System Bits: Sept. 20


Improving Torque Sensing In an advance that could bring new types of sensors and studies in quantum mechanics, Purdue University researchers have levitated a tiny nanodiamond particle with a laser in a vacuum chamber, using the technique for the first time to detect and measure its torsional vibration. The team said the experiment represents a nanoscale version of the torsion balance used i... » read more

One-On-One: Dave Hemker


Dave Hemker, CTO at [getentity id="22820" comment="Lam Research"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to look at some of the key issues on the process and manufacturing side, and some of the key developments that will reshape the semiconductor industry in the future. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: One of the big discussion topics these days is [getkc id="208" commen... » read more

Industry Road Map Under Construction


While most engineers think in terms of PPA—the classic power, performance and area tradeoffs—their bosses tend to see the world in terms of risk vs. opportunity. Until 22nm, these two objectives moved forward at roughly the same pace, despite the growing technical challenges of fitting more functionality into an SoC. Much has changed since then, and even more will change over the next f... » read more

Moving Electrons Is Getting Harder


Numerous executives across the ecosystem—from EDA and equipment companies to foundries—recently have stated that Moore's Law has at least 10 more years of life. This is interesting math, considering the semiconductor industry is now working on 10nm, with chips expected to roll out next year. So given that Moore's Law is on a two-year cadence of doubling the number of transistors every 24... » read more

Here Comes 7nm


A consortium of companies involving IBM, GlobalFoundries and Samsung has rolled out the first 7nm test chip using silicon germanium as a substrate, using EUV to pattern multiple layers. While this doesn't mean the cost equation is even close to being solved, or that more than a handful of companies will push forward to that node anytime soon using SiGe as the substrate material, it does cre... » read more

Moore Memory Problems


The six-transistor static memory cell (SRAM) has been the mainstay of on-chip memory for several decades and has stood the test of time. Today, many advanced SoCs have 50% of the chip area covered with these memories and so they are critical to continued scaling. “The SRAM being used in modern systems is similar to the SRAM they were using in the 1970s and 1980s,” says Duncan Bremner, ch... » read more

Re-Engineering The FinFET


The semiconductor industry is still in the early stages of the [getkc id="185" kc_name="finFET"] era, but the [getkc id="26" kc_name="transistor"] technology already is undergoing a dramatic change. The fins themselves are getting a makeover. In the first-generation finFETs, the fins were relatively short and tapered. In the next wave, the fins are expected to get taller, thinner and more re... » read more

Will There Be A DDR5?


DDR4 rollouts have begun. And in the DRAM world that begs the question, 'What comes next?' The answer isn't so obvious. While there have been suggestions inside of JEDEC — the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council, which has overseen the standards for double-data-rate synchronous DRAM — to develop a DDR5 standard, it's not the only solution being considered. And in the minds of some... » read more

Power Moves Up To First Place


Virtually every presentation delivered about semiconductor design or manufacturing these days—and every end product specification that uses advanced technology—incorporates some reference to power and/or energy. It has emerged as the most persistent, most problematic, and certainly the most talked about issue from conception to marketplace adoption. And the conversation only grows louder... » read more

Experts At The Table: FinFET Questions And Issues


By Ed Sperling Low-Power/High-Performance Engineering sat down to discuss the current state and future promise of finFETs, and the myriad challenges, with Ruggero Castagnetti, an LSI fellow; Barry Pangrle, senior power methodology engineer at Nvidia; Steve Carlson, group director of marketing at Cadence; and Mary Ann White, director of product marketing at Synopsys. What follows are excerpts o... » read more

← Older posts