New USB Audio Class For USB Type-C Digital Headsets


The ¼” phone jack was invented more than 100 years ago to connect people using a new invention called the “telephone.” Today, the modern variant - the 3.5mm phone jack - is widely used. As modern mobile phones are used for more than phone calls and do not have room for multiple connectors, a new approach for audio connectivity is needed, so product designers are retiring the 3.5mm jack. ... » read more

Correlating Software Execution With Switching Activity To Save Power In SoC Designs


There is probably no more pointless waste of energy than lighting and heating a room that is empty. The obvious optimization: notice that no one is there and turn off the lights. It works the same on an SoC or embedded system. To save energy, system developers are adding the ability turn off the parts of the system that are not being used. Big energy savings but with no compromise to functional... » read more

Test More Complex For Cars, IoT


With increasing focus on safety-critical semiconductors—driven by ADAS, IoT, and security—functional safety concerns are going through the roof. Engineering teams are scrambling to determine how to conduct better in-field or online testing because test no longer can be an afterthought. This has been a common theme across the automotive ecosystem for the past few years, and as the automot... » read more

Dynamic Peak Power As A Proxy For DVD? Really?


Dynamic-voltage-drop (DVD) concerns have grown substantially at the 10nm and 7nm silicon process nodes. DVD refers to the transient voltage drop that a local power grid on a chip might experience if there is a rapid change in current. That drop can act like a “stall,” hurting performance until the grid recovers. Beefing up the power grid metal might seem to be the obvious fix, but, at th... » read more

Moore’s Law Debate Continues


Does shrinking devices still make sense from a cost and performance perspective? The answer isn’t so simple anymore. Still, the discussion as to whether semiconductors are still on track with [getkc id="74" comment="Moore's Law"] occurs on a frequent enough basis to continue analyzing at least some of the dynamics at play. There is much speculation about what happens after 7nm, as well as ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Nov. 1


New approach to switches According to the National Resource Defense Council, Americans waste up to $19 billion annually in electricity costs due to always-on digital devices in the home that suck power even when they are turned off. With that in mind, a team from University of Utah devised a new kind of switch for electronic circuits that uses solid electrolytes such as copper sulfide to ... » read more

Overcoming The Limits Of Scaling


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the increasing reliance on architectural choices for improvements in power, performance and area, with [getperson id="11425" comment=" Sundari Mitra"], CEO of [getentity id="22535" comment="NetSpeed Systems"]; Charlie Janac, chairman and CEO of [getentity id="22674" e_name="Arteris"]; [getperson id="11032" comment="Simon Davidmann"] CEO of [getentit... » read more

Power Limits Of EDA


Power has become a major gating factor in semiconductor design. It is now the third factor in design optimization, along with performance, and is almost becoming more important than area. But there are limits to the amount of help that [getkc id="7" kc_name="EDA"] can provide with [getkc id="106" kc_name="power optimization"]. Power is not just an optimization problem. It is a design problem... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 4


Solar battery Chemists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia integrated solar cells with a large-capacity battery in a single device that eliminates the usual intermediate step of making electricity and, instead, transfers the energy directly to the battery's electrolyte. The team used a redox flow battery, or R... » read more

Think Globally, Act Globally


For the last several months, I’ve been working on a series of articles about sustainable manufacturing in the semiconductor industry. How can we, as an industry, reduce our environmental footprint? It’s a big topic, and it’s been challenging to find concrete examples of ways fabs can reduce power consumption, water consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions. I’ll address these topics in ... » read more

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