The Higher Cost Of Automotive

A revolution is occurring under the hoods of vehicles today, as the automotive industry continues to add sophistication via electronics to vehicles at a pace never seen before. But because of the automotive ecosystem’s tiered structure, system companies, IP and embedded software developers and tools vendors must invest more just to participate. Robert Bates, chief safety officer in [getent... » read more

Who’s Driving That Car?

In my May blog, I had written a short on the incident where supposedly, airliner's computer system had been compromised by a wayward security researcher from One World Labs. Chris Roberts was his name. Anyway, if you didn’t read about it, the long and short of it is that he hacked a simulator and not a jet. Nevertheless, the issues that raises have implications across the entire transportatio... » read more

The Other IoT

What happens in the home, in the car, or in the tiny electronic devices people carry around with them or wear on their wrists or implant in their bodies is the focus of marketing by thousands of companies all over the globe. After all, the Internet of Things, in some shape or form, is widely expected to the "next big thing," or at least provide the foundation for many next big things. Far le... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Jan. 6

Vertical SiC chips for electric cars Silicon carbide (SiC) is a promising material for power electronics. The material has a high breakdown voltage, high operating temperatures and a superior thermal conductivity. At the recent 2014 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco, Toyota, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and the... » read more

IoT’s Potential In Japan

Going to Semicon Japan was a real treat this year. The event was held at a new location, the weather was sunny, and the exhibits/presentations were engaging. During my walks around the exhibit floor I was drawn to the metrology and material characterization tools. Those booths seemed to have the most interesting information to share. Talking with companies like Rigaku provided insight into the ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 14

Toyota’s power steering IC Today’s cars are making use of more electronics. The increase in electronic content is driving the need for high temperature and high voltage chips. The electric power steering (EPS) system is one example. EPS provides power assist even when the engine is stopped. It also improves fuel economy compared to hydraulic power steering, according to automotive giant... » read more

Fill ‘Er Up With Hydrogen

Japan’s Nihon Keizai Newspaper reported recently that Toyota and Honda would release fuel cell vehicles (FCV) in 2015 at a price of 10 million yen ($98,000) or less. This follows a decline in popularity of electric vehicles due to limited range per charge. FCVs use a generator rather than a battery, which means they need to be filled with hydrogen. The current cost of an FCV is more than 1... » read more

Look Who’s Making Chips

The entry into the chip business by companies such as Apple, and possibly Google, Amazon and a handful of others, may seem like a land grab in the semiconductor world, but the reality is that system companies have always done their own semiconductor design. Only the names have changed. IBM made its own PC processors, and it still makes them for its high-end servers. HP made chips for its PCs... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing & Design

A new study reveals that a majority of Americans are making some costly miscalculations regarding the performance of their existing PCs. The survey reveals that Americans lack financial savvy when faced with slow computers. Germany’s Merck KGaA, a pharmaceutical, chemical and life science company, announced an agreement with AZ Electronic Materials, under which Merck KGaA would acquire AZ.... » read more

Putting Energy In Perspective

The resurgent interest in 2.5D stacked die, the introduction of ultra-low-power memory and the relentless focus on low power for the Internet of Things are rather predictable progressions to engineers working in the semiconductor industry. What’s less obvious is how these changes are filtering out into the rest of the market and where it needs to go next. While many people have been talkin... » read more

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