System Bits: March 13

Wiring quantum computers According to MIT researchers, when we talk about “information technology,” we generally mean the technology part, like computers, networks, and software. But they reminded that the information itself, and its behavior in quantum systems, is a central focus for MIT’s interdisciplinary Quantum Engineering Group (QEG) as it seeks to develop quantum computing and oth... » read more

Heterogeneous Hubbub

It’s no secret that designers today would prefer not to be restricted in their architectural choices. And who can blame them? At the same time, this sentiment has boosted interest and usage of both heterogenous architectures as well as the RISC-V ISA. To support this, companies across the design, test and verification ecosystem are ramping efforts. One such effort is the teaming of UltraSo... » read more

Finding Faulty Auto Chips

The next wave of automotive chips for assisted and autonomous driving is fueling the development of new approaches in a critical field called outlier detection. KLA-Tencor, Optimal+, as well as Mentor, a Siemens Business, and others are entering or expanding their efforts in the outlier detection market or related fields. Used in various industries for several years, outlier detection is one... » read more

RISC-V Gains Its Footing

The RISC-V instruction-set architecture, which started as a UC Berkeley project to improve energy efficiency, is gaining steam across the industry. The RISC-V Foundation's member roster gives an indication who is behind this effort. Members include Google, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Rambus, Samsung, NXP, Micron, IBM, GlobalFoundries, UltraSoC, Siemens, among many others. One of the key markets for... » read more

System Bits: Feb. 13

Enabling individual manufacturing apps Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD focused on Industrie 4.0 recognize that manufacturing is turning toward batch sizes of one and individualized production in what is sometimes referred to as ‘highly customized mass production.’ [caption id="attachment_24131609" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The scanning ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Jan. 23

Atomristors for thin memory Engineers at The University of Texas at Austin and Peking University developed a thin memory storage device with dense memory capacity. Dubbed "atomristors," the device enables 3-D integration of nanoscale memory with nanoscale transistors on the same chip. "For a long time, the consensus was that it wasn't possible to make memory devices from materials that were... » read more

A New Memory Contender?

Momentum is building for a new class of ferroelectric memories that could alter the next-generation memory landscape. Generally, ferroelectrics are associated with a memory type called ferroelectric RAMs (FRAMs). Rolled out by several vendors in the late 1990s, FRAMs are low-power, nonvolatile devices, but they are also limited to niche applications and unable to scale beyond 130nm. While... » read more

System Bits: Jan. 2

Robots imagine their future to learn By playing with objects and then imagining how to get the task done, UC Berkeley researchers have developed a robotic learning technology that enables robots to figure out how to manipulate objects they have never encountered before. The team expects this technology could help self-driving cars anticipate future events on the road and produce more intel... » read more

Chipmakers Look To New Materials

Graphene, the wonder material rediscovered in 2004, and a host of other two-dimensional materials are gaining ground in manufacturing semiconductors as silicon’s usefulness begins to fade. And while there are a number of compounds in use already, such as gallium arsenide, gallium nitride, and silicon carbide, those materials generally are being confined to specific niche applications. Tran... » read more

Big Challenges, Changes For Debug

By Ann Steffora Mutschler & Ed Sperling Debugging a chip always has been difficult, but the problem is getting worse at 7nm and 5nm. The number of corner cases is exploding as complexity rises, and some bugs are not even on anyone's radar until well after devices are already in use by end customers. An estimated 39% of verification engineering time is spent on debugging activities the... » read more

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