What’s Better than the Internet of Things?


We all like the Internet of Things, whatever that is. Would you be interested in the Innovative and Intelligent Internet of Things? The Semiconductor Research Corporation can get you involved in that project, also known as I3T. “This research enables breakthrough technologies for the next generation of intelligent, connected, and autonomous devices,” the I3T website reads. The program is... » read more

How Small Will Transistors Go?


By Mark LaPedus & Ed Sperling There is nearly universal agreement that Moore’s Law is slowing down. But whether it will truly end, or just become too expensive and less relevant—and what will supplant device scaling—are the subject of some far-reaching research and much discussion. Semiconductor Engineering sat down with each of the leaders of three top research houses—[getent... » read more

Rethinking The Sensor


Sensor technology is beginning to change on a fundamental level as companies begin looking beyond a human’s five senses, on which early sensors were modeled, to what can be done with those sensors for specific applications. In some cases, [getkc id="187" kc_name="sensors"] don’t have to be as accurate as the sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing of a person. In others, they can be a... » read more

Running Out Of Energy?


The anticipated and growing energy requirements for future computing needs will hit a wall in the next 24 years if the current trajectory is correct. At that point, the world will not produce enough energy for all of the devices that are expected to be drawing power. A report issued by the Semiconductor Industry Association and Semiconductor Research Corp., bases its conclusions on system-le... » read more

DoD Scratches Its Head Over Foundry Security


When the GlobalFoundries deal with IBM to acquire its foundries closes, as it is slated to sometime during 2015, the U.S. Department of Defense has a small problem on its hands. Military programs no longer will have access to a trusted fab to manufacture semiconductors. How do you ensure that the foundry did not modify or alter your design, add backdoor access or implement a remote control mech... » read more

Quantum Computer Race Heats Up


For years, there has been an intense race among various nations to develop the world’s fastest supercomputers. The U.S. and Japan led the field until 2010, when China stunned the market and rolled out the world’s fastest supercomputer. And today, China continues to lead the field with a supercomputer capable of running at speeds of 33.86 petaflops per second. While the supercomputer race... » read more

What’s After CMOS?


Chipmakers continue to scale the CMOS transistor to finer geometries, but the question is for how much longer. The current thinking is that the CMOS transistor could scale at least to the 3nm node in the 2021 timeframe. And then, CMOS could run out of gas, prompting the need for a new switch technology. So what’s after the CMOS-based transistor? Carbon nanotubes and graphene get the most a... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing & Design


Don’t look now, but Intel is expanding its foundry business. Previously, Intel garnered a small collection of foundry customers. But Intel would not entertain foundry customers that had competitive products based on ARM chips. Apparently, Intel is having a change of heart. “I think they’ve changed their position,” said Nathan Brookwood, a research fellow at Insight 64. “They will do A... » read more

What Will Replace Dual Damascene?


By Mark LaPedus In the mid-1990s, IBM announced the world’s first devices using a copper dual damascene process. At the time, the dual damascene manufacturing process was hailed as a major breakthrough. The new copper process enabled IC makers to scale the tiny interconnects in a device, as the previous material, aluminum, faced some major limitations. Dual damascene remains the workhorse... » read more

What Comes After FinFETs?


By Mark LaPedus The semiconductor industry is currently making a major transition from conventional planar transistors to finFETs starting at 22nm. The question is what’s next? In the lab, IBM, Intel and others have demonstrated the ability to scale finFETs down to 5nm or so. If or when finFETs runs out of steam, there are no less than 18 different next-generation candidates that could o... » read more

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