Timing Closure Issues Resurface


Timing closure has resurfaced as a major challenge at 10nm and 7nm due to more features and power modes, increased process variation and other manufacturing-related issues. While timing-related problems are roughly correlated to rising complexity in semiconductors, they tend to generate problems in waves—about once per decade. In SoCs, timing closure problems have spawned entire methodolog... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Sept. 20


Crystal database The University of California at San Diego and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have created an open-source database of elemental crystal surfaces and shapes. The database, called Crystalium, is a new and expanding set of information about various crystals. The database can help researchers design new materials for various applications, such as batteries, catalytic conv... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: June 21


A chip with 1,000 processors A microchip containing 1,000 independent programmable processors has been designed by a team at the University of California, Davis. Called the KiloCore chip, it contains 621 million transistors and was fabricated by IBM using its 32nm CMOS technology. Cores operate at an average maximum clock frequency of 1.78 GHz, and they transfer data directly to each other r... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Sept. 1


Free-electron laser EUV consortium Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is delayed. Chipmakers hope to insert EUV at the 7nm node, but that’s not a given. As before, the big problem is the EUV light source. So far, the source can’t generate enough power to enable the required throughput for EUV in high-volume production. ASML’s current EUV source is operating at 80 Watts, up from 10 ... » read more

One-On-One: Dark Possibilities


Professor Michael Taylor’s research group at UC San Diego is studying ways to exploit dark silicon to optimize circuit designs for energy efficiency. He spoke with Semiconductor Engineering about the post-Dennard scaling regime, energy efficiency from integrated circuits all the way up to data centers, and how the manufacturing side can help. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. (P... » read more

One-On-One: Dark Servers


Professor Michael Taylor’s research group at UC San Diego is studying ways to exploit dark silicon to optimize circuit designs for energy efficiency. He spoke with Semiconductor Engineering about the post-Dennard scaling regime, energy efficiency from integrated circuits all the way up to data centers, and how the manufacturing side can help. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. To... » read more

One-On-One: Dark Silicon


Professor Michael Taylor’s research group at UC San Diego is studying ways to exploit dark silicon to optimize circuit designs for energy efficiency. He spoke with Semiconductor Engineering about the post-Dennard scaling regime, energy efficiency from integrated circuits all the way up to data centers, and how the manufacturing side can help. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. (F... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: March 10


Hi-tech pens The University of California at San Diego has developed a hi-tech ballpoint pen. Researchers have taken off-the-shelf ballpoint pens and filled them with bio inks. With so-called enzymatic-ink-based roller pens, users are able to draw biocatalytic sensors on a surface. [caption id="attachment_18297" align="alignleft" width="300"] Researchers draw sensors capable of detecting... » read more

Talking About Dark Silicon


Back in January, my article on dark silicon referenced work done by Michael Taylor and his research group at UC San Diego. I wasn’t able to arrange an interview with Dr. Taylor in time for that article, but we did have an extended conversation earlier this week. He pointed out that, while further decreases in threshold voltage are constrained by device leakage, the energy consumed by a circui... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Feb. 3


Bulletproof vests for batteries It was almost two years ago that the Boeing Dreamliner was grounded because of fires caused by its lithium-ion batteries. Now researchers at the University of Michigan have used nanofibers extracted from Kevlar, best known as the material in bulletproof vests, to create a new barrier between the electrodes in a lithium-ion battery. Lithium atoms in batterie... » read more

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