Changes In China


By Jesse Zhang, SEMI China Industry leaders gathered in Beijing at BIMS 2016 — the Beijing International Microelectronics Symposium — to discuss growth opportunities for the semiconductor industry and the mobile communications market. The 17th session of BIMS was co-sponsored by SEMI and the Chinese-American Semiconductor Professionals Association (CASPA). For 17 years, BIMS has provi... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 5


More storage with electromagnetic switch Scientists at Hokkaido University designed a device that employs both magnetic and electronic signals, potentially doubling the storage capacity of conventional memory devices. In addition to the binary 0/1 method of storing information, this would add an A/B store for the information as well. To do this would require finding a material that can switc... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 12


Digital storage in DNA Computer scientists and electrical engineers from University of Washington and Microsoft detailed one of the first complete systems to encode, store and retrieve digital data using DNA molecules, which can store information millions of times more compactly than current archival technologies. Progress in DNA storage has been rapid: in 1999, the state-of-the-art in DN... » read more

Are Chips Getting More Reliable?


Reliability is emerging as a key metric in the semiconductor industry, alongside of power, performance and cost, but it also is becoming harder to measure and increasingly difficult to achieve. Most large semiconductor companies look at reliability in connection with consumer devices that last several years before they are replaced, but a big push into automotive, medical and industrial elec... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Jan. 19


Antiferromagnetic memory Physicists at The University of Nottingham, working in collaboration with researchers in the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, and Hitachi Europe showed that the magnetic spins of antiferromagnets can be controlled to make a completely different form of digital memory. This was the first demonstration of electrical current control of antiferromagnets, and the first... » read more

The Memory And Storage Hierarchy


The memory and storage hierarchy is a useful way of thinking about computer systems, and the dizzying array of memory options available to the system designer. Many different parameters characterize the memory solution. Among them are latency (how long the CPU needs to wait before the first data is available) and bandwidth (how fast additional data can be “streamed” after the first data poi... » read more

Hard Drive Progress Report


In June, I heard from HGST that very nice progress on Bit Patterned Media (BPM) would be reported in August. At The Magnetic Recording Conference (TMRC) meeting in August, the HGST team presented four papers on aspects of their Bit Patterned Media program. Their progress was definitely nice! The bottom line was shown in a poster with record-breaking BPM read and write at 1.6 Tdot per square ... » read more

Money, Hackers And Lawyers


When magnetic tape backup was introduced in the early 1950s, it was stored in vaults. Access was slow. Someone actually had to go get the tape, load it onto a mainframe computer, and start the spool rolling. But at least you could be sure that, minus a well-planned break-in or cloak-and-dagger theft, it would remain private. The latest push into cloud-based storage has altered the risk equat... » read more

Taking Aim At Big Data


By Ed Sperling As the Internet of Things bridges the gap between the mobile and big data worlds, EDA and IP vendors increasingly are looking well beyond their usual boundaries. How successful they are at moving upward into a market that is far less price-sensitive remains to be seen. But from a technology standpoint, at least, the issues encountered by data centers and cloud providers are ... » read more