Here Come The Economists


Big data is undergoing some big changes. For years, the challenge was getting enough good data to create models for everything from Wall Street trends to traffic routing. But with an influx of data from billions of sensors and electronic transactions, data is no longer in short supply. In fact, there is so much data pouring in that companies need to figure out what to do with it. That requi... » read more

Preparing For War On The Edge


War clouds are gathering over the edge of the network. The rush by the reigning giants of data—IBM, Amazon, Facebook, Alibaba, Baidu, Microsoft and Apple—to control the cloud by building mammoth hyperscale data centers  is being met with uncertainty at the edge of the network. In fact, just the emergence of the edge could mean that all bets are off when it comes to data dominance. It... » read more

New Battleground In The Data Race


For the past couple years, giant commercial data centers have been grabbing as much data as possible. The big question now is whether that investment will pay off. Companies such as AWS, Google, Microsoft, Alibaba and Baidu are not necessarily the best equipped to leverage that data—or at least not yet. In fact, most of what they've been focusing on is a narrow slice of the data being coll... » read more

The Paradox Of Automotive Electronics


There is a huge problem brewing in the automotive world. Automakers are demanding quality parts, but they're using methods and strategies developed in the steel age when suppliers were metal benders, not developers of advanced electronics. Automakers are correct in that the quality of electronics is poor. A 2018 report by J.D. Power showed that overall car reliability is improving year over ... » read more

Testing AI Systems


AI is booming. It's coming to a device near you—maybe even inside of you. And AI will be used to design, manufacture and even ship those devices, regardless of what they are, where they are used, or how they are transported. The big questions now are whether these systems work, for how long—and what do those metrics even mean? An AI system, or AI-enhanced system, is supposed to adapt ove... » read more

4 Issues In Test


When most design engineers think about test, they envision a large piece of equipment in the fab they probably will never actually see or interact with. But as chips become more complex—driven by an explosion in both quantity and different types of data—test is emerging as one of the big challenges in design and manufacturing. There are four primary segments for test, each with its own s... » read more

The Next Materials Race


Trade wars are costly on many fronts, and a trade war between the United States and China is bound to cause a variety of problems that no one anticipated. But in some areas, there may be a silver lining. And where there is no silver lining available, other materials may suffice. For decades, big chipmakers have been squeezing the entire semiconductor supply chain in a race to double the num... » read more

Why Test Costs Will Increase


The economics of test are under siege. Long seen as a necessary but rather mundane step in ensuring chip quality, or a way of testing circuitry from the inside while it is still in use, manufacturers and design teams have paid little attention to this part of the design-through-manufacturing flow. But problems have been building for some time in three separate areas, and they could have a b... » read more

The Quest For Perfection


Demands by automakers for zero defects over 15 years are absurd, particularly when it comes to 10/7nm AI systems that will be the brains of autonomous and assisted driving or any mobile electronic device. There are several reasons for this. To begin with, no one has ever used a 10/7nm device under extreme conditions for any length of time. Chips developed at these nodes are just starting to ... » read more

Who’s Paying For Auto Chip Test?


Testing of automotive chips is becoming more difficult and time-consuming, and the problem is only going to get worse. There is more to this than simply developing new test equipment or devising a better design for test flow. There are multiple issues at play here, and some of them are at odds with the others. First, no one has experience using advanced-node chips in extreme environments.... » read more

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