October 2013


Experts At The Table: Debug


Semiconductor Engineering sat down with Galen Blake, senior verification engineer at Altera; Warren Stapleton, senior fellow at Advanced Micro Devices; Stephen Bailey, director of solutions marketing at Mentor Graphics; Michael Sanie, senior director of verification marketing at Synopsys. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: There are separate areas being created in devices, s... » read more

Arteris Sells Some Of Its IP Assets To Qualcomm


Qualcomm agreed to buy Arteris’ NoC technology IP and hire some of the engineers who built it, but Arteris will continue to service that IP to new and existing customers. Under terms of the agreement, the two companies also have agreed upon a roadmap for future deliverables of the IP as well as an engineering support contract. Arteris retains the source code for the FlexNoC interconnect IP pr... » read more

Blog Review: Oct. 30


Mentor’s Nazita Saye has stumbled on a phone that you can build yourself from various components. When something breaks, you simply change out what’s broken. Wasn’t that the concept behind the original Volkswagen Beetle? Cadence’s Brian Fuller launches into the discussion about 16nm headaches, including finFET parasitics, pin access and wire resistance. Looks like the transition to f... » read more

RF SOI Market Heats Up


GlobalFoundries has entered the radio-frequency silicon-on-insulator (RF SOI) foundry business as part of an alliance with Peregrine Semiconductor. As part of the move, Peregrine is entering the RF SOI chip market in an effort to develop lower cost devices.    Peregrine is sampling the first RF switch devices based on its new RF SOI process, dubbed UltraCMOS 10 RF SOI. The 130nm technology... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 29


Supercapacitor for electricity storage With the potential for solar cells that produce electricity 24/7 and mobile phones with built-in power cells that recharge in seconds and work for weeks between charges, researchers at Vanderbilt University have created a novel supercapacitor design with these and other applications in mind. They believe it is the first supercapacitor made out of silic... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 29


Diamond chips The optical transistor, which transports photons, holds great promise. Photons are not only faster than electrons, but they have less crosstalk. But optical transistors are also expensive and difficult to produce. In a possible breakthrough, the ICFO-Institute of Photonic Sciences has demonstrated a “nano-size” diamond that can act as an efficient optical switch. Researche... » read more

System Bits: Oct. 29


Coupling photons with electrons With the potential to lead to the creation of materials whose electronic properties could be “tuned” in real time simply by shining precise laser beams at them, researchers at MIT have produced and measured a coupling of photons and electrons on the surface of an unusual type of material called a topological insulator. This type of coupling had been predicte... » read more

Temporary Bonding, Debonding Remains Challenging For TSV Adoption


By Jeff Chappell One issue with the adoption of TSVs in 3D ICs in mainstream semiconductor applications revolves around the throughput of the temporary wafer bonding and debonding process. This doesn't necessarily equate to a roadblock, but work certainly remains to be done on this and related issues. On one hand, TSVs already are being used in the manufacturing of compound semiconductors ... » read more

Uncertainty, But Not Over Power


The semiconductor industry has reached a crossroads. Lithography has stalled out, NRE is rising, and chipmakers are torn between choices of when and whether to jump to the next process node—and even more daunting, the next one after that—or whether to take half steps with fan outs, 2.5D, or fully depleted SOI. While chips do continue to tape out, the number of critical choices that need... » read more

Week In Review: System-Level Design


Mentor Graphics unveiled an embedded hypervisor for automotive infotainment systems. This is a Type 1 hypervisor, meaning it runs next to the metal and below the OS. In contrast, Type 2 hypervisors run above the OS. Mentor’s hypervisor supports multicore processors and ARM’s TrustZone security. Synopsys rolled out Ethernet controller IP for the data center, focused on energy efficiency a... » read more

← Older posts