Will Open-Source Work For Chips?

Open source is getting a second look by the semiconductor industry, driven by the high cost of design at complex nodes along with fragmentation in end markets, which increasingly means that one size or approach no longer fits all. The open source movement, as we know it today, started in the 1980s with the launch of the GNU project, which was about the time the electronic design automation (... » read more


Nvidia’s new GeForce GTX 1080 gaming graphics card is a piece of work. Employing the company’s Pascal architecture and featuring chips made with a 16nm [getkc id="185" kc_name="finFET"] process, the GTX 1080’s GP104 graphics processing units boast 7.2 billion transistors, running at 1.6 GHz, and it can be overclocked to 1.733 GHz. The die size is 314 mm², 21% smaller than its GeForce ... » read more

Alternative To x86, ARM Architectures?

Software developed by professors and graduate students from the University of California at Berkeley? That will never fly in the semiconductor industry, right? Maybe they said that about SPICE, four decades ago. The jury is still out on RISC-V (pronounced risk-five) the modular, open-source instruction set architecture created in this decade by Cal professors and students, yet the ISA is gai... » read more