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5G Chips Add Test Challenges


The advent of chips supporting millimeter-wave (mmWave) 5G signals is creating a new set of design and testing challenges. Effects that could be ignored at lower frequencies are now important. Performing high-volume test of RF chips will require much more from automated test equipment (ATE) than is required for chips operating below 6 GHz. “MmWave design is a pretty old thing,” said Y... » read more

IoT Security: Confusing And Fragmented


Security regulations for Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices are evolving around the world, but there is no consistent set of requirements that can be applied globally — and there may never be. What exists today is a patchwork of certification labs and logos. That makes it difficult for IoT-device designers to know where to get their security blessed. Unlike in data centers, where there is a ... » read more

There’s More To Machine Learning Than CNNs


Neural networks – and convolutional neural networks (CNNs) in particular – have received an abundance of attention over the last few years, but they're not the only useful machine-learning structures. There are numerous other ways for machines to learn how to solve problems, and there is room for alternative machine-learning structures. “Neural networks can do all this really comple... » read more

Is There a Practical Test For Rowhammer Vulnerability?


Rowhammer is proving to be a difficult DRAM issue to fix. While efforts continue to mitigate or eliminate the effect, no solid solution has yet made it to volume production. In addition, more aggressive process nodes are expected to exacerbate the problem. In the absence of a fix, then, testing may be one way to give DRAM manufacturers and users some way to segregate devices that are more su... » read more

The Case For FPGAs In Cars


Field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) thrive in rapidly evolving new markets before being replaced by hard-wired ASICs, but in automotive that crossover is likely to happen significantly later than in the past. Historically, FPGAs have held temporary positions until volumes increased enough to cost-reduce the FPGAs out in favor of a hardened version. With automobiles, there are so many chan... » read more

11 Ways To Reduce AI Energy Consumption


As the machine-learning industry evolves, the focus has expanded from merely solving the problem to solving the problem better. “Better” often has meant accuracy or speed, but as data-center energy budgets explode and machine learning moves to the edge, energy consumption has taken its place alongside accuracy and speed as a critical issue. There are a number of approaches to neural netw... » read more

Chip Monitoring And Test Collaborate


As on-chip monitoring becomes more prevalent in complex advanced-node ICs, it’s easy to question whether or not it conflicts with conventional silicon testing. It might even supplant such testing in the future. Or alternatively, they could interact, with each supporting the other. “On-chip monitors provide fine-grained observability into effects and issues that are otherwise difficult or... » read more

Developers Turn To Analog For Neural Nets


Machine-learning (ML) solutions are proliferating across a wide variety of industries, but the overwhelming majority of the commercial implementations still rely on digital logic for their solution. With the exception of in-memory computing, analog solutions mostly have been restricted to universities and attempts at neuromorphic computing. However, that’s starting to change. “Everyon... » read more

Battle Brewing Over Automotive Display Protocols


Displays are multiplying in new and future automobiles. That means a lot more display data moving around the vehicle and traveling some distance between sensor and processor. While existing protocols can handle some of the new duties, new protocols also are being developed specifically for this application. “Automotive displays are proliferating, increasing in numbers and in pixel densi... » read more

Tapping Into Non-Volatile Logic


Research is underway to develop a new type of logic device, called non-volatile logic (NVL), based on ferroelectric FETs. FeFETs have been a topic of high interest at recent industry conferences, but the overwhelming focus has been using them in memory arrays. The memory bit cell, however, is simply a transistor that can store a state. That can be leveraged in other applications. “Non-v... » read more

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