The Growing Materials Challenge


By Katherine Derbyshire & Ed Sperling Materials have emerged as a growing challenge across the semiconductor supply chain, as chips continue to scale, or as they are utilized in new devices such as sensors for AI or machine learning systems. Engineered materials are no longer optional at advanced nodes. They are now a requirement, and the amount of new material content in chips contin... » 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

New Market Drivers


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss changing market dynamics with Steve Mensor, vice president of marketing for [getentity id="22926" e_name="Achronix"]; Apurva Kalia, vice president of R&D in the System and Verification group of [getentity id="22032" e_name="Cadence"]; Mohamed Kassem, CTO for [getentity id="22910" comment="efabless"]; Matthew Ballance, product engineer and techno... » read more

Custom Vs. Non-Custom Design


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss custom designs with Yong Pang, head of North American operations for [getentity id="22217" e_name="Imec"]; Phil Burr, director of portfolio product management for [getentity id="22186" e_name="Arm's"] embedded and automotive groups; Ambar Sarkar, chief technologist at eInfochips; and John Tinson, vice president of sales at Sondrel. What follows are ... » read more

Functional Safety Issues Rising


Developing semiconductors for safety-critical markets such as automotive, industrial and medical involves a growing list of extra steps that need to be taken pre- and post-manufacturing to ensure product integrity, reliability and security. This is causing several significant changes: • Designs are becoming much more complicated because they require such features as failover and redundan... » read more

Thinking Much Bigger


For the better part of the past decade the focus has been on integrating an increasing number of smaller components on a piece of silicon. It's time to start thinking much bigger. While there is still plenty of work to be done building more powerful processors, or networks of connected processors on a chip or in a package, new opportunities are opening up in markets such as automotive, medic... » read more

Ignoring Anomalies


Everyone has been in this situation at some point in their career—you have a data point that is so far out of the ordinary that you dismiss it as erroneous. You blame the test equipment, or the fact that it is Friday afternoon and happy hour started 10 minutes ago. In most cases it may never happen again and nobody will ever notice that you quietly swept it under the rug. But in doing so, ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: June 20


Batteries from scrap metal Scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Jilin University found a method to transform rusty stainless steel mesh into electrodes with outstanding electrochemical properties that make them ideal for potassium-ion batteries. The rust is converted directly into a compact layer with a grid structure that can store potassium ions. A coating of reduced graphite... » read more

Foundry Wars, Take Two


Samsung, GlobalFoundries, TSMC and Intel all have declared their intention to fill in nearly every node possible with multiple processes, different packaging options, and new materials. In fact, the only number that hasn't been taken so far is 9nm. It's not that one foundry's 10nm is the same as another's. Each company defines its nodes differently, and these days comparing nodes is almost m... » read more

Building Functional Safety And Security Into Medical IoT Devices: IEC 62304 Conformance


As the IoT marches on – security and safety issues continue to be a top priority for embedded systems developers. Building security into your medical IoT device not only helps to reduce the chance of a data breach or cyber attack, but also introduces new ways to optimize software, reduces time to market, and increases the potential for product innovation in a very competitive global market. ... » read more

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