Rethinking Computing Fundamentals


New compute architectures—not just new chips—are becoming a common theme in Silicon Valley these days. The whole semiconductor industry is racing to find the fastest, cheapest, lowest-power approach to processing. The drivers of this shift are well documented. Moore's Law is slowing down, in part because it's becoming more difficult to route signals across an SoC at the latest process no... » read more

Is Design Innovation Slowing?


Paul Teich, principal analyst for Tirias Research, gave a provocative talk at the recent DAC conference entitled, "Is Integration Leaving Less Room for Design Innovation?" The answer isn't as simple as the question might suggest. "Integration used to be a driver for increasing the functionality of silicon," Teich said. "Increasingly, it will be used to incorporate more features of an entire ... » read more

IP Challenges Ahead


The revenue from semiconductor [getkc id="43" kc_name="IP"] has risen steadily to become the largest segment of the EDA industry. Industry forecasts expect it to keep growing at a CAGR of more than 10% for the next decade. Part one of this article examined the possibility those forecasts are wrong and that large semiconductor companies are likely to start bringing IP development back in hous... » read more

What Does An IoT Chip Look Like?


By Ed Sperling and Jeff Dorsch Internet of Things chip design sounds like a simple topic on the face of it. Look deeper, though, and it becomes clear there is no single IoT, and certainly no type of chip that will work across the ever-expanding number of applications and markets that collectively make up the IoT. Included under this umbrella term are sensors, various types of processors, ... » read more

Memory Buffer Chips: Satisfying Amdahl’s Law To Sustain Moore’s Law


Moore’s Law, the observation that the available transistors in an integrated circuit doubles every two years, has driven the semiconductor and IT industries to unparalleled growth over the last 50+ years. These transistors have been used in CPUs to increase the number of parallel execution units and instruction fetches, expand the levels of on-chip cache (and overall capacity), support spe... » read more

Inside Chip R&D


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss R&D challenges, EUV and other topics with Luc Van den hove, president and chief executive of Imec, an R&D organization in Belgium. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Clearly, Moore’s Law is slowing down. The traditional process cadence is extending from 2 years to roughly 2.5 to 3 years. Yet, R&D is not slowing down, right? ... » read more

Going Vertical?


The topic of transistor scaling has been traditionally covered at SEMICON West in its own right. This year’s event, however, will also explore scaling in 3D, as well as using packaging to accomplish similar objectives. Along with traditional transistor scaling, speakers will tackle design and metrology considerations for scaling the package, and address the economic decisions that inform dens... » read more

Inside FD-SOI And Scaling


Gary Patton, chief technology officer at [getentity id="22819" comment="GlobalFoundries"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss FD-SOI, IC scaling, process technology and other topics. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: In logic, GlobalFoundries is shipping 14nm finFETs with 7nm in the works. The company is also readying 22nm FD-SOI technology with 12nm FD-SOI ... » read more

Age Of Acceleration


A shift from the fastest processors to accelerating specific functions is underway, supplanting an era of dark silicon in which one or more processor cores remain in a ready state whenever a single core's performance bogs down. In effect, the dark silicon/multi-core approach is being scrapped for many functions in favor of an accelerator-based microarchitecture that is far more granular. The... » read more

Hardware/Software Tipping Point


It doesn't matter if you believe [getkc id="74" comment="Moore's Law"] has ended or is just slowing down. It is becoming very clear that design in the future will be significant different than it is today. Moore's law allowed the semiconductor industry to reuse design blocks from previous designs, and these were helped along by a new technology node—even if it was a sub-optimal solution. I... » read more

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