More Volatility Ahead


The entire semiconductor industry had a wild ride on the stock market this week, plunging on Wednesday and recovering on Thursday. This is just a sign of things to come. The cause of this week's volatility can be tied directly to a Morgan Stanley report, which said that NAND prices have peaked and will begin dropping at the beginning of 2018 because supply has caught up with demand. The repo... » read more

Making Machine Learning Portable


Machine learning is everywhere, and it has exploded at a pace no one would have expected. Even a year ago, ML was more of an experiment than a reality. NVIDIA's stock price (Fig. 1, below) is a good representation of just how quickly this market has grown. GPUs are the chip of choice for training machine learning systems. Fig. 1: Nvidia 5-year stock price. Source: Google Finance Ma... » read more

Thinking Much Bigger


For the better part of the past decade the focus has been on integrating an increasing number of smaller components on a piece of silicon. It's time to start thinking much bigger. While there is still plenty of work to be done building more powerful processors, or networks of connected processors on a chip or in a package, new opportunities are opening up in markets such as automotive, medic... » read more

One Belt, One Road


China's so-called One Belt, One Road policy on global trade could have significant repercussions on semiconductors and IP if it succeeds. It's hardly a slam-dunk, and China has been vying for a larger position in the semiconductor industry for some time. But this is a completely different strategy because China is not attempting to go it alone this time. China has been rather quietly build... » read more

Explosive Growth Ahead


Over the next five years, sales across the semiconductor supply chain will double from $2 trillion to $4 trillion, said Ajit Manocha, president and CEO of SEMI, during the opening presentation at Semicon West this month. These are gigantic numbers, and they reflect some massive shifts now underway across the semiconductor industry. Many chipmakers have been trying to figure out the next big ... » read more

EDA Moves Out Of The Shadows


EDA has long harbored ambitions that are larger than a piece of silicon. The engineering challenges being solved on a nanometric scale are remarkably similar to ones being solved at a much higher level—architectural design, layout, validation, verification, debug, thermal mapping, and a lot more. The problem, at least until recently, is that it has been difficult to gain a foothold in larg... » read more

Foundry Wars, Take Two


Samsung, GlobalFoundries, TSMC and Intel all have declared their intention to fill in nearly every node possible with multiple processes, different packaging options, and new materials. In fact, the only number that hasn't been taken so far is 9nm. It's not that one foundry's 10nm is the same as another's. Each company defines its nodes differently, and these days comparing nodes is almost m... » read more

The Rise Of Parallelism


Parallel computing is an idea whose time has finally come, but not for the obvious reasons. Parallelism is a computer science concept that is older Moore's Law. In fact, it first appeared in print in a 1958 IBM research memo, in which John Cocke, a mathematician, and Daniel Slotnick, a computer scientist, discussed parallelism in numerical calculations. That was followed eight years later by... » read more

When Will It Be Done?


Design teams have done remarkably well in getting chips out the door on time, despite growing complexity at each new node and an increase in the number of features and IP blocks that need to be integrated into designs. There has been plenty of grumbling, along with dire warnings about the future of Moore's Law and the impact of industry consolidation. The reality, though, is that the volume ... » read more

AI Storm Brewing


AI is coming. Now what? The answer isn't clear, because after decades of research and development, AI is finally starting to become a force to reckon with. The proof is in the M&A activity underway right now. Big companies are willing to pay huge sums to get out in front of this shift. Here is a list of just some of the AI acquisitions announced or completed over the past few years: ... » read more

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