December 2014


Worldwide Semiconductor Market Booms


Worldwide sales of semiconductors have been growing steadily. In September, shipments passed 30 billion units—the highest monthly amount ever for that month, and 2014 is predicted to be a record-breaker when the numbers are finally tallied. Figure 1. Transition of worldwide semiconductor shipment prices peak in March, June, September, and December. Source: WSTS data edited by Semicon po... » read more

Blog Review: Dec. 31


Mentor's J. VanDomelen zeroes in on the two most interesting discoveries from the Philae comet landing. So what was that "eerie cyclical clicking" sound? Synopsys' Ray Varghese digs into basic coherent transaction testing for AXI/ACE compliant interconnects. You might want to put on another pot of coffee. Cadence's Brian Fuller offers some deep insights into synthesis, verification and te... » read more

Security Risks Grow Worse


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss security issues for connected devices with Marc Canel, vice president of security at [getentity id="22186" comment="ARM"]; Paul Kocher, president and chief scientist for the Cryptography Research division of [getentity id="22671" e_name="Rambus"]; Michael Poitner, global segment marketing manager at [getentity id="22499" e_name="NXP"]; Felix Baum, h... » read more

System Bits: Dec. 30


3D printing merges plastics, active electronics Princeton researchers have embedded tiny light-emitting diodes into a standard contact lens, allowing the device to project beams of colored light as part of a project demonstrating 3-D printing techniques. And while the lens is not designed for actual use — it requires an external power supply — the device was created to demonstrate the a... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 30


Mechanical switches For years, the industry has been talking about the use of advanced mechanical switches in low-power applications. In theory, mechanical switches have zero off-state leakages, abrupt ON/OFF switching capabilities and small voltage swings. Mechanical switches could overcome the energy efficiency limit of CMOS. In fact, mechanical switches could replace CMOS in some applica... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Dec. 30


Crafting ultrathin color coatings Harvard University researchers have developed a technique that coats a metallic object with an extremely thin layer of semiconductor, just a few nanometers thick. And while the semiconductor is a steely gray color, the object ends up shining in vibrant hues because the coating exploits interference effects in the thin films. Carefully tuned in the laboratory, ... » read more

Tech Talk: Cloud Power


PMC distinguished engineer Kenneth Wagner talks about the need for conserving energy in the data center as well as mobile device, and what are the best ways to accomplish that. The video was shot at the Cadence Low Power Summit. [youtube vid=tXx8-qX4vm4] » read more

Hybrid Verification: The Only Way Forward


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the state of the industry for [getkc id="10" kc_name=" functional verification"]. The inability of RTL [getkc id="11" kc_name="simulation"] to keep up with verification needs is causing rapid change in the industry. Taking part in the discussion are Harry Foster, chief scientist at [getentity id="22017" e_name="Mentor Graphics"]; Janick Bergeron, fe... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 23


Higgs boson sensors At the recent 2014 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco, CERN described the tiny hybrid pixel detectors used at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Using CMOS technology, hybrid pixel detectors identify and tag individual sub-atomic particles at fast speeds. CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is a particle physics laboratory... » read more

System Bits: Dec. 23


Mini particle accelerator Researchers at MIT who succeeded last year in creating a material that could trap light and stop it in its tracks have now developed a more fundamental understanding of the process. The new work — which they said could help explain some basic physical mechanisms — shows that this behavior is connected to a wide range of other seemingly unrelated phenomena. Ligh... » read more

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