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CEO Outlook: 2021


The new year will be one of significant transition and innovation for the chip industry, but there are so many new applications and market segments that broad generalizations are becoming less meaningful. Unlike in years past, where sales of computers or smart phones were a good indication of how the chip industry would fare, end markets have both multiplied and splintered, greatly increasin... » read more

Why It’s So Hard To Stop Cyber Attacks On ICs


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss security risks across multiple market segments with Helena Handschuh, security technologies fellow at Rambus; Mike Borza, principal security technologist for the Solutions Group at Synopsys; Steve Carlson, director of aerospace and defense solutions at Cadence; Alric Althoff, senior hardware security engineer at Tortuga Logic; and Joe Kiniry, princi... » read more

Variation Threat In Advanced Nodes, Packages Grows


Variation is becoming a much bigger and more complex problem for chipmakers as they push to the next process nodes or into increasingly dense advanced packages, raising concerns about the functionality and reliability of individual devices, and even entire systems. In the past, almost all concerns about variation focused on the manufacturing process. What printed on a piece of silicon didn't... » read more

New Security Approaches, New Threats


New and different approaches to security are gaining a foothold as the life expectancy for advanced chips increases, and as emerging technologies such as quantum computing threaten to crack even the most complex encryption schemes. These approaches include everything from homomorphic encryption, where data is processed without being decrypted, to different ways of sending and receiving data ... » read more

Predicting Reliability At 3/2nm And Beyond


The chip industry is determined to manufacture semiconductors at 3/2nm — and maybe even beyond — but it's unlikely those chips will be the complex all-in-one SoCs that have defined advanced electronics over the past decade or so. Instead, they likely will be one of many tiles in a system that define different functions, the most important of which are highly specialized for a particular app... » read more

IP Safe Enough To Use In Cars


IP that is used for functional safety needs to respond to events that can happen, whether those are planned or random. Jody Defazio, vice president of IP quality and functional safety at Synopsys, talks with Semiconductor Engineering about ASIL compliance, what the different levels mean, and the impact of using chips developed at the most advanced process nodes in automotive applications. » read more

The Cyber-Industrial Revolution


Semiconductors won't save the world, but they certainly will help. In fact, it's arguable whether any significant progress will be made on such issues as global warming or future medical breakthroughs without the aid of ICs. After decades of struggling just to get chips to work at each new process node, the semiconductor industry is moving into a new phase. Processing is now almost ubiquitou... » read more

Silicon Lifecycle Management


How do you track, measure and ensure reliability over the lifetime of a chip, regardless of how or where it is used? Steve Pateras, senior director of marketing for test products at Synopsys, drills down into the impact of hardware-software co-design, over-the-air updates, the expected lifetime of designs, and how the various monitors and sensors are used to track environmental, structural and ... » read more

Security Gaps In Open Source Hardware And AI


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss security risks across multiple market segments with Helena Handschuh, security technologies fellow at Rambus; Mike Borza, principal security technologist for the Solutions Group at Synopsys; Steve Carlson, director of aerospace and defense solutions at Cadence; Alric Althoff, senior hardware security engineer at Tortuga Logic; and Joe Kiniry, princi... » read more

Structural Integrity Of Chips


A new challenge is on the horizon, and it's one that could have some interesting consequences for chip design — structural integrity. Ever since the introduction of finFETs and 3D NAND, the lines have been blurring between electrical and mechanical engineering. After some initial reports of fins collapsing or breaking, and variable distances between layers, chipmakers figured out how to so... » read more

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