December 2013


Joe Costello To Get Back Into EDA?


While other writers in this world rely on gossip, there is a lot more that can come from hard work and paying attention. Perhaps one of the most famous and charismatic people from the EDA world is [getperson id="11147" p_name="Joe Costello"] – former CEO of [getentity id="22032" e_name="Cadence"] and still missed by many. Until recently he was CEO of a company called Orb Networks, a streamin... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Dec. 31


Approximate computing With the potential to double efficiency and reduce energy consumption, Purdue University and NEC Laboratories America researchers are developing computers capable of "approximate computing" to perform calculations good enough for certain tasks that don't require perfect accuracy. The need for approximate computing is driven by a fundamental shift in the nature of compu... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 31


Bringing Graphene Down To Earth For years, the semiconductor industry has been looking at graphene as a next-generation technology for a multitude of applications. One potential application, the graphene field-effect transistor (GFET), has been developed by various companies and universities. There are several advantages and disadvantages with GFETs. On one hand, GFETs have a higher mobilit... » read more

System Bits: Dec. 31


Low signal loss waveguides With the potential to enable a leap ahead in size reduction and performance, DARPA-funded researchers at UCSB and CalTech have developed new methods to integrate long coils of waveguides with low signal loss onto microchips—potentially enabling a leap ahead in size reduction and performance. Long coils of optical waveguides—any structure that can guide light, ... » read more

Experts At The Table: MEMS Challenges


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the challenges of MEMS with Rakesh Kumar, senior director of the MEMS program at GlobalFoundries; Tak Tanaka, managing director for Applied Global Services at Applied Materials; Paul Lindner, executive technology director at EV Group; and Alissa M. Fitzgerald, founder and managing member at A.M. Fitzgerald & Associates. What follows are excerpts... » read more

The End Is Near


Looking back is easier than looking forward, and looking narrow is easier than looking wide. In 2013, there were several fundamental changes. Change No. 1: IP is now a lucrative market. From Synopsys’ standpoint, it’s been a lucrative market for some time. But the acquisitions made by Cadence, beginning in late 2012, coupled with the push by ARM into the micro-server market and the flail... » read more

When Is Verification Done?


Verification is becoming much more difficult at 16nm/14nm, driven by the sheer complexity of SoCs, the fact that there is much more to verify, and the impact of physical effects, which now affect what used to be exclusively the realm of functional verification. The questions these changes raise are daunting, and for many engineers rather unnerving. The whole validation, verification and debu... » read more

Plans Vs. Planning


The end of the year is a good time to look back at what’s happened over the past year, and look ahead to what might happen in the coming one. Two quotes that help my thought process when thinking about the might be coming, “Change is the law of life.” from Kennedy, and “Plans are nothing, but planning is indispensable” from Eisenhower. From my perspective, 2013 has been a good year... » read more

Week In Review: System-Level Design


Synopsys extended its FPGA prototyping board with a new version that is optimized for IP and subsystems. This is particularly interesting given the fact that Synopsys is one of the largest IP providers and currently sells subsystems based on its ARC processor IP. Among the new features are support for 4 million gates for software development and hardware-software integration, as well as synthes... » read more

Experts At The Table: MEMS Challenges


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the challenges of MEMS with Rakesh Kumar, senior director of the MEMS program at GlobalFoundries; Tak Tanaka, managing director for Applied Global Services at Applied Materials; Paul Lindner, executive technology director at EV Group; and Alissa M. Fitzgerald, founder and managing member at A.M. Fitzgerald & Associates. What follows are excerpts... » read more

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