Surround And Conquer


The processor wars are back in full swing, this time with some new players in the field. But what defines winning this time around is far less obvious than it was in the past, and it will take years before we know the outcome. The strategy is the same, though, and it's one that has been in use for years in the tech world. It began in the 1990s, when IBM came to the realization that it could ... » read more

China Accelerates Its Timetable


China has been doing more than just creating a separate supply chain. It has begun an entirely separate stock market with backing from the government. Known as the Star Market, this offshoot of the Shanghai Stock Exchange includes some big-name companies such as Alibaba, Xiaomi and Tencent. But what's particularly noteworthy is that the government is supporting top startups like governments ... » read more

Rethinking What Goes On A Chip


There are hints across the chip industry that chipmakers are beginning to reexamine one of the basic concepts of chip design. For more than 50 years, progress in semiconductors was measured by the ability to double the density of transistors on a piece of silicon. While that approach continues to be useful, the power and performance benefits have been dwindling for the past couple of nodes. ... » read more

How Far Can AI Go?


AI is everywhere. There are AI/ML chips, and AI is being used to design and manufacture chips. On the AI/ML chip side, large systems companies and startups are striving for orders of magnitude improvements in performance. To achieve that, design teams are adding in everything from CPUs, GPUs, TPUs, DSPs, as well as small FPGAs and eFPGAs. They also are using small memories that can be read i... » read more

Rushing To The Edge


Virtually every major tech company has an "edge" marketing presentation these days, and some even have products they are calling edge devices. But the reality is that today no one is quite sure how to define the edge or what it will become, and any attempts to pigeon-hole it are premature. What is becoming clear is the edge is not simply an extension of the Internet of Things. It is the resu... » read more

Auto Reliability At The System Level


Carmakers and chipmakers are approaching autonomous vehicle design from very different perspectives, and while they both talk about safety and reliability as the end goals, they have widely divergent ideas about how to get there. All of this is just beginning to come into focus as carmakers vie for leadership in the autonomous vehicle space, and much of it appears to hinge on the definition ... » read more

Crisis In Data


The push toward data-driven design, debug, manufacturing and reliability holds huge promise, but the big risk is none of this will happen in an organized fashion and everyone will be frustrated. One of the clear messages coming out of DVCon this week is that standards need to be established for data. Even within large chipmakers and systems companies, the data they extract from tools is not ... » read more

Can AI, 5G Chips Be Verified?


AI and 5G bode well for the semiconductor industry. They will require many billions of new, semi-customized and highly complex chips from the edge all the way to the data center, and they will require massive amounts of engineering time and tooling. But these technologies also are raising lots of questions on the design and verification front about what else can be automated and how to do it. ... » read more

It’s All About The Data


The entire tech industry has changed in several fundamental ways over the past year due to the massive growth in data. Individually, those changes are significant. Taken together, those changes will have a massive impact on the chip industry for the foreseeable future. The obvious shift is the infusion of AI (and its subcategories, machine learning and deep learning) into different markets. ... » read more

Methodologies And Flows In A Rapidly Changing Market


A growing push toward more heterogeneity and customization in chip design is creating havoc across the global supply chain, which until a couple years ago was highly organized and extremely predictable. While existing tools still work well enough, no one has yet figured out the most efficient way to use them in a variety of new applications. Technology is still being developed in those marke... » read more

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