System Bits: Nov. 14


Tracking cyber attacks According to Georgia Tech, assessing the extent and impact of network or computer system attacks has been largely a time-consuming manual process, until now since a new software system being developed by cybersecurity researchers here will largely automate that process, allowing investigators to quickly and accurately pinpoint how intruders entered the network, what data... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab equipment ASML posted strong sales in the quarter and is apparently nearly sold out of scanners based on extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, according to analysts. “ASML posted strong 2Q results and 2Q guidance, providing further evidence that demand remains high for semiconductor equipment,” said Weston Twigg, an analyst with KeyBanc Capital Markets, in a research note. “Demand d... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Feb. 7


The University of California at Santa Barbara claims to have developed the world’s smallest hammer. The technology, dubbed the μHammer or microHammer, is geared for biomedical research. With funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the tiny hammer will allow researchers to get a cellular-level understanding when force is applied to brain cells. The project is part of the U.S.-b... » read more

Joint R&D Has Its Ups And Downs


As corporate spending on research and development dwindles, enterprises are reaching out to colleges and universities to supplement their R&D. And they often are finding eager partners in those endeavors, as professors and their graduate students look for help, financial and technical, in addressing long-term research projects. “Pure research is just a luxury no one can afford anymore,... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 27


Searching for energy-efficient architectures A workshop jointly funded by the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) and National Science Foundation (NSF) sought out the key factors limiting progress in computing – particularly related to energy consumption – and novel research that could overcome these barriers. The report focuses on the most promising research directions in the ex... » read more

zeroK NanoTech: FIB Circuit Edit


Focused ion beam (FIB) circuit editing is an enabling technology that has been around for some time. Using a standard FIB tool, a chipmaker can basically edit portions of a circuit before it goes into production. It allows chipmakers to debug chips, cut traces, add metal connections and perform other functions. One startup, zeroK NanoTech, is putting a new and innovative twist on FIB circui... » read more

DoD Scratches Its Head Over Foundry Security


When the GlobalFoundries deal with IBM to acquire its foundries closes, as it is slated to sometime during 2015, the U.S. Department of Defense has a small problem on its hands. Military programs no longer will have access to a trusted fab to manufacture semiconductors. How do you ensure that the foundry did not modify or alter your design, add backdoor access or implement a remote control mech... » read more

Semiconductor R&D Crisis?


Research and development is a sometimes forgotten but critical element in the semiconductor industry. The delicate R&D ecosystem enables many of the key breakthroughs in the business. But there could be a troubling trend, if not a crisis, brewing on two fronts in the R&D arena. On one front, R&D costs for semiconductor technologies are escalating at each node. Higher R&D costs are not only ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 12


Origami Robots It may sound like something out of the movie Transformers, but MIT and Harvard have created origami robots that be reconfigured using timed sequencing. The robots were built from laser-cut parts using five layers of materials. A layer of etched copper is embedded between two structural layers of paper, with outer layers made of a polymer that folds when heated, according to... » read more

System Bits: July 29


Cooper Pairs Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Cornell University and Brookhaven National Laboratory say they have unlocked what they’re calling quantum glue—the underlying basis for creating energy conduits without current loss. In superconductors, electrical resistance vanishes below a critical temperature and conduction electrons form ordered pairs, known as Coop... » read more