Building Chips That Can Learn


The idea that devices can learn optimal behavior rather than relying on more generalized hardware and software is driving a resurgence in artificial intelligence, machine leaning, and cognitive computing. But architecting, building and testing these kinds of systems will require broad changes that ultimately could impact the entire semiconductor ecosystem. Many of these changes are wel... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tools and T&M Applied Materials and the Institute of Microelectronics (IME), a research institute under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), have announced a five-year extension of their R&D collaboration at the Centre of Excellence in Advanced Packaging in Singapore. The organizations will expand the scope of their R&D collaboration to focus on advancing fan-out wafer... » read more

Stepping Back From Scaling


Architectures, packaging and software are becoming core areas for semiconductor research and development, setting the stage for a series of shifts that will impact a large swath of the semiconductor industry. While there is still demand from the largest chipmakers for increased density at the next process node, the underlying economics for foundries, equipment vendors and IP developers are f... » read more

Building Faster Chips


By Ed Sperling and Jeff Dorsch An explosion in IoT sensor data, the onset of deep learning and AI, and the commercial rollout of augmented and virtual reality are driving a renewed interest in performance as the key metric for semiconductor design. Throughout the past decade in which mobility/smartphone dominated chip design, power replaced performance as the top driver. Processors ha... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Samsung has rolled out the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator, an appliance that changes the landscape in the refrigerator market. The refrigerator comes with a 21.5-inch LCD touchscreen, which serves as the digital command center and connects to a smartphone. It enables consumers to view inside the fridge with a smartphone while grocery shopping. It can access music or television cont... » read more

Thermal Damage To Chips Widens


Heat is becoming a much bigger problem for semiconductor and system design, fueled by higher density and the increasing use of complex chips in markets such as automotive, where reliability is measured in decade-long increments. In the past, heat typically was handled by mechanical engineers, who figured out where to put heat sinks, fans, or holes to funnel heat out of a chassis. But as more... » read more

The Week In Review: Design/IoT


M&A Tessera boosted its 2.5D and 3D-IC capabilities with the acquisition of Ziptronix. The $39 million cash purchase adds a low-temperature wafer bonding technology platform, which has been licensed to Sony for volume production of CMOS image sensors. Numbers Semico Research forecasts that the SoC market will approach $200 billion by 2019. According to its analysis, average die are... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Design, Test


A new study from Crucial.com reveals that on some days, 64% of U.S. parents spend more time with their computers than with family or close friends. TSMC posted mixed results in the fourth quarter of 2013. It also announced flat CapEx targets for 2014. TSMC also addressed Intel’s recent comments about TSMC’s finFET plans. Morris Chang, chairman of TSMC, said Intel’s comments are mislead... » read more

The Week In Review: Aug. 19


By Mark LaPedus Applied Materials named Gary Dickerson, who has been serving as president of the company, as CEO. Mike Splinter, who held the reins since 2003, was elevated to executive chairman of the board. Dickerson served as the CEO of Varian, which Applied acquired in 2011, as well as the president and COO of KLA-Tencor. Applied Materials also announced its Q3 results. The company rep... » read more

What’s Before Stacked Die?


By Mark LaPedus Advanced 2.5D/3D chip stacking has a number of challenges and is still a few years away from mass production. In fact, mass production may not occur until 2015 or 2016. But OEMs can ill afford to sit still and wait for 2.5D/3D technology to mature. So, until 2.5D/3D is ready for prime time, chipmakers and IC-packaging houses are under pressure to innovate and extend current ... » read more

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