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

Planes, Birdhouses And Image Recognition


My recent blog post on the limits of neuromorphic computing took an optimistic view: even neuromorphic systems that are relatively crude by the standards of biological brains can still find commercially important applications. A few days after I finished it, I was reminded that the pessimists are not wrong when a friend of mine shared this image. Fig. 1: Trover Gourds in purple martin nest... » read more

Pessimism, Optimism And Neuromorphic Computing


As I’ve been researching this series on neuromorphic computing, I’ve learned that there are two views of the field. One, which I’ll call the “optimist” view, often held by computer scientists and electrical engineers, focuses on the possibilities: self-driving cars. Homes that can learn their owners’ needs. Automated medical assistants. The other, the “pessimist” view, often hel... » read more

Neuromorphic Computing: Modeling The Brain


Can you tell the difference between a pedestrian and a bicycle? How about between a skunk and a black and white cat? Or between your neighbor’s dog and a colt or fawn? Of course you can, and you probably can do that without much conscious thought. Humans are very good at interpreting the world around them, both visually and through other sensory input. Computers are not. Though their sheer... » read more

Materials For Future Electronics


Examining the research underway in electronics materials provides a keyhole view into what may be possible in future electronics design. Although some of this research will not end up in commercial products, it does provide an indication of the kinds of problems that are being addressed, how they are being approached, and where the research dollars are being spent. Flexible electronics are a... » read more

Rush Hour On The Technology Roadmap


Starting this week, the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) will commence at the Marriott in downtown San Francisco. This prestigious conference showcases the latest semiconductor innovations from around the world. Looking at the advance program, one can’t help but notice a shift in the work presented. The conference theme this year is: “Intelligent Chips for a Smart World... » read more

Changing Direction In Chip Design


Andrzej Strojwas, chief technologist at PDF Solutions and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University—and the winner of this year's Phil Kaufman Award for distinguished contributions to EDA—sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about device scaling, why the semiconductor industry will begin to fragment around new architectures and packaging, and ... » read more

What’s Next For Transistors


The IC industry is moving in several different directions at once. The largest chipmakers continue to march down process nodes with chip scaling, while others are moving towards various advanced packaging schemes. On top of that, post-CMOS devices, neuromorphic chips and quantum computing are all in the works. Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss these technologies with Marie Semeri... » read more

Changing Economics In Chip Manufacturing


The foundry and equipment businesses are poised for significant changes that could affect the balance of power far beyond just the semiconductor manufacturing sector. It’s no secret that the number of companies developing new chips at 7nm is shrinking. There will be even fewer at 5nm. The business case for moving forward is that density must provide a competitive edge. But that density imp... » read more

Inside Neuromorphic Computing


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to talk about neuromorphic technology with Guy Paillet, chief executive of General Vision. The fabless IC design house is a pioneer and supplier of neuromorphic chips. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: In 1993, you invented and co-patented a neural networking chip with IBM. Then, you joined General Vision in 1999. Briefly tell us about Gen... » read more

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