Integration IP Helps IP Integration

You might not know much about the MIPI Alliance if you aren't designing mobile phones, but you will soon. Other application areas are taking interest in what this group has accomplished. The alliance was founded in 2003 to create standards for hardware and software interfaces in mobile devices. Successful examples include a camera serial interface (CSI) and a display serial interface (DSI), ... » read more

Making Drones Secure

Critics have accused drones of creating multiple dangers, including invading privacy, colliding with other aircraft, threatening personal safety and even frightening livestock. Yet the biggest drone threat of all may turn out to be attacks made on the vehicles themselves. Drones, also known as UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) and UASs (unmanned aerial systems), need a variety of internal ... » read more

Making Phones Better

Beneath a smartphone's slick packaging is some interesting, highly sophisticated technology that makes the user experience what it is today. Much of that experience relies on satisfying our ever growing desire for more data capacity for video, social media and the like. Providing that capacity relies on robust filtering to receive just your data stream amongst many nearby other streams. But tha... » read more

Stacked Die Changes

Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss advanced packaging with David Pan, associate professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Texas; Max Min, senior technical manager at Samsung; John Hunt, senior director of engineering at ASE; and Sitaram Arkalgud, vice president of 3D portfolio and technologies at Invensas. What follows are excerpts of tha... » read more

Virtual Fabrication For MEMS Process Development

MEMS fabrication and design are closely coupled, such that design changes could significantly alter the process flow and vice versa. For instance, setting device parameters such as drive capacitance, deflection distance, or proof mass size directly affects the choice of film thickness, etch rate, sidewall profile and so forth. Typically, this requires multiple iterations of the MEMS design/proc... » read more

Atomic Layer Etch Heats Up

The atomic layer etch (ALE) market is starting to heat up as chipmakers push to 10nm and beyond. ALE is a promising next-generation etch technology that has been in R&D for the last several years, but until now there has been little or no need to use it. Unlike conventional etch tools, which remove materials on a continuous basis, ALE promises to selectively and precisely remove targete... » read more

MEMSIC Solves The Accelerometer Puzzle

Accelerometers play a valuable role in many markets. Your smart phone has them, as does your car. Measuring the rate of change in velocity seems to have unlimited applications. While there are many design techniques available to create an accelerometer, MEMSIC Inc. developed a MEMS and CMOS IC technology with no moving parts using Tanner tools. Using a unique thermal technology, acceleration is... » read more

Life on the Edge of IoT

The world on the edge of the IoT provides a rich microcosm to explore. While much of the attention paid to IoT is on big data applications in the cloud or the world of aggregating massive data provided by the real-world edge devices in the wild though cellphones and gateways, the edge devices themselves present a cornucopia of design challenges and exciting applications. Sensors and actuators m... » read more

The Trouble With MEMS

The advent of the Internet of Things will open up a slew of new opportunities for MEMS-based sensors, but chipmakers are proceeding cautiously. There are a number of reasons for that restraint. Microelectromechanical systems are difficult to design, manufacture and test, which initially fueled optimism in the MEMS ecosystem that this market would command the same kinds of premiums that analo... » read more

Toward Better Acoustic Resonators

After some lively conversations with the top researchers in MEMS acoustic resonators during the 2014 Sensors and Actuators Workshop (familiarly known to the MEMS community as “Hilton Head”), we set to work on a simulation solution to better serve researchers and commercial designers. Acoustic resonators for RF filtering have received a lot of attention in the past few years as the number... » read more

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