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Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 3


Efficient ADC Researchers at Brigham Young University, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Texas Instruments, and University of California Los Angeles designed a new power-efficient high-speed analog-to-digital converter. The ADC consumes only 21 milli-Watts of power at 10GHz for ultra-wideband wireless communications, much lower than other ADCs that consume hundreds of milli-Watts to... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 27


Amplifying light for lidar Engineers at University of Texas at Austin and University of Virginia developed a light detector that can amplify weak light signals and reduce noise to improve the accuracy of lidar. "Autonomous vehicles send out laser signals that bounce off objects to tell you how far away you are. Not much light comes back, so if your detector is putting out more noise than th... » read more

New Power, Performance Options At The Edge


Increasing compute intelligence at the edge is forcing chip architects to rethink how computing gets partitioned and prioritized, and what kinds of processing elements and memory configurations work best for a particular application. Sending raw data to the cloud for processing is both time- and resource-intensive, and it's often unnecessary because most of the data collected by a growing nu... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 20


Shrinking RFID chips Researchers at North Carolina State University built a new, tiny RFID chip. They expect the chip to help drive down costs for RFID tags, making it possible to embed them in more things for supply chain security. "As far as we can tell, it's the world's smallest Gen2-compatible RFID chip," said Paul Franzon, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NC State. I... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 13


Graphene PUFs Researchers at Pennsylvania State University propose using graphene to create physically unclonable functions (PUFs) that are energy efficient, scalable, and secure against AI attacks. The team first fabricated nearly 2,000 identical graphene transistors. Despite their structural similarity, the transistors' electrical conductivity varied due to the inherent randomness arising... » read more

Chipmakers Getting Serious About Integrated Photonics


Integrating photonics into semiconductors is gaining traction, particularly in heterogeneous multi-die packages, as chipmakers search for new ways to overcome power limitations and deal with increasing volumes of data. Power has been a growing concern since the end of Dennard scaling, which happened somewhere around the 90nm node. There are more transistors per mm², and the wires are thinne... » read more

Getting Realistic About AI


By Olaf Enge-Rosenblatt and Andy Heinig The topic of artificial intelligence (AI) is omnipresent today, both in the news and on popular science shows. The number of possibilities for AI methods to assist people in making decisions are expanding rapidly. There are three main reasons for this: The development of new AI methods (deep learning, reinforcement learning); The continuous ... » read more

ASIC/IC Verification Trends With A Focus On Factors Of Silicon Success


At long last we come to the final installment of our four-part series presenting the findings of the Wilson Research Group Functional Verification 2020 study. In this article we discuss verification trends in IC/ASIC language and library adoption, low power management, and verification effectiveness. We then take a deeper dive into two somewhat surprising phenomena revealed in the data: the ... » read more

For The Edge, It’s All About Location, Location, Location


They are centrally located, are connected to power grids and water systems, and are rapidly thinning out. And you can probably get a new cell phone case or a corn dog in the atrium. Could shopping malls become a future home for the edge? Edge computing has transformed over the last few years from being a vaguely defined concept to a fundamental part of the future data infrastructure. Band... » read more

Reducing Power Delivery Overhead


The power delivery network (PDN) is a necessary overhead that typically remains in the background — until it fails. For chip design teams, the big question is how close to the edge are they willing to push it? Or put differently, is the gain worth the pain? This question is being scrutinized in very small geometry designs, where margins can make a significant difference in device performan... » read more

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