Power/Performance Bits: June 30


Up-converting lasers Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania developed a filter chip that can convert the output from low-cost lasers to have the same frequency noise as big, expensive lasers, making them suitable for applications such as LiDAR. The noise in a laser's frequency is an important indicator of quality. Low-quality, noisy lasers have more random variations, making them use... » read more

What’s After PAM-4?


[This is part 2 of a 2-part series. Part 1 can be found here.] The future of high-speed physical signaling is uncertain. While PAM-4 remains one of the key standards today, there is widespread debate about whether PAM-8 will succeed it. This has an impact on everything from where the next bottlenecks are likely to emerge and the best approaches to solving them, to how chips, systems and p... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: June 23


Capturing waste heat Researchers at Wuhan University and University of California Los Angeles developed a hydrogel that can both cool down electronics and convert the waste heat into electricity. The thermogalvanic hydrogel consists of a polyacrylamide framework infused with water and specific ions. When they heated the hydrogel, two of the ions (ferricyanide and ferrocyanide) transferred e... » read more

High-Speed Signaling Drill-Down


Chip interconnect standards have received a lot of attention lately, with parallel versions proliferating for chiplets and serial versions moving to higher speeds. The lowliest characteristic of these interconnect schemes is the physical signaling format. Having been static at NRZ (non-return-to-zero) for decades, change is underway. “Multiple approaches are likely to emerge,” said Brig ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: June 16


One-directional optical Researchers from University of Pennsylvania, Peking University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed a design for optical devices that radiate light in only one direction, which could reduce energy consumption in optical fiber networks and data centers. Light tends to flow in a single direction optical fibers, but while most of the light passing through... » read more

Interconnect Challenges Grow, Tools Lag


Interconnects are becoming much problematic as devices shrink and the amount of data being moved around a system continues to rise. This limitation has shown up several times in the past, and it's happening again today. But when the interconnect becomes an issue, it cannot be solved in the same way issues are solved for other aspects of a chip. Typically it results in disruption in how the t... » read more

3 Challenges In Edge Designs


As companies begin exploring what will be necessary to win at the edge, they are coming up with some daunting challenges. Designing chips for the edge is far different than for the IoT/IIoT. The idea with the IoT was that simple sensors would relay data through a gateway to the cloud, where it would be processed and data could be sent back to the device as needed. That works if it's a small ... » read more

Trustworthy Electronics


Global supplier networks are a key feature of the development of integrated electronic components today. Even in times of ever more complex trade relationships, supply chains must still function effectively. At the same time, it is necessary to achieve the technological advances required for the development of new products and maintain technological sovereignty. In view of the increasing dig... » read more

Data Center Scaling Requires New Interface Architectures


You can pick your favorite data points, but the bottom line is global data traffic is growing at an exponential rate driven by a confluence of megatrends. 5G networks are making possible billions of AI-powered IoT devices untethered from wired networks. Machine learning’s voracious appetite for enormous data sets is skyrocketing. Data intensive video streaming for both entertainment and busin... » read more

Essential DDR5 Features Designers Must Know


JEDEC has defined and developed three DDR standards – standard DDR, mobile DDR, and graphic DDR – to help designers meet their memory requirements. DDR5 will support a higher data rate (up to 6400 Mb/s) at a lower I/O Voltage (1.1V) and a higher density (based on 16Gb DRAM dies) than DDR4. DDR5 DRAMs and dual-inline memory modules (DIMMs) are expected to hit the market in 2020. This article... » read more

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