The Big Blur


Chip companies, research houses, foundries—and more recently large systems companies—have been developing alternative technologies to continue scaling power and performance. It's still not obvious which of those will win, let alone survive, or what they will do to the economics of developing chips. For more than five decades, the biggest concern was scaling devices in order to save money... » read more

China’s Electric Car Ambitions


China, the world’s largest car market, is also leading the charge in the electric vehicle business. But with little or no fanfare, China also wants to dominate the critical ecosystem for battery-electric vehicles and hybrids. In fact, the nation is already the world’s largest producer of batteries for electric vehicles. And it also controls a sizable part of the supply chain, such as the... » read more

A New Type Of Switch


Back in July, Applied Materials announced that we’d been selected by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop technology for AI. While Applied is engaged on the development of many disruptive technologies, it’s not often that we’re in a position to discuss them in early development. Thanks to the vision of DARPA’s Electronics Resurgence Initiative and their ... » read more

More Fabs, More Equipment Spending


Global fab equipment spending will increase 14 percent this year to US$62.8 billion and is expected to rise 7.5 percent, to US$67.5 billion, in 2019, marking the fourth consecutive year of spending growth and the highest investment year for fab equipment in the history of the industry, according to the latest World Fab Forecast Report published by SEMI. Investments in new fab construction are a... » read more

Industry 4.0: The Smart Industrial Revolution


As consumers, we see evidence of the Internet of Things (IoT) all around us. A growing number of everyday objects in our homes and cars are now digitally connected in a way that allows us to interact with them. Even mundane items such as keychains and wallets can be made smart with trackers and mobile device apps. A similar revolution is occurring in some workplaces, with the growing ability to... » read more

A Review of Silicon Photonics


With the end of Moore’s Law rapidly approaching—some say it's already here—new applications of older technologies are gaining attention. One specific area of interest is photonics. The National Center for Optics and Photonic Education defines photonics as the technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. It can also be... » read more

The Hidden Cost Of Tariffs


The impact of tariffs on the semiconductor industry is just now being assessed, but there's a lot more to this picture than import and export duties. In fact, the biggest and longest-lasting effects may have less to do with taxing imports than what happens across the global supply chain that includes everything from manufacturing equipment to materials to investment capital. Import duti... » read more

Memory Startups To Watch


The next-generation memories are finally ramping up after years’ of delays and promises. Intel, for one, is shipping 3D XPoint, a next-generation technology based on phase-change memory. In addition, the big foundries are readying embedded MRAM. And, of course, there are a number of other players in the next-generation memory arena. There are also a number of startups that are flying un... » read more

Optimizing 5G With AI At The Edge


AI touches our lives in many different ways, and while some AI-enabled applications are highly visible, like the increasingly popular Amazon Echo and Google Home voice-controlled intelligent digital assistants, others are less obvious. But by no means are they less important. For example, AI techniques are essential to the successful rollout of 5G wireless communications. 5G is the develop... » read more

Automotive Electronics: Driving The Semiconductor Market


Automotive electronics is the fastest growing end application in the semiconductor market, but what systems will see the highest penetration rates? Currently, self-driving cars grab much of the media attention, and for good reason. Semico estimates that today’s self-driving car has $21,525 of additional electronics. However, recent tests of ADAS vehicles produced less than stellar results. II... » read more

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