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New Glasses Target Aspects Of AR & VR


Despite all the recent noise about the Metaverse (and Facebook changing its company name to Meta), I remain convinced that augmented reality (AR) is going to be more important than virtual reality (VR), at least in the medium term. For one thing, virtual reality headsets are large and expensive, at least today. I'm also not convinced that we all want to live in a virtual world like that...but I... » read more

Multi-DRAM Memory Subsystems In SoCs


Even with DRAM capacity going up with each generation of DRAM, the demand for memory densities by a variety of applications is growing at an even faster rate. To support these high memory densities and bus width requirements (that are typically more than what a single DRAM can support), almost all the new generation of memory subsystems and SoCs have multiple DRAM dies combined to effectively c... » read more

The Next Generation Of General-Purpose Compute At Hot Chips


At the recent HOT CHIPS, the first day opened with the chips that you first think of when you hear the word processor. These are the next generation of chips from the likes of Intel, AMD, and IBM. There were lots of other chips too, such as Arm's Neoverse N2, and NVIDIA's new data-processing unit (DPU), or AMD's next-generation graphics architecture. But for this post, anyway, I'm going to focu... » read more

What Is Intern Reading Club?


As the summer winds down, interns are busy completing their assigned projects and preparing their end of summer presentations. These presentations have been a rite of passage for interns on the Pointwise team for many years and gives each intern a chance to show off what they learned and accomplished. And the rest of the team gets to hear all the details of what they've been working on. Anothe... » read more

Hyperconnectivity’s Impact On Consumers


Do you know what hyperconnectivity is? It is already affecting you, whether you know it or not. Hyperscalers are the companies like AWS, Google, and Microsoft that build and run those enormous (aka hyperscale) data centers. If you are a designer and use the cloud, then you have at least a vague idea of what data centers are being used to handle your design. But even if you are the generic perso... » read more

Modernizing Audio Codec Industry Standards For Enhanced Power Savings And Performance


Mobile phones have become a necessity, and we all use them to talk, play, communicate, and manage many aspects of our lives. While you may have an iPhone, your friends might have an Android phone  from one of several vendors. They all look and feel different, yet you can seamlessly talk with your friends. How is that possible? While they are different in some ways, they are similar in many oth... » 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

Die-To-Die Chiplet Communication


At CadenceLIVE Americas 2020, one of the most viewed videos was by Samsung Foundry's Kevin Yee 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

A New Way To Create Structures


Let’s focus today on an established routing technology with a new twist! All of you are doubtless familiar with the concept of structures – formerly called via structures, renamed to structures because of their growing flexibility and application across many flows. These handy, reusable blocks of routing allow you to quickly fan out the most complex of component interfaces. And, after that,... » 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

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