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

Manufacturing Bits: June 21

Atomic sculpting Oak Ridge National Laboratory has combined a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) with new electronic controls. This tool enables the construction, or the atomic sculpting, of 3D-like feature sizes down to 1nm and 2nm. To achieve these dimensions, the STEM is controlled with a special set of programmable electronics. This, in turn, enables the STEM to tunnel in... » read more

What Happened To DSA?

Directed self-assembly (DSA) was until recently a rising star in the next-generation lithography (NGL) landscape, but the technology has recently lost some of its luster, if not its momentum. So what happened? Nearly five years ago, an obscure patterning technology called [gettech id="31046" t_name="DSA"] burst onto the scene and began to generate momentum in the industry. At about that t... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: April 12

Ink FETs The University of Pennsylvania has developed a new way to make chips by using nanocrystal inks. The devices, dubbed nanocrystal field-effect transistors (FETs), could be used one day to develop chips for flexible and wearable applications In the lab, researchers devised spherical nanoscale particles. These particles, which have electrical characteristics, were dispersed in a liquid... » read more

Fallout From Scaling

By Ed Sperling & Ann Steffora Mutschler Semiconductor scaling is becoming much more difficult and expensive at each new node, creating sharp divisions about what path to take next for which markets and applications. What used to be confined to one or two clear choices is now turning into a menu of items and possibilities, often with no clear guarantees for a successful outcome. Views ... » read more

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