oval Office during the Cold War. The implementation of the red phone is actually much more complicated than red-colored ha... » read more

Is Security A Priority?

Ask any two executives in the semiconductor industry about security threats and there is a good chance you will get two totally different answers. The disturbing part is they both may be right. In markets where there is no physical danger to people, security always has been viewed a risk versus profit equation. At conferences over the past year, numerous executives have touted the Transport... » read more

The Higher Cost Of Automotive

A revolution is occurring under the hoods of vehicles today, as the automotive industry continues to add sophistication via electronics to vehicles at a pace never seen before. But because of the automotive ecosystem’s tiered structure, system companies, IP and embedded software developers and tools vendors must invest more just to participate. Robert Bates, chief safety officer in [getent... » read more

The Growing Need For OTP

Historically, when someone from our industry uses the acronym OTP, or one-time programmable, they think of eFuse, invented by IBM in 2004.  Using electromigration, IBM was able to program a fuse without damaging other parts of the chip. In this way, fuses could dynamically alter the configuration of a chip after it was manufactured. Applications range from analog trimming and calibration to re... » read more

OTP Memory For Mobile Payment Applications

The trend toward mobile banking and payments as a way to replace debit or credit cards, or integrate a part of their functions into a mobile device, is moving faster than most industry analysts predicted. In China, for example, mobile payment systems Alipay and WeChat pay are popular and well used, and a great way for easy account monitoring and ditching the wallet. It is a fundamental change t... » read more

Rethinking The Sensor

Sensor technology is beginning to change on a fundamental level as companies begin looking beyond a human’s five senses, on which early sensors were modeled, to what can be done with those sensors for specific applications. In some cases, [getkc id="187" kc_name="sensors"] don’t have to be as accurate as the sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing of a person. In others, they can be a... » read more

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