July 2011

Printed electronics for RFID’s make progress

The news that a printed electronics startup, Kovio, had received new round of funding prompted further thoughts on exactly where printed electronics will pay off. Kovio raised $15 million to pursue Near Field Communication (NFC) RFID devices. NFC’s claim to fame is that it supports communication by touch. One of the most talked about applications for NFC is to use a cell phone as a credit ... » read more

Experts At The Table: Multi-Core And Many-Core

By Ed Sperling Low-Power Engineering sat down with Naveed Sherwani, CEO of Open-Silicon; Amit Rohatgi, principal mobile architect at MIPS; Grant Martin, chief scientist at Tensilica; Bill Neifert, CTO at Carbon Design Systems; and Kevin McDermott, director of market development for ARM’s System Design Division. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. LPE: Is software taking advan... » read more

RF, MEMS, Photonics Driving 3D Stacking

By Pallab Chatterjee At Semicon West, a number of the key speakers and TechXPOTs were talking about current products being assembled and shipped with 3D technology. 3D die stacking is no longer a technology of the future. In fact it has been here for many years and has been used in millions, if not billions, of consumer, commercial and high-reliability designs. The two leading technologies ... » read more

3D Stacking: A Reality Check

By Ed Sperling The first 2.5D and 3D chips are expected to arrive next year, with the mainstream chip market expected to follow in 2013. While this trend already has seen its share of hype, stacked die—whether through a series of TSVs in true 3D or through an interposer layer in 2.5D—is as real as Moore’s Law. In fact, it’s a direct result of Moore’s Law. But unlike the progres... » read more

Solving Memory Subsystem Bottlenecks In 3D Stacks

In today’s do-or-die market environment, many SOC makers strive to differentiate their product based upon the rate at which it performs processing. Closely coupled are power concerns that have led to dominance of a multi-core approach, while economic considerations have resulted in the dominance of the Unified Memory Architecture, where all the processors share access to external DRAM. Stacki... » read more

Bigger Pipes, New Priorities

By Ann Steffora Mutschler From the impact of stacking on memory subsystems to advances in computing architecture, Micron Technology is at the forefront in the memory industry. System-Level Design sat down to discuss challenges, as well as some possible solutions, that plague memory subsystem architects with Scott Graham, general manager for Micron’s Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) and Joe Jeddeloh,... » read more

The Growing Need For A Systems Approach

By Gabe Moretti Electronic computing systems have gone through an evolutionary cycle since the invention of the mainframe, and the process is continuing. Semiconductor technology, mostly based on CMOS fabrication methods, has enabled an increase in design complexity and device functionality that have revolutionized the world. But 20nm processes may be the last that obey Newtonian physics. T... » read more

Next Up: Touchless Screens

By Kurt Shuler Gesture Recognition Qualcomm’s announcement this Monday that it has acquired assets from gesture recognition technology pioneer GestureTek makes it official: Gesture recognition based on video camera technology will be in phones sooner than we think. [caption id="attachment_7583" align="alignnone" width="716"] Source: TI and YouTube[/caption] Video-based gesture recognit... » read more

Stacks And Stacks

Talking about stacked die is sort of like describing Africa as a country. First of all, it’s wrong—despite some politicians’ statements to the contrary. And second, lumping everything together under a single heading probably adds more confusion than clarity. There are several ways to approach this semantics problem. One is by function. Memory on memory, memory on logic, and logic on l... » read more

High Stakes Domination

By Frank Ferro As an I IP provider, I have been watching with great interest the patent battles taking place between the major players in the wireless market. The now seemingly daily announcements of new lawsuits in the mobile consumer market translate to several things—wireless devices have become true consumer items, the dollars are high and new companies have reshaped the market landscape... » read more

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