Author's Latest Posts


The Precision Knob


Precision used to be a goal, but increasingly it is being used as a tool. This is true for processing and algorithms, where less precision can greatly improve both performance and battery life. And it is true in manufacturing, where more precision can help minimize the growing impact of variation. Moreover, being able to dial precision up or down can help engineers see the impact on a system... » read more

Moore’s Law Now Requires Advanced Packaging


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss advanced packaging with Calvin Cheung, vice president of engineering at ASE; Walter Ng, vice president of business management at UMC; Ajay Lalwani, vice president of global manufacturing operations at eSilicon; Vic Kulkarni, vice president and chief strategist in the office of the CTO at ANSYS; and Tien Shiah, senior manager for memory at Samsung. W... » read more

EDA, IP Revenue Down


EDA and IP revenue dropped 3.1% in Q4 2018 to $2.570 billion, versus $2.652 billion in the same period in 2017, ending a streak of 11 consecutive positive quarters of growth, according to the statistics released today by the Electronic System Design (ESD) Alliance. One quarter doesn't indicate a trend, but it certainly gets everyone's attention after nearly three years of positive news. Now ... » read more

More Memory And Processor Tradeoffs


Creating a new chip architecture is becoming an increasingly complex series of tradeoffs about memories and processing elements, but the benefits are not always obvious when those tradeoffs are being made. This used to be a fairly straightforward exercise when there was one processor, on-chip SRAM and off-chip DRAM. Fast forward to 7/5nm, where chips are being developed for AI, mobile ph... » read more

Multi-Physics At 5/3nm


Joao Geada, chief technologist at ANSYS, talks about why timing, process, voltage, and temperature no longer can be considered independently of each other at the most advanced nodes, and why it becomes more critical as designs shrink from 7nm to 5nm and eventually to 3nm. In addition, more chips are being customized, and more of those chips are part of broader systems that may involve an AI com... » read more

GDDR6 – HBM2 Tradeoffs


Steven Woo, Rambus fellow and distinguished inventor, talks about why designers choose one memory type over another. Applications for each were clearly delineated in the past, but the lines are starting to blur. Nevertheless, tradeoffs remain around complexity, cost, performance, and power efficiency.       Related Video Tech Talk: HBM Vs. GDDR6 (2018) A look at... » read more

Preparing For War On The Edge


War clouds are gathering over the edge of the network. The rush by the reigning giants of data—IBM, Amazon, Facebook, Alibaba, Baidu, Microsoft and Apple—to control the cloud by building mammoth hyperscale data centers  is being met with uncertainty at the edge of the network. In fact, just the emergence of the edge could mean that all bets are off when it comes to data dominance. It... » read more

New Approaches To Security


Different approaches are emerging to identify suspicious behavior and shut down potential breaches before they have a chance to do serious damage. This is becoming particularly important in markets where safety is an issue, and in AI and edge devices where the rapid movement of data is essential. These methods are a significant departure from the traditional way of securing devices through l... » read more

The 7nm Pileup


The number of 7nm designs is exploding. Cadence alone reports 80 new 7nm chips under design. So why now, and what does this all mean? First of all, 7nm appears to be the next 28nm. It's a major node, and it intersects with a number of broad trends that are happening across the industry, all of which involve AI in one way or another. The big question now is how many of them will survive long ... » read more

Safety Critical Design In Automotive


Shiv Chonnad, hardware engineer at Synopsys, examines how to design chips for safety-critical applications such as automotive and ensure they work as planned and in accordance with ISO 26262 and the various ASIL levels. This includes how to find faults at both a chip and a system level. https://youtu.be/3dL4ZuSe5Ls » read more

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