Ready For Social Robots?


After years of steady growth, innovation and sometimes disappointment, the robotics market is heating up on several fronts amid some new breakthroughs in the arena. Both the industrial and service robotics markets are hot. In addition, the consumer market is seeing a new level of interest, as the industry is invaded by the next wave of so-called personal assistant robots or social robots for... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Samsung Electronics announced that its memory fabrication line in Xi’an China has begun full-scale manufacturing operations. The new facility will manufacture Samsung’s advanced NAND flash memory chips, dubbed 3D V-NAND. A recent chemical leak at Intel’s fab in Arizona was contained and two workers were taken to a hospital for observation, according to reports. Apparently, Intel was i... » read more

The Week in Review: System-Level Design


Cadence unveiled its next-gen power signoff tool, this one based upon parallel execution across multiple processors. The result is 10x speed improvement, according to the company. The signoff solution already is certified for TSMC’s 16nm finFET process for IR drop analysis and EM rule compliance, two of the big concerns with finFETs. Synopsys teamed up with CEVA to improve PPA for CEVA’s... » read more

Your Light Bulb Is Calling


By Pallab Chatterjee The mobility that is best associated with “smart phone” functionality is making its way into most other electronic systems. At ISSCC and even the Strategies in Light conference, systems and products were being shown featuring standard RF interfaces. The RF is being made available as standalone die for multi-die and 3D packaging, as well as in SoC IP blocks. The fu... » read more

Lines Blur Between Processor And Microcontroller


By Ed Sperling Big changes are happening in the microcontroller market. That statement alone should give pause for most design engineers and raise their level of skepticism. In the past, microcontrollers were a steady business but not exactly an interesting one. That was before the big push toward “green” and the 65nm process node. And it was before vendors began adding logic and more fun... » read more

Making Batteries Better


By Brian Fuller The world has changed dramatically in the 209 years since Alessandro Volta hunched over his table by candlelight and figured out how to capture energy in his voltaic pile, the first electric battery. What has changed little, however, is the battery itself. Since Volta’s conception, the battery has remained a cell with negative and positive electrodes, an electrolyte, and... » read more