Blog Review: April 22

Neural engineering; harvesting energy from rain; trade-offs to sustain Moore’s Law; FinFET thin; embedded medicine; automation from office to home; industry changes; overcoming scaling challenges; ARM open source updates.

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DARPA thinks machine-brain interfaces are poised to become an industry-changing technology. Rambus’ David G. Stork brings us emerging developments in the field from the Neural Engineering Boot Camp.

If you live in an area that doesn’t get quite enough sun for solar panels, how about a smart window that harvests energy from wind and rain? In this week’s top five picks, Ansys’ Justin Nescott also features origami in space and a robot that no one quite knows what to do with.

Synopsys’ Navraj Nandra talks about the new device trade-offs being made to keep Moore’s Law alive. TCAD is an important stage in the development of new transistor dimensions, such as fin height and width, materials and operating voltages that affect the power/performance curves.

Just how thin is a FinFET’s fin? Cadence’s Axel Scherer puts one up against that oft-used standard of measurement, the human hair.

It’s a great time to be a shareholder of a medical instrument manufacturer, says Mentor’s Colin Walls, and an even more interesting time to be an embedded system developer.

For NXP’s Roman Budek, the desire for a smart home starts by working in a smart office. Regulations aimed at creating energy-efficient commercial buildings may also make people expect more convience and automation at home.

From the birth of EDA to increasing need for specialization, verification blogger Gaurav Jalan takes a look at some major shifts the industry went through to keep Moore’s Law rolling.

But after 50 years, are we nearing the end? No way, says Applied’s Randhir Thakur: from 3D architectures to the use of new materials, there are myriad ways to overcome scaling challenges.

ARM’s Stefano Cadario talks about what they have done in open source and what they plan to do in the near future. Specific details are provided for the GNU toolchain, LLVM and MC-Hammer including links for more details and information.

If you missed last week’s Manufacturing, Design & Test newsletter, here are more noteworthy blogs:

Editor in Chief Ed Sperling digs into what multi-patterning really means for the cost of developing and manufacturing at the most advanced nodes.

Executive Editor Mark LaPedus looks at a handful of less-visible but important manufacturing trends.

Mentor’s David Abercrombie provides a laundry list of everything you need to know, for now, about error visualization in triple patterning.

Semico’s Jim Feldhan predicts it will be a good year, anticipating 9% revenue growth in 2015.

SEMI’s Bettina Weiss looks back on the revolution and evolution of semiconductor manufacturing after 50 years of Moore’s Law.