New Thermal Issues Emerge


Thermal monitoring is becoming more critical as gate density continues to increase at each new node and as chips are developed for safety critical markets such as automotive. This may sound counterintuitive because the whole point of device scaling is to increase gate density. But at 10/7 and 7/5nm, static current leakage is becoming a bigger issue, raising questions about how long [getkc id... » read more

The Advantages Of FD-SOI Technology


If my memory serves me well, it was at the 1989 Device Research Conference where the potential merits of SOI (Silicon on Insulator) technology were discussed in a heated evening panel discussion. At that panel discussion, there were many advocates for SOI, as well as many naysayers. I didn’t really think more about SOI technology until the mid-nineties, when I was sitting in a meeting where t... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Intel and Micron have ended their long-running NAND joint development partnership. The companies will continue to develop NAND, but they will work independently on future generations of 3D NAND. The companies have agreed to complete the development of their third-generation of 3D NAND technology, which will be delivered towards the end of 2018. That is expected to be a 96-layer ... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


M&A Synopsys finalized its acquisition of Black Duck Software, which provides software for managing and securing open source software in projects, adding to Synopsys' burgeoning software analysis and security business. The cash deal was approximately $547 million net of cash acquired. STMicroelectronics acquired Atollic, maker of the Eclipse-based TrueSTUDIO Integrated Development Envir... » read more

Shortages Hit Packaging Biz


Rising demand for chips is hitting the IC packaging supply chain, causing shortages of select manufacturing capacity, various package types, leadframes and even some equipment. Spot shortages for some IC packages began showing up earlier this year, but the problem has been growing and spreading since then. Supply imbalances reached a boiling point in the third and fourth quarters of this yea... » read more

The New Road Warriors


Chip vendors and other companies that have little or no experience in automotive are flooding into this market as the race for assisted and autonomous driving begins to heat up. This market is expected to pay big dividends for companies that succeed in helping to build the vehicles of the future in this century. IC Insights earlier this year forecast the auto chip market would grow 22% this ... » read more

The Return Of Body Biasing


Body biasing is making a comeback across a wide swath of process nodes as designers wrestle with how to build mobile devices with more functionality and longer battery life. Consider an ultra-low-power IoT device with a wireless sensor, for example, which is meant to last for years without changing a battery. Body biasing can be used to create an ultra-low-leakage sleep state. “In that ... » read more

Rapid Pattern Sequencing And Optimization With STAR Hierarchical System At STMicroelectronics


This white paper is the second in a series of two papers on STMicroelectronics’ experience with the Synopsys DesignWare STAR Hierarchical System. This white paper also provides insights on IEEE 1500 based network implementation, execution and analysis. It details the MASIS file’s pattern sequencing which is used for production tests and helps minimize test time. For the thermal sensor examp... » read more

STMicroelectronics’ Implementation Of The STAR Hierarchical System And IEEE 1500 Wrapping


This white paper discusses various IEEE 1500 architectures that STMicroelectronics has deployed using the Synopsys DesignWare STAR Hierarchical System test solution. STAR Hierarchical System allows users to optimize test time on system-on-chips that use multiple cores. The white paper provides guidelines on interface IP wrapping with IEEE 1500 to improve test time. In addition, it discusses the... » read more

Evolution Of The MCU


Microcontrollers are taking on a variety of new and much more complex computing tasks, evolving from standalone chips to more highly integrated devices that can rival complex microprocessors. Microcontroller units (MCUs) are being designed into everything from assisted and autonomous driving to smart cards. They often are the central processing elements for a slew of connected devices that i... » read more

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