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Author's Latest Posts


Advancing 3D Integration


Jerry Tzou's recent presentation on 3D Fabric Technology was all about More than Moore. TSMC has other specialized technologies such as RF and eNVM, but this is a general foundational technology for hyperscale data centers, mobile, and AI. Jerry started with the motivation for using chiplets and heterogeneous chip integration. You can see in the diagram below on the left where die from node... » read more

National Security And Artificial Intelligence


The (U.S.) National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence recently published its final report. The report is 756 pages long, so I am not going to claim that I've read it all. I read the introduction and some of the conclusion, and the chapter on microelectronics (basically, semiconductors and advanced packaging). To give you a flavor, here are the opening paragraphs of the "Letter f... » read more

Preventing Online Fraud


I attended a webcast on Anti-Fraud organized by the RSA Conference in the leadup to the conference itself. The anti-fraud webcast was split into two sections. First was Steve Winderfield, who is advisory CISO at Akamai, titled "How We Can Keep up with Cyber-Criminals' Evolving Business Models?" The second part was by Michael Tiffany of White Ops and Chris Ott of Rothwell Figg, titled "Dete... » read more

Die-To-Die Chiplet Communication


At CadenceLIVE Americas 2020, one of the most viewed videos was by Samsung Foundry's Kevin Lee and Cadence's Tom Wong, titled "Let’s Talk About Chips (Chiplets), Baby…It’s All About D2D!" They went for this title because it reminded them of the lyrics of an '80s song...which they proceeded to sing. Process and packaging trends Tom led off with a look at the trends in semiconducto... » read more

Self-Driving Cars In San Francisco


You probably have heard that Waymo has completely driverless (no safety driver) taxis serving Phoenix. 600 of them. But you can't go and buy one. Why is that? Paul Graham, the founder of the incubator Y Combinator, is celebrated for many reasons, but two things he has said have become mantra in the startup world: Build something people want. Do things that don't scale. When it comes ... » read more

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

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