Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 6


The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (MagLab) has broken an unofficial record for the world’s most powerful hybrid magnet. The 33-ton system, called the series connected hybrid (SCH) magnet, has reached its full field strength of 36 tesla. The SCH is more than 40% stronger than the previous world-record hybrid magnet. Tesla, or T, is the measurement of magnetic field strength. A ref... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 23


Materials database The Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has published a study that quantifies the thermodynamic scale of metastability of some 29,902 materials. To quantify the materials, researchers used Berkeley Lab’s Materials Project, a large and open database of known and predicted materials. The open and Web-based database has calculated the properties ... » read more

Partitioning For Power


Examine any smartphone design today and most of the electronic circuitry is "off" most of the time. And regardless of how many processor cores are available, it's rare to use more than a couple of those cores at any point in time. The emphasis is shifting, though, as the mobility market flattens and other markets such as driver-assisted vehicles and IoT begin gaining traction. In a car, turn... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 1


U.S. to boost IC competitiveness President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology (PCAST) has launched a new semiconductor working group in the United States. The new working group will focus on ways to strengthen the competitiveness of the U.S. semiconductor industry. It will provide recommendations to PCAST regarding the challenges facing the U.S. semiconductor industry. Th... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 11


Space elevators Last year, Pennsylvania State University disclosed a technology called benzene-derived carbon nanothreads or sometimes called diamond nanothreads (DNTs). DNTs resemble carbon nanotubes. They are tiny hollow cylindrical tubes that are stronger than steel, but they are also brittle. Basically, DNTs are 1D structures with poly-benzene sections, which are connected by Stone–Wa... » read more

Neural Net Computing Explodes


Neural networking with advanced parallel processing is beginning to take root in a number of markets ranging from predicting earthquakes and hurricanes to parsing MRI image datasets in order to identify and classify tumors. As this approach gets implemented in more places, it is being customized and parsed in ways that many experts never envisioned. And it is driving new research into how el... » read more

Plugging Holes In Machine Learning


The number of companies using machine learning is accelerating, but so far there are no tools to validate, verify and debug these systems. That presents a problem for the chipmakers and systems companies that increasingly rely on machine learning to optimize their technology because, at least for now, it creates the potential for errors that are extremely difficult to trace and fix. At the s... » read more

How Small Will Transistors Go?


By Mark LaPedus & Ed Sperling There is nearly universal agreement that Moore’s Law is slowing down. But whether it will truly end, or just become too expensive and less relevant—and what will supplant device scaling—are the subject of some far-reaching research and much discussion. Semiconductor Engineering sat down with each of the leaders of three top research houses—[getent... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


Tools Synopsys unveiled its next-generation ATPG and diagnostics solution, TetraMAX II. According to the company, the tool is an order of magnitude faster than the previous generation, reducing runtime from days to hours, as well as generating 25% fewer patterns. The new tool is also certified for the ISO 26262 automotive functional safety standard. It has been deployed by STMicroelectronics... » read more

New Starting Point


Debate has been raging for years about whether software or hardware should be the starting point for improving power and performance, or whether it should elevated another notch by fusing hardware and software into a system-level approach. Now, groups like Leti, IEEE, SEMI, and a number of researchers in leading universities around the globe are beginning to talk about moving the starting point... » read more

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