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The SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium Outlook


In mid-January, SEMI organized the two-day Industry Strategy Symposium. Presentations ranged from the outlook for the overall global economy, to purifying gases and materials to parts per quadrillion, to how TSMC took the leading-edge process crown from Intel. The first day was focused on the economy and business environment, along with its impact on the semiconductor supply chain. The secon... » read more

Imec’s Plan For Continued Scaling


At IEDM in December, the opening keynote (technically "Plenary 1") was by Sri Samevadam of Imec. His presentation was titled "Towards Atomic Channels and Deconstructed Chips." He presented Imec's view of the future of semiconductors going forward, both Moore's Law (scaling) and More than More (advanced packaging and multiple die). It is always interesting to hear Imec's view of the world since... » read more

Security Breaches And The Defensive Mindset


Over the Christmas break, the biggest security breach ever came to light. It is assumed to be instigated by a foreign entity. The breach is known mostly as SolarWinds. SolarWinds produces network management software called Orion that is used by...well, almost everyone. The attackers inserted a backdoor into an Orion software update. You know how the operating system on your PC or Mac gets autom... » read more

Attaching Fibers To Photonic Chips


Recently, Cadence held its fifth photonics summit, CadenceCONNECT: Photonics Contribution to High-Performance Computing. You can read my earlier posts: Photonic Integration—From Switching to Computing How to Design Photonics If You Don't Have a PhD: iPronics and Ayar Labs The third day was all about how to connect the incoming and outgoing fibers to the photonics chips. I will cov... » read more

Capabilities In CAP, CHERI, And Morello


At the recent Arm DevSummit, one of the presentations mentioned CHERI and the Arm Morello board in passing. This was in the context of using capabilities (perhaps) in some future Arm processors to increase the amount of memory safety, and to protect against vulnerabilities like Spectre and Meltdown. I'd never heard of either, so I was intrigued and decided to look into the details. But the f... » read more

Arm Goes For Performance


At the recent Linley Processor Conference, Arm presented two processors. This was regarded as so confidential that the original pre-conference version of the presentations didn't contain the Arm one, even though that pdf was only put online about an hour before. But most of the outline of what they presented they already talked about in May, a few months ago. I said recently that this seem... » read more

Electronics In Agriculture


In my post Jobs: Farmer I wrote about my experience as a teenager working on the farm owned (actually rented from the Duke of Badminton) by the father of one of my school friends. Electronics were nowhere to be found in those days. I recently watched some YouTube videos that show just how hi-tech farming has become now that Moore's Law has made accessible electronics that would have seemed ma... » read more

Testing For Electromagnetic Compliance Without An Anechoic Chamber


You can't sell an electronic product without getting CE or FCC (or equivalent) certification. In fact, for medical devices and aerospace, the requirements are even stricter. This doesn't just apply to obvious electronic products like laptops or automotive ECUs (electronic control units). It even applies to household goods like washers and dryers. Furthermore, this isn't just some sort of nice-t... » read more

One SerDes Solution Doesn’t Fit All


Way back in the 1960s, E. Rent, who was working at IBM at the time, noticed a connection between the number of pins P on integrated circuits being used and the number of gates G on the integrated circuits. It was a power law, where the number of pins was cGR where c and R are constants. Actually, traditionally a Greek rho is used instead of R. It usually has a value between 0.5 and 0.8. If R... » read more

OIP Ecosystem Forum 2020


Last Tuesday was the virtual TSMC OIP Ecosystem Forum. Apart from being virtual, the format was similar to the usual. Cliff Hou, Senior Vice President of Technology Development, opened the day with a summary of where everything is in the ecosystem around each of the new processes. There were then three keynotes by the leaders of the three big EDA companies. That was followed by more technical ... » read more

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