The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has purchased a brain-inspired supercomputing platform for deep learning developed by IBM Research. LLNL will receive a 16-chip TrueNorth system from IBM. A single TrueNorth processor from IBM consists of 5.4 billion transistors wired together to create an array of 1 million digital neurons. The chip is fabricated based on a 28nm LPP pro... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Is Moore’s Law alive or dead? That’s still a topic for debate. In any case, chipmakers continue to move to advanced nodes, but the transitions are taking longer. Even mighty Intel is struggling, based on what the company said about its 14nm finFET process during an investors meeting this week. In fact, Intel continues to struggle with its yields. “14nm yield is maturing; 14nm is still not... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Lam Research’s proposed move to acquire KLA-Tencor is still generating a buzz in the industry. One executive from Lam has explained the reason for the deal. Meanwhile, analysts are also weighing in. “We believe the deal itself is a positive one for Lam as it supplements its leading etch position with the market share leader in process control with significant accretion and earnings leverage... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Looking to propel the next wave of OLED displays, Applied Materials has rolled out two new systems. The tools enable the volume production of OLED displays for both mobile products and TVs. In addition, Applied Materials has shipped an Applied TopMet roll-to-roll metal deposition system to Jindal Poly Films, a leader in PET and BOPP films for flexible packaging and labeling applications. In... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Sunit Rikhi, vice president of the Technology and Manufacturing Group at Intel and general manager of Intel’s Custom Foundry unit, has retired. “I left Intel on a sabbatical in late March and ended my career with Intel on June 1,” Rikhi said in an e-mail. Now, Rikhi has started a new company. The company, called Reach for Infinity LLC, “is a management development company devoted to... » read more

Avago Buys Broadcom; NXP Spins Off RF Power Unit


Merger and acquisition activity continues to heat up across the semiconductor industry. On one front, Avago Technologies continues on its acquisition spree. And on another front, NXP Semiconductors is moving to spin off its RF power business. And there are other deals in the works as well, including Intel's proposed move to buy Altera. What’s driving the wave of M&A activity? The sem... » read more

Test Challenges Rising For Mobile Devices


Smartphone and tablets continue to advance at a dizzying pace. On the component side alone, the latest mobile devices are moving towards 64-bit application processors, multi-mode RF front-ends, higher-end cameras and flashy LCD screens. Some systems even boast fingerprint scanners and heart rate sensors. But an obvious part of the system continues to lag behind the curve—battery life. In r... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Jan. 28


Spintronics gains traction The field of spintronics is gaining interest. The technology could enable a new class of spin-based devices, which combine the switching speeds of logic and the non-volatility of memory. Controlling the magnetism by means of electric fields is the key for future devices, but the ability to switch ferromagnetism technology at room temperature is challenging. Helmho... » read more

The Week In Review: Aug. 19


By Mark LaPedus Applied Materials named Gary Dickerson, who has been serving as president of the company, as CEO. Mike Splinter, who held the reins since 2003, was elevated to executive chairman of the board. Dickerson served as the CEO of Varian, which Applied acquired in 2011, as well as the president and COO of KLA-Tencor. Applied Materials also announced its Q3 results. The company rep... » read more

Good Times For Analog Designers


By Ann Steffora Mutschler For a number of technological reasons, analog/mixed-signal design and low-power design are converging, and with that comes both challenges and opportunities. As far as challenges go, process variations at 14nm, 20nm and even 28nm have increased significantly to include DFM impacts such as layout-delay effects. On the digital side, those process changes affect... » read more

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