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Looking For The Next Big Innovation


Never has there been more demand for “The Big Innovation” — one that moves the needle for performance, power and area-cost (PPAC) in a big way — as there is in the current era of AI and machine learning (ML). As summarized in Why AI Workloads Require New Computing Architectures, AI workloads require new architectures to process data. These workloads also call for heterogeneous comp... » 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

The Materials Side Of AI


As we enter the foundry 7nm and below technology nodes, tungsten fill for contacts has reached the physical limits of scaling and copper used in the lowest level interconnects is facing challenges on multiple fronts. Solving these issues will require a new conducting material, namely cobalt. This transition can enable continued device scaling and less power consumption per computation. Follo... » read more

The Role Of Cobalt In Enabling AI


We are on the cusp of the biggest computing wave yet — the AI era driven by Big Data. Enabling this era will require significant enhancements in processor performance and in the capacity and latency of memory. These requirements are coming at a time when the industry is being increasingly challenged by a slowdown in classic Moore’s Law scaling. What’s needed to continue driving the indust... » read more

What Else Is In A Node?


In part one of this blog, I reported on the 2018 Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) where Dan Hutcheson of VLSI Research led a panel with representatives of Synopsys, NVIDIA, Intel, ASML and Applied Materials. The participants discussed how the industry is focused on simultaneously squeezing more capabilities from leading-nodes, inter-nodes and trailing-nodes to drive advances in computing. I to... » read more

What’s In A Node?


In an environment where process nodes are no longer consistently delivering the level of improvements predicted by Moore’s Law, the industry will continue to develop “inter-nodes” as a way to deliver incremental improvements in lieu of “full-nodes.” A shift in market requirements, in part due to the rise of AI and IoT, is increasing emphasis on trailing-nodes. When it comes to leading... » read more

Toward A 5G, AI-Centric World


The market environment over the coming years will continue to experience an explosion of data generation from a variety of new sources such as smart cars, smart factories, smart hospitals and smart network infrastructure. Data explosion combined with artificial intelligence (AI) will create a renaissance of computing and storage hardware. Mobile World Congress 2018 (MWC) reinforced this market ... » read more

Mixing 4G And 5G


5G networks will impact the number and types of ICs in end-user devices and the base stations used to transmit the signals (including the repeaters that rebroadcast those signals). And this is before we begin to consider the technology impact to the infrastructure required to support the data generated in a 5G ecosystem (servers, memory and so on). First, 5G is expected to transmit up to 10 ... » read more

What’s On Display


Displays provide the window between consumers and the information universe. There is no place like CES, held recently in Las Vegas, to see the most exciting new and future displays. Beyond traditional technologies like television, displays also featured prominently in many of the big trends at the show: AI (Artificial Intelligence), automotive, virtual reality, IoT (Internet of Things) and conn... » read more

The Future Of AI Is In Materials


I had the pleasure of hosting an eye-opening presentation and Q&A with Dr. Jeff Welser of IBM at a recent Applied Materials technical event in San Francisco. Dr. Welser is Vice President and Director of IBM Research's Almaden lab in San Jose. He made the case that the future of hardware is AI. At Applied Materials we believe that advanced materials engineering holds the keys to unlocking... » read more

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