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The Other Side Of AI System Reliability


Adding intelligence into pervasive electronics will have consequences, but not necessarily what most people expect. Nearly everything electronic these days has some sort of "smart" functionality built in or added on. This can be as simple as a smoke alarm that alerts you when the batteries are running low, a home assistant that learns your schedule and dials the thermostat up or down, or a r... » read more

What Do Feedback Loops For AI/ML Devices Really Show?


AI/ML is being designed into an increasing number of chips and systems these days, but predicting how they will behave once they're in the field is, at best, a good guess. Typically, verification, validation, and testing of systems is done before devices reach the market, with an increasing amount of in-field data analysis for systems where reliability is potentially mission- or safety-criti... » read more

Why AI Systems Are So Hard To Predict


AI can do many things, but how to ensure that it does the right things is anything but clear. Much of this stems from the fact that AI/ML/DL systems are built to adapt and self-optimize. With properly adjusted weights, training algorithms can be used to make sure these systems don't stray too far from the starting point. But how to test for that, in the lab, the fab and in the field is far f... » read more

Predicting Reliability At 3/2nm And Beyond


The chip industry is determined to manufacture semiconductors at 3/2nm — and maybe even beyond — but it's unlikely those chips will be the complex all-in-one SoCs that have defined advanced electronics over the past decade or so. Instead, they likely will be one of many tiles in a system that define different functions, the most important of which are highly specialized for a particular app... » read more

Selective Redundancy In Cars


The automotive industry has been fish-tailing its way through design strategies and electronics architectures, but it finally appears to be honing in on a strategy that actually might work. This doesn't mean fully autonomous vehicles will take over the road anytime soon, but at least it points carmakers in the right direction. The auto industry has been in panic mode ever since Tesla, Waymo,... » read more

Reliability Over Time And Space


The demand for known good die is well understood as multi-chip packages are used in safety-critical and mission-critical applications, but that alone isn't sufficient. As chips are swapped in and out of packages to customize them for specific applications, it will be the entire module that needs to be verified, simulated and tested, and analyzed. This is more complicated than it sounds for s... » read more

Are Chips Getting More Reliable?


The semiconductor industry is making huge progress in understanding the causes and telltale signs of circuit aging and irregular behavior. But are devices actually getting more reliable? The answer depends on a number of factors, none of which is easily measured. To be sure, circuits are much better designed and inspected than in the past, and the individual components are printed more accur... » read more

The Very Long Road To Autonomous Vehicles


It may be a long wait before fully autonomous vehicles hit the road. Even semi-autonomous vehicles aren't doing so well. The American Automobile Association drove 4,000 miles in cars equipped with active driver assistance, averaging problems every 8 miles. AAA cited a host of problems, including driving too close to other cars or guardrails, aggressive braking, and automated steering that wo... » read more

Next Challenge: Known Good Systems


The leading edge of design is heading toward multi-die/multi-chiplet architectures, and an increasing number of mainstream designs likely will follow as processing moves closer to the edge. This doesn't mean every chipmaker will be designing leading-edge chips, of course. But more devices will have at least some leading-edge logic or will be connected over some advanced interconnect scheme t... » read more

Liability And Reliability


As systems vendors accelerate the development of their own architectures, semiconductor companies across the supply chain are getting a seat at the table for architecting the engines in those systems. Rather than competing for a socket, they are directly involved in strategizing the optimal solution that can make a systems vendor or OEM more competitive or far more efficient. That gives the dev... » read more

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